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Monday 02 June 2014

Around the World: Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Barclays Premier League

Ahead of the FIFA 2014 World Cup a look at the Bosnian influence on the BPL

  • Edin Dzeko was the first Bosnian player to score in the Barclays Premier League

  • Stoke City's Asmir Begovic is Bosnia's first-choice goalkeeper

  • Mohammed Konjic joined Coventry City in 1999

Ahead of the FIFA 2014 World Cup, which starts on 12 June, looks at the 31 nations outside of England who are competing in Brazil and their influence on the Barclays Premier League.

This summer's tournament will be a proud moment for Bosnia and Herzegovina, who are competing in the World Cup final for the first time as an independent country. Bosnia, who became independent in 1992, qualified after finishing top of their group with eight victories from 10 matches, scoring 30 goals in the process.

They have been drawn in Group F in Brazil, together with Argentina, Nigeria and Iran and they open their campaign against Argentina in Rio de Janeiro on 15 June.

Bosnia's provisional World Cup squad features two current Barclays Premier League players, Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko and Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic. Much will depend on the in-form Dzeko - Bosnia's all-time leading goal scorer - who scored 10 goals in qualifying and who scored both goals in the 2-1 friendly victory over the Ivory Coast on Saturday.

Dzeko has made a total of 108 Barclays Premier League appearances and scored 46 goals for Manchester City since arriving in January 2011, winning two League titles during his time at Etihad Stadium. Dzeko scored the first-ever goal by a Bosnian in the Barclays Premier League, in the match against Blackburn Rovers in April 2011.

Begovic, Bosnia's first-choice goalkeeper, has been with Stoke City for the last four years, after joining the Potters from Portsmouth. He has made 136 BPL appearances and last season became the fifth goalkeeper to score in the Barclays Premier League as he scored with a clearance from his own penalty area in the 1-1 draw with Southampton.

There is only one other player from Bosnia to appear in the Barclays Premier League, and that was defender Mohammed Konjic who played for Coventry City for three seasons. He joined the club in January 1999 and made 16 appearances in total.

Bosnians in Barclays Premier League
Total players in BPL history 3
Total BPL appearances 260
Total BPL goals 47
Total managers in BPL history 0
Total matches managed in BPL 0

First Bosnian to play in the Barclays Premier League
Mohammed Konjic
- Coventry City (v Tottenham Hotspur, 6 February, 1999)

BPL appearances by Bosnians
Asmir Begovic
Edin Dzeko
Mohammed Konjic

First Bosnian to score in the Barclays Premier League

Edin Dzeko - Manchester City (v Blackburn Rovers, 25 April, 2011)

Bosnian goalscorers in BPL
Edin Dzeko
Asmir Begovic

Bosnia provisional 24-man FIFA World Cup squad

Goalkeepers: Asmir Begovic (Stoke City), Asmir Avdukic (Borac Banja Luka), Jasmin Fejzic (VFR Aalen)

Defenders: Emir Spahic (Bayer Leverkusen), Toni Sunjic (Zorya Lugansk), Sead Kolasinac (Schalke), Ognjen Vranjes (Elazigspor), Ervin Zukanovic (Gent), Ermin Bicakcic (Eintracht Braunschweig), Muhamed Besic (Ferencvaros)

Midfielders: Miralem Pjanic (Roma), Izet Hajrovic (Galatasaray), Mensur Mujdza (Freiburg), Haris Medunjanin (Gaziantepspor), Senad Lulic (Lazio), Anel Hadzic (Sturm), Tino Susic (Hajduk), Sejad Salihovic (Hoffenheim), Zvjezdan Misimovic (Guizhour Renhe), Senijad Ibricic (Erciyesspor), Avdija Vrsaljevic (Hajduk)

Strikers: Vedad Ibisevic (VfB Stuttgart), Edin Dzeko (Manchester City), Edin Visca (Istanbul BB)

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Key Points

  • Ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup we look at the influence of players from 31 participating nations outside England on the BPL
  • Next in series looks at players from Bosnia-Herzegovina in the Barclays Premier League
  • Asmir Begovic is the Bosnian with the most BPL appearances, while Edin Dzeko was the first to appear in the competition