Edin Džeko (born 17 March 1986 in Sarajevo) is a Bosnian footballer who plays as a striker for Premier League club Manchester City F.C. and the Bosnian national team. He was named Bosnian Footballer of the Year for 2009 and 2010. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, he is known as “the Bosnian Diamond.”
Edin Dzeko may have developed into one of the best strikers in the world, but he did not start out in the attacking third.
The Sarajevo-born player started his career in the centre of midfield at FK Zeljeznicar Sarajevo in 2003, but had little success. Due to his height, Dzeko was seen to have poor technical abilities and was not highly regarded.
Coach Jiri Plisek saw the potential in the young player, and when he moved home to the Czech Republic he convinced FK Teplice officials to purchase him. An offer of only €25,000 was enough to see the Bosnian move clubs. A club director had reportedly stated that the Sarajevo side “had won the lottery” upon selling the 194 cm player.
Upon his arrival in the Czech Republic in 2005, he was sent to second division side Usti nad Labem for a season-long loan. He also began to play as a forward, and the club were rewarded with Dzeko scoring six goals in 15 matches. Later that year, he returned to Teplice, and continued to score, finding the net on three more occasions before the season ended. In 2006-07, he became the Gambrinus Liga’s top scorer with 13 goals in 30 league appearances.
His performances for Teplice impressed Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath, and the German club purchased the hitman for €4 million, and Dzeko’s career exploded from that moment onwards.
In his first 11 matches, the Bosnian scored five goals and bagged three assists, ultimately finishing with eight goals and seven assists in 17 matches, helping Die Woelfe finish fifth in the Bundesliga and qualify for the UEFA Cup.
It wasn’t until the arrival of compatriot Zvjezdan Misimovic in 2008 that Dzeko became the household name we now know. Dzeko was already developing a strong partnership with Grafite, and Misimovic provided the link between midfield and attack that the side required in order to go better than the previous season.
Dzeko’s 26 goals and 10 assists in 32 matches helped Die Woelfe win their first and only Bundesliga title in May 2009. He was awarded the Bundesliga Players’ Player of the Year Award, as he also scored four times in the UEFA Cup and six in the DFB-Pokal.
The Bosnian started to attract attention from across Europe, especially from Italian giants Milan, but he decided to stay with the then-Bundesliga champions and play in the Champions League, even signing a contract extension until June 2013. He was one of the 30 players nominated for the 2009 Ballon d’Or.
After another strong season with Wolfsburg, where he scored 22 goals, Dzeko was now on the radar of more clubs. Both Juventus and Manchester City enquired, but neither could land him during the 2010 summer transfer window.
On August 28, 2010, he became the highest-ever league scorer for Wolfsburg, as he netted his 59th goal against Mainz.
With Dzeko’s value continually rising, Wolfsburg decided to capitalise on the 24-year-old and sell him to the Eastlands club.
Did You Know?
Edin Dzeko became the first Bosnian UNICEF Ambassador in November 2009.
Awards and Honours
- Gambrinus Liga Top Scorer (2006-07)
- Wolfsburg: Bundesliga (2008-09)
- Manchester City: Premiership (2011/2012)
- Bundesliga Players’ Footballer of the Year (2008-09)
- Bundesliga Top Goalscorer (2009-10)
- Bosnian Footballer of the Year (2009, 2010, 2011)