|Full name||Nikola Šafarić|
|Date of birth||11 March 1981|
|Place of birth||Čakovec, SFR Yugoslavia|
|Height||1.66 m (5 ft 5 in)|
|Venera Sveti Juraj na Bregu|
|2017–2018||NK Novi Marof|
|2018–2021||NK Obres Sveti Ilija|
|*Club domestic league appearances and goals|
Nikola Šafarić (born 11 March 1981) is a Croatian former footballer who played as midfielder. He current works as sporting director of NK Varaždin.
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In 1998, Šafarić started his football career in Varaždin for Varteks as a young 17-year-old midfielder. He quickly established himself as irreplaceable in the Varteks team. Before his 20th birthday he has already played around 40 league games for Varteks and scoring several goals in the process.
Best years with Varteks
From the 2002–03 season, Nikola finally stepped up on the big scene. He became a first team regular in Varteks and in the next 5 seasons he scored 32 goals in the domestic league only. His good games as well as passion for football and leadership ability could not go unnoticed so he was appointed as team`s captain. Nikola Šafarić is also a great penalty and free kick taker and although he could play every possible position in the midfield he says he "plays best as a defensive midfielder."
In the beginning of the 2007–08 season, Nikola Šafarić was sold to Rijeka. In Rijeka, Nikola was welcomed by many as a great acquisition. He instantly "grabbed" first team position and was one of the team's best players by scoring two goals and adding three more assists, which helped Rijeka to finish at the fourth place in the Prva HNL.
On 31 August 2008, Šafarić signed a 2-year contract with Slaven Belupo.
He returned to the Varteks for the 2010–2011 season. Before the season started, the club lost its main sponsorship, the Varteks clothing factory, and changed its 52-year-old name to NK Varaždin. The club immediately fell into financial difficulties, and would be expelled from the top-level Prava HNL the following season, when it stopped paying its players. Šafarić avoided this, having signed a two-year contract with Kaposvári in 2011, but this will come to play later in Šafarić's career.
Šafarić signed a two-year contract with Zavrč in 2013. In January 2015, he signed for the Druga HNL outfit NK Inter Zaprešić.
Šafarić signed with Međimurje for the 2015–2016 season, then returned to the city of Varaždin for the 2016–17 season. His earlier club, NK Varaždin, had declared bankruptcy and folded in 2015, but Šafarić had signed with a different NK Varaždin, unassociated with the earlier team. This club had formed in 2012, as Varaždin ŠN, than changed to NK Varaždin when the bankrupt team discarded the name.
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Nikola Šafarić was a member of every Croatia national football team categories (U17, U19, U21, senior team). That's why he was predicted a great international club career. But, unfortunately, up to this date Nikola has made only three appearances for Croatia national football team. His international debut came against Israel in the 1–0 friendly win at Varaždin on 18 August 2004. His second and third international cap came on 2006 Carlsberg Cup in Hong Kong on which Croatia finished third.
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Source: "Nikola Šafarić", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, December 21st), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikola_Šafarić.
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- ^ Interview with Forza Fiume
- ^ Šafarić signs for Slaven Belupo
- ^ "Šafarić signs for Inter Zaprešić" (in Croatian). eVarazdin. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
- ^ Croatia`s national football team stats
- ^ "Player Database". EU-football. Retrieved 11 December 2022.
- Nikola Šafarić at Croatian Football Federation (in Croatian)
- Nikola Šafarić at National-Football-Teams.com
- Nikola Šafarić at Soccerway.com
- PrvaLiga profile (in Slovene)
- 1981 births
- Articles with Slovene-language sources (sl)
- Articles with short description
- Association football midfielders
- CS1 Croatian-language sources (hr)
- Croatia international footballers
- Croatia under-21 international footballers
- Croatia youth international footballers
- Croatian Football League players
- Croatian expatriate footballers
- Croatian expatriate sportspeople in Hungary
- Croatian expatriate sportspeople in Slovenia
- Croatian footballers
- Expatriate footballers in Hungary
- Expatriate footballers in Slovenia
- HNK Rijeka players
- Kaposvári Rákóczi FC players
- Living people
- NK Inter Zaprešić players
- NK Međimurje players
- NK Slaven Belupo players
- NK Varaždin players
- NK Zavrč players
- Short description matches Wikidata
- Sportspeople from Čakovec
- Use dmy dates from May 2015
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