Aleksandar Dragović Profile – Aleksandar Dragovic Biography
Aleksandar Dragović was born on 6 March 1991, is an Austrian footballer who plays as a defender for English club Leicester City, on loan from Bayer Leverkusen. He is well known for his performances as a tough-tackling centre-back.
Dragović was born in Vienna to Serbian parents from Belgrade. His favourite team is Red Star Belgrade. Dragović attracted serious public criticism when he playfully slapped the Swiss politician Ueli Maurer several times on his head during the celebrations subsequent to the Cup Final in May 2012.
After he made further condescending comments stating that he was very reluctant to apologize and said that “on the inside everybody knows, so I believe, that it was very, very much fun doing it”, he had to travel to the Bundeshaus in Berne and apologize personally to Ueli Maurer.
On 22 August 2016, Dragović signed a five-year contract with German club Bayer 04 Leverkusen. ‘Aleksandar Dragovic has joined Bayer Leverkusen from Dynamo Kiev, signing a five-year deal with the Bundesliga club.
Bayer Leverkusen has announced the signing of defender Aleksandar Dragovic from Dynamo Kiev.
The Austria international has signed a five-year contract at the BayArena after a reported fee of 20 million euros ($22.6M) was agreed between the two clubs. “Bayer 04 have signed central defender Aleksandar Dragovic,” the club confirmed on its official website. “The Austria international transfers from Ukraine giants Dynamo Kiev, the 25-year-old signing a five-year contract valid until June 30, 2021.”
Dragovic, who had been linked with Premier League champion Leicester City, said: “Kiev was an important step for me, but now I’m excited for the Bundesliga, one of the best leagues in the world. “That I can join German giants and Champions League hopefuls Bayer, and also play with my [Austria] teammates Julian Baumgartlinger and Ramazan Ozcan, is fantastic.”
Sporting director Rudi Voller added: “In Aleksandar Dragovic, we have signed a central defender who already has a lot of experience. He brings a lot of quality with him.” Dragovic has won two league titles, two domestic cups and the Ukraine Super Cup since his move to Kiev from Basel in 2013.
He was part of Austria’s Euro 2016 campaign but endured a disappointing tournament, picking up a red card in his side’s 2-0 opening defeat to Hungary in Group F before missing a penalty in the 2-1 loss to Iceland.
Aleksandar Dragovic Instagram
Aleksandar Dragović Current Teams
- Austria national football team
#3 / Defender
- Leicester City F.C.
#16 / Defender
- Leicester City FC U-21
#16 / Defender
Aleksandar Dragović Fifa 18
Aleksandar Dragović is 26 years old (Born on 1991-03-06) and his FIFA Nation is Austria. He is now playing for Leicester City as a Centre Back. His FIFA 18 overall ratings is 77 for this card. He is Right-footed and has got a 2-star skill moves rating. Aleksandar Dragović’s height is 184 cm and he is 76 kg. This Aleksandar Dragović’s card is a FIFA 18 Standard Gold card.
Position – Centre Back (CB)
Height / Weight – 184 cm / 76 kg
Foot – Right
Weak Foot – 4 / 5
Attacking Work Rate – Medium
Defensive Work Rate – Medium
Aleksandar Dragovic Leicester
On 31 August 2017, Dragović joined Premier League club Leicester City on a season-long loan from Bayer Leverkusen. Leicester City’s form continues to deteriorate and their place in the top half of the Premier League is under threat after a humiliating 5-0 defeat to Crystal Palace. Here, James Sharpe looks at the key talking points from Selhurst Park.
Puel must prove he deserves more time
Who said there was nothing to play for? Leicester City have three games left and every one of them is now crucial for Claude Puel to show the fans and, more importantly for him, the owners that he is the man to build the club for the future.
Puel has repeatedly said he needs time. His record in France shows he improves teams if he gets it. And he will need the summer to buy the players he needs, and sell the ones he does not.
In the Premier League, though, time is a rare luxury, and after the embarrassing 5-0 defeat at Crystal Palace it has become even more precious. In these last three games, all against tough opponents, Puel needs to show there there are still a few bright lights for the future.
Because, at Selhurst Park, there were none.
First, Puel has got to pick his players up after that horror show. That will be a test of his management in itself .
Downward trend is not all Puel’s making
“He will be under pressure with performances like that, because his players certainly haven’t helped him today.” That was Alan Shearer’s verdict in his analysis on Match of the Day, when asked about the questions now surrounding Puel and his future.
Shearer has a point. Fans are right to criticise Puel over aspects of his management: team selection, style, ability to motivate. That’s on him. But those players who take the field have to take the brunt of some of it too. They are not devoid of blame .
Since winning the title, Leicester have played 73 games in the Premier League. They have won only 23 of them and lost 31. Puel has been in charge for 25. He’s won nine and lost eight.
The point: it’s not just him. This downward trend is not all Puel’s making. This is a team whose slump began before he arrived. Claudio Ranieri and Craig Shakespeare both lost their jobs because of it. And now Puel is now under pressure. It is always the manager who pays the price, and Puel has a big responsibility to bear for it, but he is not the only one.
Penny for the thoughts of Dragovic
You have to feel for Aleksandar Dragovic. After impressing in his first run in the side, following an injury to Wes Morgan, he was replaced again as soon as the captain was fit. Many fans disagreed with the decision, and it was harsh on Dragovic, but Morgan was the captain and had been performing well before his injury.
But it’s happened again.
Dragovic returned against Southampton, as Puel dropped Morgan to the bench having proclaimed the game would mark “the beginning of next season”. Maybe this was it, Dragovic was the future.
But, Dragovic was back on the bench at Palace. Puel played the decision down, saying he just wants to keep everyone fresh. It must surely be hard for Dragovic to see it that way. He comes in, performs, but still does not keep his place.
Leicester have the option to buy him in the summer, one it seems likely the club will want to take. But unless Dragovic has been given strong reassurances that he will play a more consistent role next season, you could understand him thinking twice before he signs.
12 Mar 2015
Arsene Wenger has earmarked defence as his main priorty this summer with Dynamo Kiev centre-back Aleksandar Dragovic the latest to be linked with a move to the Emirates.
Wenger will have a budget in the next transfer window of around £50 million and, while he is generally confident in what he regards as his best squad since at least the 2010-11 season, he is likely to make up to three key additions.
As reported in today’s Telegraph, the Gunners have also been scouting Borussia Dortmund defender Neven Subotic. The Serbia international has been a key part of two Bundesliga title-winning teams at Dortmund. He also played in the 2013 Champions League final and, at the age of 26, should now be in the prime years of his career.
However, for this reason it is unlikely Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp would be willing to sell without a fight and, as such, Wenger has also pinpointed Dragovic.
When Dynamo boss Sergei Rebrov was asked about Arsenal’s interest in the Austrian ahead of his side’s Europa League clash against Everton tonight, he refused to dismiss the report.
“You are asking about one of the best players in my team and I don’t want to lose this player, he said. “He is a top-class player and I hope he will stay with us, but you never know.”
Meanwhile, German forward Lukas Podolski has indicated his intention to return to Arsenal in the summer, having failed to make an impression on a loan spell at Inter Milan. Speaking to Sport Bild, the World Cup winner said: “The chapter is not closed with Arsenal, because there is no purchase option.
“I was the first person to clear things up in the talks with Inter and say I didn’t want any kind of clause that would have let them purchase my contract rights. “When you’re on loan you never know what can happen, so at the end of the season we’ll analyse things freely and decide the situation.”
Podolski was left out of Inter’s squad for the Europa League and has seen his performance levels criticised by Nerazzurri coach Roberto Mancini. The 29-year-old added: “At Inter there have been some negative situations, but I see the bright side in all of it.
“Also, it’s generally easier to criticise someone who comes on loan, as I did this winter.” Arsenal are set to join Everton, Stoke and a Singapore Select XI team for the Barclays Asia Trophy Singapore in July 2015, which will see the Gunners return to the country for the first time since 1991 as part of their pre-season campaign.
Wenger said: “It will be a typical English Premier League competition in Asia and we know that English football is very popular in Asia, and that’s a good opportunity to show how much we respect Asia as well.
“[Strong competition] is what you’re looking for, to prepare well with the right intensity in the games to have a look at everybody as well. We have young promising players who can be a name after the competition. It’s a good opportunity as well for Singapore people to see these players.”
Dragovic Fifa 18 – Dragovic Russia
It has been a good season so far for the Austrian national team defender, Aleksandar Dragović. His club team Dynamo Kyiv managed to defend the Ukrainian Premier League title, and in the Champions League he helped his club, Dynamo, advance to the round of 16 for the first time since 1999.
Indeed, at Dynamo Kyiv, Dragović has become part of a squad that has already been compared to Dynamo’s last golden generation that was centred on star striker Andriy Shevchenko. Dragović, along with fellow defender Yevhen Khacheridi, and star winger Andriy Yarmolenko, is very much a star of the present-day edition. The current crop of Dynamo players could indeed become a force to reckon with in European football.
Market Dynamics Mean Dragović Will be Leaving Dynamo Kyiv
But market dynamics mean that Dynamo will most likely have to replace at least one or two, if not all of their star players after the summer transfer window shuts down in Western Europe.
Dragović appears to be the first candidate to leave the club, as he had been repeatedly linked with a move to Germany. He was first rumoured to move to Borussia Dortmund, who viewed him as one of the possible candidates to replace former Borussia captain Mats Hummels—he was sold to Bayern Munich for €35 million.
Dortmund, however, seems to have found their replacement in Barcelona, as the club has signed Marc Bartra. Furthermore, Dortmund also seems to be interested in signing Bayer Leverkusen’s defender Ömer Toprak. It was therefore no surprise when on June 7 transfermarkt.de reported that Dragović was heading to Bayer Leverkusen.
Regardless, whether or not the transfer goes through, a move to Germany will be the logical next step for the Austrian whose parents are originally from Serbia and who has followed a clear career path since first emerging, as a highly talented defender at Austria Vienna.
Dragović Quickly Outgrew Austrian Football
At the Violets, as Austria is often called due to the colour of their home shirts, Dragović broke into the first squad in the 2008-09 Austrian Bundesliga season. Aged just 17, the defender became an important part of the Violets’ defence, and on June 6 2009 he made his debut for the Austrian national team against Serbia—the country of his parents.
But the Austrian Bundesliga soon became to small for the 185cm tall defender and, during the winter break of the 2010-11 season, Dragović moved to Switzerland where he joined FC Basel for €3 million. Basel was certainly an interesting choice for a defender who could have also moved to one of the bigger leagues right away.
In July 2015, Dragović told the Kleine Zeitung, “Cities and the league were not important at this point, the most important part was the fact that I was able to play.” At Basel, Dragović was not only guaranteed regular football on the domestic level, but was also assured regular appearances in the UEFA Champions League.
The fact that Basel’s business model is based on developing players in order to sell them at a profit to another club was also beneficial for the player. With Basel, Dragović won three Swiss championships as well as the Swiss cup. He was also part of the Basel squad that shocked Manchester United in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League when the Swiss managed a 3-3 draw in Manchester, and then subsequently beat United at St. Jakob-Park, which meant that Basel, and not United, advanced to the round of 16.
Dragović: “The Most Important Aspect is That I Play”
Along with several other Basel players, bigger clubs in Europe targeted Dragović. But in the end it was Dynamo Kyiv, who managed to land the signature of the Austrian defender. Dynamo, managed by Oleh Blokhin at the time, was trying desperately to regain their position as the biggest club in Ukrainian football. Since the early 2000s Shakhtar Donetsk had passed the club from the Ukrainian capital, and firmly established itself, as the country’s strongest club.
Indeed, at the time, the club was even in danger of losing its spot as the country’s number two, as ambitious football projects in the form of Metalist Kharkiv, and Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk were threatening to outmuscle the club.
Dynamo Kyiv paid €9 million for Dragović in July 2013, but the first season under Blokhin ended in a disaster. Charged with returning the club to its former glory, the coach revealed that he was not up to the task of coaching a squad filled with highly talented players. Indeed, Blokhin often seemed overwhelmed by the task at the club. Living in Kyiv at the time, there was a sense that the club was slowly losing its position, as the all-Ukrainian team. Fans would often protest against Blokhin and the clubs owners, the Surkis Brothers Ihor and Hryhoriy.
At the time Dragović also stated that the squad was deeply affected by the events that took place at the Euromaidan protests. In February 2014, he told the Austrian media, “It was not easy to focus on the job. We all were aware of what was going on in downtown Kyiv. When people die, everything else becomes secondary.”
Blokhin was fired by the club on April 17, and replaced by the former club legend Serhiy Rebrov. Rebrov, however, just managed a fourth place finish at the end of the season. In a sense Dragović was part of a squad that made history, however, as the fourth place marked Dynamo’s lowest finish in the Ukrainian Premier League.
Reborn Managed to Unleash the Beast
Rebrov, however, transformed the squad, and all of a sudden this talented group of players became the best team in the league. Dynamo Kyiv went unbeaten throughout the season, winning 20 games and tying six. The defence centred on Dragović and Khacheridi only conceded 12 goals in 26 games. Dynamo was back where it belonged, and Dragović became one of the most sought after defenders in European football.
Dynamo’s strong 2014-15 season was followed with another strong year, both at home and abroad. The club didn’t manage to stay invincible, but Dragović and Khacheridi once again proved to be rocks in defence, as the club conceded just eleven goals in 26 matches.
Indeed Khacheridi and Dragović are a ruthless pair in Dynamo’s defence, as both players are considered strong on and off the ball. Neither are afraid to go were it hurts and, while Khacheridi at times appears to lose his head—an area he hugely improved in recent years—Dragović seems the calmer of the two. His positional play is often sensational and, therefore, he is almost never caught in a position where he will have to tackle to get the ball.
Some consider Dragović’s opening passes a weakness, but at Dynamo he could often be found to play a long quick ball up front, not unlike Mats Hummels did for Dortmund.
Furthermore, Dragović’s performances for Dynamo were underlined by his play for the national team. Austria’s national team went undefeated in the qualification stage for the 2016 European Championships, as the country won nine games, tied once, and was only scored on five times in ten matches. Indeed, Dragović might be part of a golden generation at Austria as well, as the country’s current squad includes several highly talented players including Bayern Munich’s superstar David Alaba. Dragović along with the Bayern Munich player are two of the leaders in the young Austria squad.
With this in mind, it is therefore no surprise that clubs from Western Europe have started to express interest in signing Dragović. In many ways Dragović could move anywhere, as a player of his calibre will be sought after in Spain, England, and Germany. Aged just 25, a move to Bayer Leverkusen, a team that not only regularly plays in the Champions League, but is also is recognized as club that will make younger players better by guaranteeing them playing time in both domestic and international competitions, will be the logical next step for the Austrian.
Manuel Veth is a freelance journalist, and PhD candidate at King’s College London. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. His thesis is entitled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States”, and will be available later this year. Follow Kim on IG
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