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Mato Neretljak returns to Split

January 24, 2012

Photo: Vladimir Dugandžić / CROPIX


After seven years in the far east, Mato Neretljak returns to Hajduk Split to most likely finish off his career. The 32-year-old, Croatian international, will sign a contract until the end of the season. Mato is aware of the financial troubles at Hajduk and told Sportske Novosti that he didn’t return to Split for the money.


“This is the best deal for Hajduk and for me. I know what the situation is in Split, but everyone who knows me understand that I did not return for the money. I tell you, I have information on the situation in Hajduk about all the problems that plague the club, but I also have the assurance that things will get gradually resolved. So we left the option to work together in June to negotiate the continuation of cooperation.”


~Mato Neretljak


Mato canceled his contract at Suwon Bluewings and will join Krasimir Balakov’s boys in Turkey for winter training by the end of the week. The Orašje born defender has represented Croatia 10 times and scored once against Germany in a friendly in 2004. Neretljak brings some veteran leadership into the locker room as Hajduk will most likely field an inexperienced back line the rest of the season.


Denis Svirčić
Posted By: Denis Svirčić 9 comments

  1. Denis Svirčić Denis Svirčić says:

    I’m sick of you Ante’s.

    @Ante B,

    Theeeeeeeeeeeere he is.

    @Ante K,

    Just a stock picture. Mato is headed straight to Turkey from Korea.

  2. IvicA says:

    Not sure if playing in the South Korean league counts as “veteran” leadership. But whatever. Hajduk and the rest of Cro soccer won’t be fixed until USKOK and/or any other authoritative body continues to push to clean up those on top of that ladder.

  3. Denis Svirčić Denis Svirčić says:


    I think Mato Neretljak is a good pick up for Hajduk. Ante and I met a Korean reporter at the Clippers-Bucks game last year and he was the first to bring up the name “Mato Neretljak.” He claims that he’s a legend in Korea, winning multiple player of the year honors. Mind you, this is the K-League we are talking about here but still.

    As far as the changes… thats not a quick fix, who knows if and when that will happen. so much $$$$ circling around.

  4. furtho says:

    “After seven years in South Korea…”

    In fact Mato played two of those years in the J-League with my team, Omiya Ardija. He was a big success in 2009 but during 2010 his lack of pace was sadly exposed and he ended up as a substitute at best. Hence it wasn’t surprising that he left Japan at the end of 2010. Great guy, though.

  5. Denis Svirčić Denis Svirčić says:


    thanks for the heads up. Yes, I knew that Mato played in Japan as well but for some reason this didn’t cross my mind.

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