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Saturday 04 August 2012

New player factfile #5: Fulham's Mladen Petric

The Croatia international has already broken English hearts at Wembley

  • The striker moved to Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund in 2007

  • Petric scored against Fulham for Hamburg in 2010

  • Petric was also on target at Wembley to help Croatia shock England 3-2

  • He has scored 12 goals in 44 internationals for Croatia

  • The 31-year-old has signed a one-year deal with Fulham

In the fifth of our profiles on this season's Barclays Premier League signings, takes a glance at the experienced Croatian who is looking forward to playing up front for Fulham.

Mladen Petric

Club: Fulham
Nationality: Croatian
Position: Striker
DOB: 01/01/81
Age: 31
Height: 6ft
Transfer fee: Free
Fantasy Premier League transfer fee: £6m
Contracted: Until 2013
Previous clubs: Baden (1998-99), Grasshopper Zurich (1999-04), Basel (2004-07), Borussia Dortmund (2007-08), Hamburg (2008-12)
League appearances: 127 (Bundesliga), 186 (Swiss Super-League), 22 (Swiss fourth division)
League goals: 51 (Bundesliga), 68 (Swiss Super-League), 4 (Swiss fourth division)
International appearances: 44
International goals:
Honours: 2000-01, 2002-03, 2004-05 Swiss Super-League winner
Nickname: Jay-Rod

Profile: A striker who has regularly scored goals in the Swiss and German leagues, Petric will link up with his former Hamburg manager Martin Jol again at Fulham. Known for his powerful long shots and set-piece accuracy, the 31-year-old Croatian is also adept at linking up play and creating opportunities for his teammates. His physical presence and excellent technique allow him to score a variety of goals, from simple headers to overhead kicks.

He says: "I like the Premier League and it has always been one of my wishes to come here. I played with Hamburg against Fulham two years ago in the Europa League. It was very nice to play at Craven Cottage with a fantastic crowd and I have enjoyed a good relationship with every member of the club I have met since."

They say: "He's strong in the air and he has a great feeling for the game. He's patient, strong on the ball and a very modern player. He's not a classic finisher, but he knows how to score and that's what's important." (Slaven Bilic, former Croatia manager)."

Interesting stat: Petric scored the winning goal in Croatia's 3-2 win at Wembley that ended England's hopes of qualifying for UEFA EURO 2008.

Did you know? Petric once played in goal for Basel after their goalkeeper was sent off and they had already made all three substitutions. He managed to save a penalty to earn a draw for Basel.

New player factfile #1: Marko Marin
New player factfile #2: Fabio Borini
New player factfile #3: Jan Vertonghen
New player factfile #4: Jay Rodriguez

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Key Points

  • Mladen Petric has played in Switzerland and Germany
  • He helped Croatia end England's hopes of qualifying for UEFA EURO 2012
  • Striker adept at dropping deep and linking up play