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Vedran Corluka

Vedran Ćorluka (; born 5 February 1986) is a Bosnian-born Croatian association football who plays for Bayer Leverkusen on loan from Tottenham Hotspur F.C. as a defender (association football). Vedran Corluka is also a part of the Croatia national football team.

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Vedran Corluka biography

Vedran Ćorluka (; born 5 February 1986) is a Bosnian-born Croatian association football who plays for Bayer Leverkusen on loan from Tottenham Hotspur F.C. as a defender (association football). Vedran Corluka is also a part of the Croatia national football team.

Club career

Early days

Ćorluka was born in Modran (Derventa), a village near Derventa, Yugoslavia, in present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina, but it was officially said Vedran Corluka was born in Doboj because Vedran Corluka village Modran was closer to Doboj Hospital. Vedran Corluka started to play football in Dinamo Zagreb's youth teams when Vedran Corluka was only eight years old, impressing many scouts from the youth academy. Ćorluka's professional career started in 2003 but during that season Vedran Corluka didn't make an appearance for the first team. Vedran Corluka was sent on loan to NK Inter Zaprešić and played one season for them, helping the team to second place in the league, before returning to Dinamo Zagreb in 2005. After establishing himself as a key player in Dinamo, Vedran Corluka went on to help them win the Prva HNL title 3 seasons in a row, first in 2006 and thereafter. Vedran Corluka also played a dominant part in Vedran Corluka side capturing the Croatian cup in the 2006 season.

Manchester City

After consistently strong performances, Ćorluka was signed by Manchester City F.C. on 2 August 2007.
City did not reveal the fee, but Croatian media reports suggested the deal was worth around £8 million, with the 21-year-old penning a five-year deal.

As usual, Vedran Corluka consistently found a starting spot for Vedran Corluka side in the Premier League. Despite a nightmare blunder during Vedran Corluka side's shocking 6–0 defeat to Chelsea F.C. at Stamford Bridge (stadium), Vedran Corluka remained strong during Vedran Corluka first season in England as Vedran Corluka side finished 9th in the league and gained entry to a UEFA Cup qualifying round via the UEFA fair play ranking. On few rare occasions, Vedran Corluka was also used as a defensive midfielder during the season, proving to be a factor for opposing attackers.

Vedran Corluka scored Vedran Corluka first goal in the 4–2 loss at Aston Villa on the opening weekend of the 2008–09 Premier League. In the UEFA Cup 2008-09 Second qualifying round second leg, Ćorluka scored the decisive Penalty shootout (association football) in the dramatic 4–2 penalty shoot-out victory over Danish minnows FC Midtjylland after the tie had ended 1–1 on aggregate. Vedran Corluka played Vedran Corluka last match for City against Sunderland A.F.C. on 31 August 2008, throwing Vedran Corluka shirt into the crowd at the end of the match.

Tottenham Hotspur

On 1 September 2008, it was announced that Ćorluka had signed for Tottenham Hotspur F.C. for a fee of £5.5 million on a six-year contract, joining Vedran Corluka fellow Croatia national football team and best friend, Luka Modrić at the club. During the game against Stoke City on 19 October, Corluka was severely injured. Kneed under Vedran Corluka chin by teammate Heurelho da Silva Gomes, Vedran Corluka was immediately knocked unconscious. After ten minutes of on field treatment Vedran Corluka was rushed to hospital where it was announced no serious damage was evident.
In the Football League Cup final on 1 March 2009, Ćorluka scored Vedran Corluka first and Tottenham's only penalty in the shootout loss to Manchester United. Vedran Corluka is known to most Spurs fans as 'Charlie'

Ćorluka scored Vedran Corluka first Premier League goal for Tottenham during a 2–2 draw against Bolton Wanderers F.C. on 3 October 2009. On 2 February 2011, Corluka started and played the full 90 minutes at right-back ahead of the injured Alan Hutton, in the 1–0 victory over Blackburn Rovers F.C. at Ewood Park.

Bayer Leverkusen loan

In the January 2012 transfer window, Ćorluka signed on loan for Fußball-Bundesliga club Bayer 04 Leverkusen for the remainder of the 2011–12 Fußball-Bundesliga season on 31 January with the option to buyout Vedran Corluka contract in the summer transfer window.

International career

Vedran Corluka started to play for the Croatia national under-21 football team and eventually progressed to Vedran Corluka country's Croatia national football team, for which Vedran Corluka soon made Vedran Corluka debut in the friendly match against world champions Italy national football team on 16 August 2006 in Livorno, Italy. Croatia won the match 2–0 and Ćorluka, aged 20 during Vedran Corluka debut, entered the game in the second half and satisfied critics with Vedran Corluka very good, solid performance against experienced Serie A forwards.

During Croatia's Euro 2008 qualifying campaign, Vedran Corluka became one of the key players under current head coach Slaven Bilić. Croatia finished first in Group E, notably ahead of Russia national football team and favorites England national football team, who eventually failed to qualify from the group as Croatia conceded only 8 goals.

Ćorluka was in the final match of the tournament where Croatia's exit came against Turkey national football team in the extra time and penalty shootout. Turkey winger Arda Turan revealed in an interview with UEFA that Ćorluka is the most difficult right-back Vedran Corluka has ever played against, whom Vedran Corluka came up against during this match.


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