Let’s remember….Davor Suker (Video)

You may have seen this video on the Guardian in today’s wonderfully written “Joy of Six” column but if you haven’t, then prepare to be enthralled. If you have, then you certainly will not say no to watching this again. Davor Suker’s goal for Croatia, shown in the video below, in their 2-1 defeat to would-be-winners Germany in the quarter finals of Euro 96 was not even the best goal Suker scored at the championships. That award went to his glorious chip over a backtracking Peter Schmeichel in an earlier game where Suker had also attempted to chip the Danish legend a la Pele from the half-way line.

Suker was a player of fantastic poise, creativity and razor-sharp finishing. Capable of inspiration and genius within the blink of an eye, Suker’s record speaks for itself. 114 goals in an eight year spell in Spain which saw him play for both Sevilla and Real Madrid, helping the latter to both the league title and the Champions League. Suker also enjoyed a spell in England with Arsenal and West Ham towards the end of his career and though particularly Hammers fans will not look back on his time in England with too much fondness, Suker’s skill and eye for goal when given the opportunity never waned.

However, it was for Croatia where Suker’s talents really shone. His 45 goals in 69 appearances for his country make him the nation’s record goalscorer and contained records such as: the most goals in a qualification campaign (12) before Northern Ireland’s David Healy surpassed that in 2007, three goals at Euro 96 as well as six goals at the 1998 World Cup in France, which not only brought him the Golden Boot but led his country to 3rd place.

The goal in the video below was classic Suker. Finding himself one on one with the opposition goalkeeper, Suker to put it bluntly, made his opponent look a fool as he dragged it past him before slotting it home in one movement. The calmness of the move, the way he made a pressure-cooker moment in the quarter finals of a major tournament look like a back garden kickabout between a father and young son, the sheer audacity of it – all hallmarks of the genius of Suker.

Adam Mazrani

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