Zlatko Junuzowicz, another long-time runner in Austrian football, ended his active career on Friday, days after Sebastian Prodl. After four championship titles and cup victories with Red Bull Salzburg, the 35-year-old drew a line “not lighthearted”. However, Junuzovic remains with the “Bulls” family. Midfield engine Leiferinger moves to the coaching bench.
“With my family, I thought for a long time what would be best for our future. Not light-hearted, but full of anticipation, I have now decided to end my career as a professional footballer,” Junuzovic said on Friday via the Salzburg website.
In the same breath, the “Bulls” also announced that the player, who was born in the former Yugoslavia and fled to Carinthia at the age of five, would move to the Lifaring coaching bench. Junuzovic will support new head coach Fabio Ingolitsa as an assistant in the coming season of the Second Division.
Junuzovic ends career
Zlatko Junuzovic, a 55-time OFB team player, has announced the end of his career.
“I’ve had so many great experiences here in Salzburg, both in sport and personally, that I want to take advantage of the professional opportunity in this great environment. I look forward to this new chapter in my life,” said Junuzovic, who is also Thomas Seder. With, the Ingolites will have a second assistant, gaining initial experience.
Formative figure in the team
Junuzovic helped shape Austrian football for years. The 35-year-old was part of the successful U20 team that reached the semi-finals at the 2007 World Cup in Canada. The midfielder made his senior all-place debut against Canada in 2006 and wore the red-and-white-red team jersey 55 times.
Junuzovic, who scored a total of seven goals for the national team, was also instrumental in qualifying for Euro 2016. In the final in France, however, he was relegated from the first game against Hungary due to injury and could no longer be used.
From GAK to Salzburg via Bremen
At club level, Junuzovic made his mark first at GAK and later at FC Karnten. From 2009 to 2012 he was the linchpin in Austria Vienna’s game and in 2010 he was also named Player of the Year by Bundesliga coaches. Then he went abroad. From 2012 to 2018, Junuzovic was one of the defining figures in the German Bundesliga at Werder Bremen before moving to Salzburg and back to Austria four years ago.
In the autumn of his career, the veteran experienced his most successful time with “Bulls”, which this year came to a deserved end with a fourth double. However, following a heel injury, Junuzovic had to stall for months last season and – counted across the game – played only a little over 6 games. In all, Junuzovic made 570 competitive appearances at club level, scoring 74 goals and providing 146 assists.
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