FC Dynamo Moscow RPL

Zvjezdan Misimovic Retires From Football

5:02 PMGoalChatter

by Aleks V |

Misimovic in action for Guizhou Renhe. Photo: sop.ba
Former Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg, Galatasaray, and Dynamo Moscow midfielder Zvjezdan Misimovic has retired from professional football. Despite having a year left on his contract with Chinese side Beijing Renhe (formerly Guizhou Renhe), the 34-year-old decided to hang up his boots.

At club level, Misimovic made 506 appearances in all competitions, scoring 136 goals and making 141 assists.

Although he struggled to break into the first team at Bayern Munich at the start of his career, he shone for the reserves, netting in 44 goals in 103 games.

His career includes a historic 2008/09 season at Wolfsburg. "The Plum", as he was known in Germany, helped the club win their first Bundesliga title, ending the season with the most assists (20). He also helped teammates Grafite and Edin Dzeko become the league's top scorers with a combined record total of 54 goals. The three formed a memorable attacking trio.

Misimovic had a decade-long presence at Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he wore the captain's armband. He's the national team's second most-capped player and third all-time goal scorer. One of his most notable performances was a hat-trick in Bosnia's 7-0 win over Estonia in a 2010 World Cup Qualifier.

The attacking midfielder joined Dynamo Moscow from Galatasaray in 2011 and quickly became one of the club's key players. He could always be counted on in the toughest of games, from derbies to Cup competition. Misimovic was a true playmaker. Although goal scoring wasn't his main line of duty, he netted in quite a few, many of which were late goals from the spot. His penalties in the quarterfinal and semifinal of the 2011-12 Russian Cup included a match winner against Zenit and a 73rd minute equalizer against Volga Nizhny Novgorod, respectively. Without a doubt, Mr. Penalty was always a joy to watch.

Setting up goals, though, was his forte. Championat.com writer Sergei Titov wrote in 2015:
"Misimovic, who can come up with a brilliant assist, sitting on a chair and drinking coffee, would be useful even to the current Dynamo, who have Valbuena."
Misimovic assists Kevin Kuranyi in his debut for Dynamo, a derby against Lokomotiv.
The midfielder spent the last three years of his career in China. As one fan put it, he went there "before it was mainstream". With Guizhou Renhe, he won the 2013 Chinese FA Cup and 2014 Chinese Super Cup. He played 105 games at his last club, scoring 18 goals and making 50 assists.

Misimovic first announced his retirement in 2015. That year, I compared another Dynamo Moscow player, Kevin Kuranyi, with basketball's Michael Jordan. Yet it was Zvjezdan Misimovic who compared himself to Jordan when he chose to un-retire. He had hoped Beijing Renhe would retain their position in the Chinese Super League. Unfortunately, the team finished 15th that season and were relegated to the second tier. A fourth place finish in 2016 was not enough to win promotion to China's top division.

There were, of course, other players - and rock bands - that have retired and come back again. Paul Scholes played a testimonial, but then decided to have one more go. The Rolling Stones did multiple Farewell Tours, only to keep on touring. Like many a football and music fan, they just "can't get no satisfaction". Misimovic, it seems, finally has.

A "legend" and "the last romantic" to his fans, he only ever got one straight red card in his 16-year career.

Misimovic and Dzeko at Wolfsburg.
Zvjezdan Misimovic, your country thanks you.

Your clubs thank you.

And I thank you.

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