Nikola Vlašić – Hajduk’s Young, But Experienced Star

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Is young Hajduk star Nikola Vlašić set to be as famous as his older sister?

Although he debuted for Hajduk as a sixteen-year-old, Nikola Vlašić is not among the youngest Croatian players of all times. He debuted in the First Division when he was 16 years and nine months old, the same age as Marko Pjaca, Arijan Ademi and Dino Špehar, with just a few days separating them. Vlašić is at 27th position on the list of the youngest first division players of all times. The youngest is Marko Dabro, a player for Cibalia Vinkovci who debuted on his 16th birthday, reports Vecernji List on October 7, 2015.

Although he was not the youngest, Vlašić has broken many other records. On July 17, 2014, in the match against Dundalk, he scored a goal and became the youngest debutant and goal-scorer in Hajduk’s European ties. With 17 years and 29 days he scored a goal against Zadar, and became Hajduk’s youngest scorer ever. But, that is not all. Vlašić has managed to achieve something that no one else in Croatia managed to do before turning 18 years old.

Against Istria, he celebrated his 18th birthday with his 56th appearance for Hajduk in official matches. While many, like Halilović, Mateo Kovačić, Niko Kranjčar, Tin Jedvaj, Ivica Olić or Ante Ćorić, have debuted as 16 or 17 year-olds, they would often play just for a few minutes. But, in his 56 matches, Vlašić has played for 4,122 minutes, playing very often from beginning of the match to the end. This has been especially evident this season during which the coach Damir Burić has pulled him out of the game only when he wanted to provide him with an opportunity to get a round of applause for his excellent performances.

There is no more doubt, Joško Vlašić’s prophecy uttered ten years ago that his son Nikola will be a top class player is becoming a reality. Nikola is proving him right week after week, with his family following him from the stands and a proud sister Blanka posting his photographs on social networks signed with “that’s my little brother”. Indeed, the little brother is grown up now.

Hajduk is playing better and better, collecting points where it had once lost them. Burić’s Hajduk rarely loses a game, and the coach with the German character and Split mentality has created a serious team. Joško Vlašić once said: “Nikola will bring a lot of joy to Hajduk.” And that is happening now, with Hajduk, Burić and Vlašić rising hand in hand. Poljud is dreaming about the Croatian champion title, Hajduk is near the top of the table and, most importantly, Burić’s team looks like it will not stumble anytime soon.


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