Nikola Kalinić is a Croatian professional footballer. He has played for the Croatian national side since 2008 and repped the team in at least three UEFA European Championships. Also, Nikola was part of the 23-man squad that travelled to Russia for the FIFA World up 2018, but unfortunately, he was sent home after matchday one. Thus, he lost out on a golden chance to make history with his side who played in the finals for the first time ever.
Kalinić’s unfortunate sent-off sparked criticisms from football lovers worldwide. As the story goes, he was asked by coach Zlatko Dalićto to come in as an 85th-minute substitute in their first group stage game against the Super Eagles of Nigeria. Following a warm-up, Kalinić declined his coach’s request, citing a back injury.
Reports later surfaced from the Croatian media that Kalinić had refused to come in as a substitute because he was unhappy not to be part of the starting XI. It was further revealed that his injury excuse was one of many in recent events leading to the world cup. Obviously, the coach had enough and made the bold move of sending the 6 feet forwarder home.
Croatia’s historic success at the world cup threw more attention to Nikola Kalinić’s dismissal, as a result, he was dubbed the biggest loser of Russia 2018. On the bright side, however, Kalinić went back home to a beautiful family… Here is what we dug up on his family.
Nikola Kalinić: Parents
Nikola Kalinić was born on the 5th of January 1988 as the son of Neda Kalinić (mother) and Jozo Kalinić (father). His birthplace was Solin, in the then, SFR Yugoslavia. Kalinić’s parents have been his greatest support. Since he showed an interest in football as a kid, his father dedicated his time and energy to ensure that his son would become the best he could ever be.
In an interview with Sky Sports, as seen on an Italian online sports site, Kalinić’s father Jozo Kalinić revealed that when Nikola was a kid, he took him to train every day. Sometimes, he said he’d wake up in the morning as early as 5 am. A modest family, the Kalinićs didn’t have a car, so, Jozo would take two bus trips from their small home to the stadium. He would wait for his son close to the stadium and bring him back home when training was done.
During the early years of his playing career, which is when he played for Hajduk Split, Nikola lived with his parents. He left home for the first time in 2009 when he travelled to the United Kingdom to play for the Blackburn Rovers.
Nikola didn’t grow up alone though, he has a brother named Zdravko who is 5 years older than he is, as documented on Firenze Viola, a credible Croatian website. Zdravko had also tried out football but was not quite as good as Nikola.
The people of Solin, a small town in Dalmatia, where Nikola’s family hails from, are traditionally fans of the Italian club side AC Milan. Thus, it was a dream come true when Nikola joined the side on loan in 2017 and subsequently signed in 2018. The biggest Milan fan in the Kalinić family is Nikola’s mom Neda. When Nikola was a kid, she bought him an AC Milan backpack. Nikola’s parents hope he can perform as good as Andriy Shevchenko, the club’s star who like Nikola wore the number 7 jersey.
Nikola Kalinic is married to a certain woman named Vanja Kalinić. She was born in Trpanj, Pelješac Croatia on September 19th, 1988. Nikola and Vanja were childhood friends and have been married for a decade and counting.
Their marriage is said to have taken place sometime in 2007, a time when they were both just barely 20-year-olds. They have stuck with each other over the years. Vanja who has a degree in Maritime Management has lived with Nikola in every city he has played including the UK, Ukraine, and Italy.
They have a son named Mateo who was born on January 13th, 2014. Nikola frequently posts cute snaps of his family on his Instagram page.
Body Stats – Height, Weight
With a height of 6 feet 2 inches, equivalent to 1.88 m as well as a body weight of roughly 83 kg (that is about 183 lbs), Nikola Kalinić has the right body stats that suits his playing position as a striker.