NASL side New York Cosmos have announced the signing of Croatian international attacking midfielder Niko Kranjčar. The 2015 NASL Champions as per club policy did not disclose terms of the deal. Kranjčar has been training with the squad for quite some time during the off-season and speculation of the Ex-QPR midfielder joining the New York side was heating up during the winter. In addition, the 31-year-old was included in the Cosmos’ preseason tour of California.
Kranjča commented on his time with the Cosmos and why he decided to sign. He said:
I’ve enjoyed my time training with the Cosmos, working with these players and coaches has been a great experience. I think the style of play here suits me well, I and I’m excited to officially represent the club on the field this season.
New York Cosmos’ head coach and sporting director Giovanni Savarese commented jubilantly on the signing of Kranjčar. He is quoted:
Niko is not only a world class player, but also a fantastic human being. He has elite vision and technical ability with the ball at his feet, and we’re confident he can bring creativity to our approach in the attacking half of the field.
Kranjčar spent his youth years predominately playing for Croatian club Dinamo Zagreb. At the young age of 17, Kranjčar became the youngest captain of the team. In addition, he also became one of the youngest goalscorers in the league, Prva HNL, as he scored on his debut at the ripe age of 16. In his first season at the senior level, he helped the club win the double, with the Croatian Cup and the league title in 2003. Kranjčar went on to join Hajduk Split after disagreements with the Dinamo Zagreb management. The Croatian International appeared in 50 matches for the club, accumulating a total of 15 goals.
After competing in the 2006 World Cup, Kranjčar gained huge media attention, eventually leading to a transfer to Premier League club Portsmouth. The Croatian midfielder went on to bounce around in England, spending with Tottenham Hotspurs and QPR. The attacking midfielder played 70 matches with the Hotspurs, scoring 11 goals. Eventually, Spurs sold him to Dynamo Kyiv, who loaned Kranjčar to QPR, where he spent two years with the club, appearing in 52 matches. After returning on loan, the Croatian found it hard to get game time with the club, eventually leading to being released.
YouTube: Highlights: Croatia International Niko Kranjčar Joins Cosmos