“HNK Hajduk can confirm with great satisfaction that our first team will be stronger in the continuation of the season thanks to Nikola Kalinić, who is returning to Poljud after more than 12 years and taking over his number 9! Nikola arrives at Hajduk at the age of 34 as a free agent after terminating his contract with Hellas Verona,” writes Hajduk to announce the news.
Kalinić is a child of Hajduk, passed all age categories of the Academy, and became one of its most recognizable products in the recent history of the Club. He played a total of 79 official matches for the Hajduk first team and scored 44 goals. In the 2007/2008 season, he scored 17 goals and scored 15 times the following season. He left Poljud in 2009 in a then-record transfer to English club Blackburn. In his impressive career, he played for Ukrainian club Dnipro, then for the Italian Serie A clubs Fiorentina, AC Milan, and Roma, and for La Liga giant Atletico Madrid. He scored over 170 goals in official matches and recorded over 50 assists for his teammates in his career.
“We all know very well what kind of accomplished football player he is; he played for some of the world’s biggest clubs in the strongest leagues at the highest level of football quality. From the first moment of the negotiations, we saw his determination and interest in returning and his desire to be part of our project to create a strong Hajduk. Nikola is now returning to his club, full of motivation to help us in the fight for trophies. That says enough about what kind of person he is because he chose to return to his football home despite more generous offers and the opportunity to stay in Italy. His appearance, personality and, in the end, the most important thing, which is football quality, will bring a lot to our team. Not only in terms of football but also in terms of role models, leaders, and people who will help the whole team rise to a higher level of football,” said Hajduk sports director Mindaugas Nikoličius.
Nikola could not be happier to wear the white jersey again.
“Returning to Hajduk is a special moment in my life. I signed contracts with many clubs, big clubs, played for them, but Hajduk is the greatest for all of us who grew up here, and we are emotionally attached to it. This is where I grew up, the place where I gained my football affirmation; in the end, this is where I was born, and this is where my people are. So I will do my best to keep this moment, to cheer up everyone who breathes for Hajduk and keep this moment and the current emotion around the club as long as possible,” said Kalinić.
The official presentation of Nikola Kalinić will be at a press conference on Tuesday at noon.
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