Midfielder, known for his masterful assists and a surprising last pass to Davor Šuker in the 1998 World Cup semi-finals against France; he dribbled the entire future world champions’defense and assisted for the goal.
“Coach and I nevertalked, believe it or not. We exchanged looks – I knew what he wantedfrom me and what I could give him. Our relationship was particular because we never had much contact. We didn’t talk or communicate much, but he knew exactly how to approachevery single one of his players. He was a great psychologist, a great motivator, a man who always knew how to deal with the players he had; because these players were ‘bandits’ – each with hisown distinct personality, positive of course. There was no negativity in them because coach kept them under control, and the players were smart enough.”
Former Croatian football player. A prolific forward who spent most of his career in France and Italy, he was renowned for his technique and power, and is regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of the Croatia national football team. Also played for Cannes, Marseille, Lazio, Juventus, Lazio, Middlesbrough.
“What to say about him, except he has no match. He is full of energy, but he’s not quite so young. I remember he called us once in Zagreb football club’s locker room and when we entered into it, there was a sound of silence as if Stalin is entering, that is how much all of us respect him. Ciro Blazevic enriched our lives. I am happy I met this man.“
Croatian football coach and former footballer, who played as a centre back. He represented the Croatia national team 53 times, playing at Euro 1996 and at the 1998 World Cup, when Croatia finished third. He also played for Cádiz in Spain and for Derby County and West Ham United in England.
“Ciro was wonderful, we could do anything. We were talking so many times about some other coaches in Croatia, ‘cause there was always dispute is Ciro the best one for us? We all knew that Ciro is the only one who can be at this position with us, because with so many big names in the team, there was a need for someone with a special approach – Ciro knew exactly that, Ciro knew in each second how to talk to us, when is the time not to talk, when is the time to let us do our little things which will make it all necessary for us to do hundred percent on the pitch.
Former Croatian football striker, member of the Croatian national football team for over ten years. He won a total of 52 international caps and scored 15 goals for the team. Also played in Padova, Valencia and Panathinaikos.
“Ciro Blazevic was everything but a usual coach. His methods have been practically impossible to imitate, he is peculiar and specific in a way that has his own logic to motivate the players individually or to motivate the team.
The things he says are often very convincing and lead the players and the team to give more than they believe they can. I am convinced that this is one of his greatest qualities.”
Former Croatian footballer. Being a versatile offensive player, he was no stranger to any forward or attacking midfield position, and was even deployed as a wing-back in the national team. He also played for Benfica, Club Brugge, Parma, Chelsea.
“I think he was crucial important for our success. Coaching job is not easy – if things go well, then everybody highlights the ability and quality of players, but if things don’t go well then everybody blames the coach.
But that was his living, he loved his job and he knew it very well and together we experienced the sweet, stellar moments and we were together in good and in bad.
He has definitely left a significant mark in my football career.“
Retired Croatian professional footballer who is now a coach. Also played for Beveren, Torino, Sampdoria.
“I learned a lot from him. He is an avantgarde in his profession, he’s always been ahead of his time in terms of coaching.
Another thing in which he is really good is in identifying relationships between people within the group, team and putting these relations in the right dimension.”
Retired Croatian professional footballer and current manager of English club West Ham United. Also played for Karlsruhe, West Ham United, Everton.
“I’m not saying he was a bad coach or a great coach, but he was the ideal coach for us. He would gradually motivate you. He knows everyday in his head that he’s going to make a small incident to wake everybody up a bit, and then he’s going to do this, then he’s going to tell them to go out to a nightclub.”
Former Croatian football goalkeeper. Between 2006 and 2011 he was the head coach of the Croatian national under-21 team.
“I learned a lot of things from that you have to respect – how to treat a player, how to deal with this work as a coach, because Ciro Blazevic as a player and as a coach started from zero, from a scratch and made a truly great international fame and there’s a lot to learn from it.”