25 Şubat 2008 Pazartesi

Mark Viduka

Mark Viduka (born October 9, 1975 in Melbourne) is
an Australian football (soccer) striker of
Croatian descent. He currently plays for
Middlesbrough F.C.|Middlesbrough in the FA Premier
League|English Premier League, and has also played
for Dinamo Zagreb|Croatia Zagreb, Celtic
F.C.|Celtic and Leeds United F.C.|Leeds.

Viduka started his career in Australia with
Melbourne Knights|Melbourne Croatia (Knights) in
1994, and he also became an Australia national
football team|Australian international the same
year. In 1995 he moved to Croatia to play with
Dinamo Zagreb|Croatia Zagreb, where he stayed for
three years and made an appearance in the UEFA

Celtic bought him in December 1998 for £3.5
million. He was voted Scottish Premier League
Player of the Year after scoring 27 goals in his
first full season at Celtic Park|Parkhead. He was
regarded as a skilled player, able to hold the
ball up well and bring other players into the

The Leeds United manager David O'Leary swooped for
Viduka just before the 1999/2000 season after
tracking the big Aussie striker for some time.
Leeds paid Celtic £6 million, after Viduka told
the Scottish club he wanted a bigger challenge

At Leeds he was expected to line up in a
three-pronged attack alongside fellow Aussie Harry
Kewell and Michael Bridges, but injuries to those
two saw him form a partnership with Alan Smith in
Leeds UEFA Champions League matches, while Robbie
Keane also benefited in their Premiership matches
together. In his first Elland Road season, Viduka
scored 22 goals, and - committed to Leeds - he
signed a new five-year deal in the summer of 2001.

In the 2002/03 campaign Viduka scored another 22
goals, forming a good partnership with Smith and
thriving off Kewell's passing ability.

However, Leeds' off-pitch financial troubles
prompted the club to sell key players, including
Kewell (sold to Liverpool F.C.|Liverpool) and
Keane (sold to Tottenham Hotspur F.C.|Spurs). This
prompted speculation that Viduka would join the
Leeds exodus with FC Barcelona|Barcelona (Spanish
Primera Liga) confirming their interest in the
Australian international along with Premiership
clubs Liverpool and Manchester United
F.C.|Manchester United.

With the relegation of Leeds United to the
Football League Championship, the sale of Viduka's
contract during the summer of 2004 became all but
inevitable. On 8 July, Viduka's transfer to
Middlesbrough F.C.|Middlesbrough was completed.

Viduka's debut season at Boro was initially
impressive but then tarnished by injuries and he
will be hoping that he makes more regular
appearances in 2005/2006 although the club has
augmented its striking options by signing Yakubu
from Portsmouth F.C.|Portsmouth.

Hiç yorum yok: