Ivan Gudelj
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Ivan Gudelj

Ivan Gudelj
Personal information
Full name Ivan Gudelj
Date of birth (1960-04-21) 21 April 1960 (age 60)
Place of birth Imotski, FPR Yugoslavia
Playing position(s) defensive midfielder
Club information
Current team
Croatia U-19 (manager)
Youth career
1975-1976 NK Mra?aj
1976-1979 Hajduk Split
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1979-1986 Hajduk Split 181 (35)
National team
1980-1986 Yugoslavia 33 (3)
Teams managed
Croatia U-16
NK Uskok
1993 Zadar
NK Dubrovnik
Vorwärts Steyr
2005-2013 Croatia U-17
2005-2006 Hajduk Split
2013-2014 Croatia U-19
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Ivan Gudelj (born 21 April 1960) is a Croatian former football midfielder who represented Yugoslavia.

Club career

Zmijavci-bred Gudelj started his player career in a club from the neighbouring village of Runovi?i -- NK Mra?aj. There, he was coached by Marinko Boban, the father of future football star Zvonimir Boban. A few years later, Gudelj went to play for Hajduk Split, for which he played in the 1976-1986 period. He quickly marked himself out as a dependable and elegant defensive midfielder, earning the moniker "Beckenbauer from Zmijavci" in the Yugoslav press.

The rising career of a new European football star ended suddenly. Gudelj was forced to end his career cause of health problems, more specifically, hepatitis B. The twenty-six-year-old played his last game against Red Star Belgrade in Split on 23 September 1986 at the start of the 1986-87 league season. His precontract with Girondins de Bordeaux has never been realized.

National team


In 1979, eighteen-year-old Gudelj had a busy summer.

First, in June 1979, he played for Yugoslavia at the UEFA European Under-18 Football Championship in Vienna, leading his country to the championship trophy, beating Bulgaria in the final. Gudelj got named the tournament's best player.

Later that summer in August 1979, Gudelj made the Yugoslavia squad that participated at the FIFA World Youth Championship held in Japan. Playing in a tough group featuring Argentina with 18-year-old Diego Maradona, Yugoslavia failed to progress to the next stage.

Full squad

Gudelj's excellent outings for the national youth team drew the attention national team head coach Miljan Miljani? who called Gudelj up for the full squad the following year.

Gudelj quickly became Miljani?'s favourite who soon made him the Yugoslav national team captain at the age of 21. In the end, Gudelj made 33 national team appearances, scoring three goals. He was a participant in the 1982 FIFA World Cup and Euro 1984. Because of his excellent games, French magazine L'Équipe put him on their list of ideal team of 1982 World Cup. He was also named the Yugoslav Footballer of the Year in 1982.

Coaching career

He began his coaching career in 1990. As a coach, he led Croatian priests' national team and Croatian cadets national team. With the latter, he won the bronze medal in the Eurochamps 2001 in England (generation of Niko Kranj?ar).

Later, he led various clubs. He made it with Primorac from Stobre?, bringing it to Croatian top league. He also led Uskok from Klis, Zadar, Dubrovnik, Austrian club Vorwärts from Steyr and Hajduk (in 2005). He is currently the manager of the Croatia U17 National Team and successfully led them to a 4th place finish in the 2005 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship in Italy.

Personal life

Born in the town of Imotski, he grew up in the nearby village of Zmijavci. As a child, Ivan Gudelj thought about becoming a priest.

Also during childhood, he was an extra in the TV series Prosjaci i sinovi, made after the novel of Ivan Raos and filmed in Gudelj's home village Zmijavci. He was distinguishing from other kids in the escape scene, because Ivan Gudelj was - the fastest.



Hajduk Split

External links

  • ?eljko Rogo?i? (26 September 2005). "Ivan Gudelj - trener reprezentacija sve?enika i kadeta na klupi Hajduka" [Ivan Gudelj - coach to teams of priests and cadets in Hajduk]. Nacional (in Croatian). No. 515. Archived from the original on 30 June 2012. Retrieved 2020.
  • Radio-Imotski Ivane sretno!!! (in Croatian)
  • Article in Slobodna Dalmacija Nogometni univerzalac (in Croatian)
  • Imotski portal Memorijal Ante Bruno Bu?i? u Vinjanima (in Croatian)
  • Serbian national football team website (in Serbian)

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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