The Croatian forward has now leveled with his idol and former Bundesliga striker Ivica Olić on 72 goals.
|Andrej Kramaric.||Photo: GEPA Pictures/Roger Petzsche|
Andrej Kramarić’s brace against Hertha Berlin SC at the Olympiastadion put him on level with former Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg, Hertha Berlin, 1860 Munich and Hamburger SV marksman Ivica Olić, as Bundesliga’s all-time leading Croatian goalscorer.
Having begun his career as a 17-year-old prodigy in his hometown club Dinamo Zagreb, he was hailed as one of the club’s greatest talents. He moved to Leicester City for a mere €9m from HNK Rijeka on 2015. In a twist of fate, he became ineligible for the Premier League winner’s medal in the 2015/16 title winning season as a player is supposed to have played a minimum of five league games in order to obtain it – as opposed to the Croat’s two during the season. He scored a lowly two goals in fifteen caps for the Foxes. As unfortunate as that seems, he wouldn’t have foreseen what’s in store for him in the Bundesliga.
Just over a year later, 1899 TSG Hoffenheim secured Kramarić from Leicester City on loan and turned it into a transfer permanent in May 2016 on a four-year deal. Since then, his versatility and style of play has seen him adapt exceptionally to life in the German top tier – now having scored 72 goals in 145 appearances for Hoffenheim – leveling him with Croatia legend Ivica Olić.
Ivica Olić managed to score the same number of goals in 238 caps, 83 more than Andrej Kramarić.
This season, Kramarić has been deadly in front of goal, bagging 15 goals in 18 appearances across all competitions. Only 29-years-old, one can only predict him to score many more in the coming seasons, wherever his career might take him. His presence of mind, coupled with his flexibility to operate as a second-striker and sometimes also as a winger has seen him assist 30 times in Bundesliga alone, till date.
He is also Hoffenheim’s top goal scorer in history, with Bosnian Sejad Salilovic coming a far second with 46 goals.
On the other hand, Olić, who is currently Croatia national team’s assistant manager, began his Bundesliga journey with Hertha as an eighteen year-old with great future prospects. Olić’s journeyman career saw him play for ten clubs across Europe, with five of them in the Bundesliga and made over 100 appearances for Croatia.