FK Žalgiris continues strengthening its squad before the Champions league qualification match against Astana with a new signing - 29 year old defensive midfielder from Croatia, Slavko Blagojević.
The midfielder, who comes from the financially troubled team RNK Split, has only represented clubs in his home country throughout his career, meaning FK Žalgiris will be his first stop in a foreign environment. Blagojević has also been part of various Croatia national youth squads.
He signed the contract after arriving to the team’s training camp in Slovenia.
FK Žalgiris’ sports director Mindaugas Nikoličius explained the reasons for the signing: “We were looking for a defensive midfield player, and we wanted someone aggressive. Slavko caught our eye because he did exceptionally well in the Croatian league last season – he was one of the best in his position.”
“We were lucky that RNK Split have been facing financial problems, which caused their best players to terminate their contracts. This allowed us to lure Blagojević to our club.
“We talked a lot with the player about adapting to a foreign environment, since he’s never played outside Croatia. But we think he’ll find the process easier with the help of another Croat of our team, Marin Matos, who played with Blagojević in NK Istra 1961.
“There are two weeks left before our Champions league match against Astana, so Slavko will be able to prove to the coach that he’s ready to play.
“We are happy with our three recent signings and how they’re adapting to the team. We hope the team will be 100% ready for the Champions league after the training camp.” – were the last remarks of the sports director.
Blagojević started his football journey in HNK Cibalia’s youth academy, and eventually made his way up to the first team in 2005. During his time in the youth academy, Blagojević was called up to Croatia’s Under-15, Under-16, and Under-17 squads, but could not make it to the national team.
In 2010, Slavko moved to Zagreb, where he defended the colors of NK Lucko. He played 49 matches and scored 1 goal during his time in the capital’s team.
Two years later Blagojević transferred to NK Istra 1961, where he impressed with his powerful free kicks, scoring 12 goals and giving 3 assists in 83 matches.
Blagojević joined first division team RNK Split in 2015. He established himself in the starting XI, and scored 4 goals in 44 appearances for the club.
Slavko Blagojević is now FK Žalgiris Vilnius’ third player to be signed this summer. The previous two being Serbians Matija Ljujic and Andrija Kaludjerovic.