Josip Brekalo

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Josip Brekalo
Josip brekalo.jpg
Brekalo training with VfB Stuttgart in 2017
Personal information
Date of birth (1998-06-23) 23 June 1998 (age 22)
Place of birth Zagreb, Croatia
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)[1]
Position(s) Winger
Club information
Current team
VfL Wolfsburg
Number 7
Youth career
2006–2015 Dinamo Zagreb
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2015–2016 Dinamo Zagreb II 9 (0)
2015–2016 Dinamo Zagreb 8 (0)
2016 VfL Wolfsburg II 2 (0)
2016– VfL Wolfsburg 94 (12)
2017VfB Stuttgart (loan) 25 (2)
National team
2012 Croatia U14 2 (0)
2013 Croatia U15 2 (0)
2013–2014 Croatia U16 8 (2)
2013–2015 Croatia U17 25 (9)
2015 Croatia U18 6 (3)
2015–2017 Croatia U19 17 (6)
2016– Croatia U21 17 (9)
2018– Croatia 19 (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19 February 2021
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 17 November 2020

Josip Brekalo (Croatian pronunciation: [jǒsip brěːkalo];[2][3] born 23 June 1998) is a Croatian footballer who plays as a winger for VfL Wolfsburg and Croatia national football team.

Club career[edit]

Brekalo is a youth exponent from Dinamo Zagreb. He made his league debut on 19 December 2015 against Inter Zaprešić.[4] On 15 May 2016 he signed for Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg for €10 million.

On 31 January 2017, Brekalo was loaned out to VfB Stuttgart until the end of the season with an option for a further year. The loan deal was automatically extended until June 2018 when Stuttgart secured promotion.[5] Brekalo scored his first senior goal on 17 February 2017 coming off the bench for VfB Stuttgart against 1. FC Heidenheim.[6] Brekalo returned prematurely to Wolfsburg on 1 January 2018.[7]

International career[edit]

Brekalo is a youth international and has represented Croatia in 2015 UEFA Under-17 Euro, 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup, 2016 UEFA Under-19 Euro and 2019 UEFA under-21 Euro.

He made his debut for Croatia's senior squad on 15 November 2018 in a 3–2 Nations League victory over Spain.[8] On 8 September 2020, Brekalo scored his first international goal for Croatia in a 4–2 Nations League defeat to France.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Brekalo's father Ante (nicknamed Šargija) is a former footballer, having represented Bosnia and Herzegovina on various youth levels, as he hails from the Bosnian region of Posavina. His career was halted at the age of 21, when the Yugoslav Wars broke out and he got wounded on the battlefield.[10]

In summer 2018, Brekalo sparked controversy in German and Croatian media after stating that he would not like to wear a captain's armband with LGBT flag colours, after VfL Wolfsburg decided that captains of all their teams would wear such an armband during the 2018–19 season. The reason for that was cited to be the club's "stance for tolerant society" and "stance against discrimination". After liking homophobic comments under club's Instagram post of captain Josuha Guilavogui wearing the armband, Brekalo blamed it on a mobile phone malfunction in an interview with Kicker. He then went on to state:[11][12][13]

"I have to say that I can't stand completely behind this action, because it contradicts my Christian belief. I've been raised religiously. I’m fine with people living a different lifestyle, because that's their business. But I don't want and don't have to carry a symbol representing them."

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of match played 19 February 2021[14]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League Cup[a] Europe Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Dinamo Zagreb II 2015–16 Druga HNL 9 0 9 0
Dinamo Zagreb 2015–16 Prva HNL 8 0 3 1 11 1
VfL Wolfsburg II 2016–17 Regionalliga Nord 2 0 2 0
VfL Wolfsburg 2016–17 Bundesliga 4 0 0 0 4 0
2017–18 15 4 0 0 15 4
2018–19 25 3 2 0 27 3
2019–20 30 3 2 1 8[b] 3 40 7
2020–21 20 2 1 0 2[b] 0 23 2
Total 94 12 5 1 10 3 109 16
VfB Stuttgart (loan) 2016–17 2. Bundesliga 11 1 0 0 11 1
2017–18 Bundesliga 14 1 3 1 17 2
Total 25 2 3 1 28 3
Career total 138 14 11 3 10 3 159 20
  1. ^ Includes Croatian Cup and DFB-Pokal
  2. ^ a b Appearance(s) in UEFA Europa League

International[edit]

As of match played 17 November 2020[15]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Croatia 2018 2 0
2019 9 0
2020 8 3
Total 19 3

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Croatia's goal tally first. Score column indicates score after each Brekalo goal.
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition
1 8 September 2020 Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France 13  France 2–2 2–4 2020–21 UEFA Nations League A
2 7 October 2020 Kybunpark, St. Gallen, Switzerland 14   Switzerland 1–1 2–1 Friendly
3 11 November 2020 Vodafone Park, Istanbul, Turkey 17  Turkey 3–2 3–3

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Josip Brekalo". VfL Wolfsburg (in German). Retrieved 6 November 2020.
  2. ^ "Jòsip". Hrvatski jezični portal (in Serbo-Croatian). Retrieved 19 March 2018. Jòsip
  3. ^ "brȅcati". Hrvatski jezični portal (in Serbo-Croatian). Retrieved 19 March 2018. Brékalo
  4. ^ "Dinamo Zagreb vs. Inter Zaprešić - 19 December 2015 - Soccerway". soccerway.com. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  5. ^ "Josip Brekalo signs for VfB". VfB Stuttgart. 31 January 2017. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  6. ^ "Away win in Heidenheim". VfB Stuttgart. 17 February 2017. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  7. ^ "Josip Brekalo makes early return to VfL Wolfsburg". VfB Stuttgart. 22 December 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  8. ^ "Croatia v Spain game report". UEFA. 11 November 2018.
  9. ^ "France 4–2 Croatia". UEFA. 8 September 2020.
  10. ^ Antolić, Dražen (8 June 2019). "VATRENI OTKRIO KAKO JE RAT ZAUSTAVIO OCA ŠARGIJU DA POSTANE NOGOMETNA KLASA 'Otišao je na ratište, bio ranjen i spriječen ostvariti snove'". Sportske novosti (in Croatian). Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  11. ^ Gjerulff, Rune (27 August 2018). "Brekalo on Wolfsburg's LGBT armband: 'I don't want to carry a symbol representing them'". Bulinews. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  12. ^ Midžor, Nina (27 August 2018). "Brekalo: Moj kršćanski odgoj priječi mi da podržim gayeve". 24sata (in Croatian). Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  13. ^ Z. A. (27 August 2018). "Brekalo zaprepastio Nijemce: Objasnite mu da homofobija nije cool". Index.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  14. ^ "J. Brekalo". Soccerway. Perform Group. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  15. ^ "Josip Brekalo profile". eu-football.info. Retrieved 1 March 2020.

External links[edit]