What happened to… Elvir Baljic?

What happened to… Elvir Baljic?


The summer of 1999 wasn’t the best for Real Madrid in their signings choices. Los Blancos brought four players that would have a very poor performance: Nicolas Anelka, Geremi, Edwin Congo and Elvir Baljic. The latter was Real’s most expensive signing until Anelka’s arrival just before the transfer deadline.

Los Blancos paid Fenerbahce 15.6 million euros after manager John Benjamin Toshack insisted on the Bosnian’s signing. Lorenzo Sanz, the president of the club at that time, defined him as “the new Rivaldo”. Baljic started on the right foot in his first match for Real, a friendly against Lausanne, providing the assist to Fernando Morientes for scoring the goal that gave Madrid the victory.

However, the Bosnia international did few more good things in Madrid. His performance, far from improving, got worse, and he had the bad luck of breaking a ligament, an injury that kept him out of action for a long time. When he recovered, Toshack was no longer Real’s boss, so he was sent back on loan to Fenerbahce for one season.

When he came back, the new manager, Vicente del Bosque, made it clear that he didn’t need him on the squad, so Real Madrid started looking for Baljic’s way out. It wasn’t easy to find a destiny for him, especially because no club was willing to pay his 1.2 million euros salary. Baljic ended up on loan at Rayo Vallecano where, apart from forming a funny-named forward line with Bolo and Bolic, he didn’t do much more.

In fact, Rayo sent Baljic back to Real even before the season ended, since they thought that the player was more worried about his personal shine than securing the team’s stay at the first division. After that, he returned to Turkey, where he retired in 2008.

Since he never got back the good level that made Real Madrid sign him, Baljic tried his luck in music, recording his own album in 2005, although with no success. At the moment, he is the assistant manager of Bosnia national team since 2010.