Socceroos Great: Whereabouts of Zeljko Kalac

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Zeljko Kalac is a retired Australian professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper. He was an international for Australia, and also played in the Croatian First Football League and the A-League.

Kalac started his career in Croatia with NK Zagreb, where he spent four seasons. He then moved to Australia and spent time with various clubs, including Sydney Olympic, Perth Glory, and the Newcastle Jets. He also had a brief spell in England with Fulham.

Kalac made his debut for Australia in a friendly against South Africa in 1993. He went on to make 44 appearances for his country, including appearing at the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He retired from international football in 2008.

Kalac has been working as a goalkeeping coach since his retirement from playing. He has worked with various clubs, including Sydney FC, Perth Glory, and the Western Sydney Wanderers.

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What Made Kalac Career Stand Out?

Kalac was an excellent goalkeeper who was known for his reflexes and shot-stopping ability. He was also a good communicator and leader, which helped him to organize his defense well.

While playing for the Socceroos, Kalac was a popular figure with the fans and was known for his jovial personality. He was often seen joking around with teammates and opponents during games, and he would often give interviews with a smile on his face.

Kalac was inducted into the Football Federation Australia Hall of Fame in 2019.

On top of coaching, he is also a regular pundit on Australian television. He often appears on Fox Sports to give his expert opinion on the game. He has also written a column for The Guardian, where he gives his thoughts on the latest football news.

Besides being a goalkeeper at home, he has had the chance to play with other teams and his career as a goalkeeper is as follows:

  • 1989–1995 Sydney United
  • 1995–1996 Leicester City
  • 1996–1998 Sydney United
  • 1998–2002 Roda JC
  • 2002–2005 Perugia
  • 2005–2009 AC Milan
  • 2009–2010 Kavala
  • 2010–2011 Sydney United
  • 2013 Hobart Zebras

Interestingly, there are instances where he doubled up as a goalkeeper and a team manager. Some of the clubs he has managed include:

  • Sydney United
  • Western Sydney Wanderers
  • Karabükspor
  • Melbourne City
  • Sydney FC

What is Zeljko Kalac Doing Now?

It seems that the coaching career is treating Kalac very well. Recently, he was appointed the head coach of NK Urania Baška Voda, a Croatia side. The appointment happened in October 2021, and this is his current role.

It seems that Zeljko Kalac is keeping busy in retirement since he has built over a decade of his coaching career. NK Urania Baška Voda plays in the 3rd division of Croatian football.

Of course, this appointment does not come without its fair share of challenges. Recently, he said, “Everyone tells me that the Third HNL is difficult, but you have to start somewhere.” The good news is that Kalac is confident in his abilities, and he is looking forward to the challenge.

“I know what I’m capable of, I just have to go out there and do it,” he said.

We wish Zeljko Kalac all the best in his new role as head coach of NK Urania Baška Voda.

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Kalac’s Thoughts About A-League

Zeljko Kalac has been critical of the A-League in recent years, and he believes that the standard of the league is not good enough. “It’s just not up to the level that it should be,” he said.

Kalac also believes that the A-League needs to do more to attract top players from around the world. “You look at other leagues, and they’re getting better players,” he said.

“The A-League needs to do something to get better players, otherwise it’s going to fall behind.”

He says that one of the major drawbacks of the A-league is the country is not so big in terms of football. Kalac also cites the lack of money in the game as one of the main reasons why players don’t want to come and play in the A-League.

“There’s just not enough money in the game here,” he said. “If you’re a good player, you’re going to go where the money is.”

Kalac also believes that another reason why the A-League is not attracting top players is that the standard of living in Australia is not as high as in other countries. “It’s a great lifestyle here, but the wages are just not comparable,” he said.

“You can’t compare the wages here to what you can earn in Europe or Asia.”

Despite his criticism of the A-League, Kalac still believes that the league has potential. “It’s a young league, and it’s still growing,” he said.

“There’s a lot of room for improvement, but it’s not an easy task.”

Final Thoughts

Having started his career as a young man, Kalac seems to be scaling the ladder of success gradually. Certainly, he deserves recognition as one of the greatest Socceroos of all time. Keep it here for more updates on his achievements and sentiments.

This information was prepared with support from BetPokies.com

Feature image credit: Camw

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