Stjepan Bobek


Stjepan Bobek (; 3 December 1923 – 22 August 2010) was a Croatian and Yugoslav professional Association football, football Forward (association football), striker and later Manager (association football), football manager. Usually a forward or attacking midfielder, Bobek was renowned for his technique, vision and goalscoring ability and is commonly regarded as one of Yugoslavia's greatest players. He is remembered for his time at the Serbian side FK Partizan, Partizan Belgrade, where he moved to following the end of World War II. He played for Partizan between 1945 and 1959 helping them win two Yugoslav First League titles and four Yugoslav Cups, and was named the club's greatest player in history in 1995. Internationally, he is the second all-time top scorer for the Yugoslavia national football team, Yugoslavia national team, scoring 38 goals in 63 appearances between 1946 and 1956, and was member of Yugoslav squads which won two Olympic silver medals (in 1948 and 1952) and played in two FIFA World Cups (in 1950 and 1954). After retiring from active football in 1959, he was a successful manager, winning Yugoslav and Greek national titles with Partizan and Panathinaikos F.C., Panathinaikos.

Club career

Bobek was born in Zagreb and started playing at the age of 13 for Viktorija, a lower league club, using his brother's registration papers. When he was 20 he became the center-forward of Građanski Zagreb. He also played for Croatia national football team, Croatia U21 between 1943 and 1945. He was the top scorer of the Yugoslav First League twice, in 1945 Yugoslav First League, 1945 (25 goals) and 1953–54 Yugoslav First League, 1954 (21 goals).


He came to FK Partizan in 1945 and played for them until 1958. During his time in Partizan, he played 468 games and scored 403 goals, still holding the club record. Bobek won two Yugoslav League titles and the Yugoslav Cup four times. He scored his first goals in official matches, on 1 September 1946, in 2nd leg of 1946–47 Yugoslav First League, Yugoslav First League. He scored a twice in a 6–1 home victory over FK Budućnost Titograd, Budućnost. On 5 January 1947, Bobek scored his first goal, in first Eternal derby (Serbia), Eternal derby against Red Star Belgrade, in 3–4 home defeat. That was also first goal in Derby, scored by Partizan player, because previous two was a own goals. On 8 June 1947 in a league match played in Niš between 14. Oktobar Niš, 14. Oktobar and FK Partizan (1–10), Bobek scored eight goals – an absolute record that has never been broken until the end of Yugoslav First League or its successor leagues. He scored 25 goals in 22 matches in first season of First League of SFR Yugoslavia and also won first title and gave a great contribution. In May 1951, Partizan played three friendly matches in England. The first match was played on 9 May, against Hull City A.F.C., Hull City and Partizan beat them 3–2. Bobek played brilliant and scored two goals in great victory. Three days later he again played brilliant match and scored a one goal in second Partizan's victory, over English teams. The result was the same like three days before, but this time against Middlesbrough F.C., Middlesbrough. One month later, he scored a twice in one of the biggest victories in Eternal Derby, in a 6–1 home victory over Red Star. In November of that year, Bobek scored a six goals against FK Sloboda Užice, Sloboda Titovo Užice, in a ''qualifying round'' of Yugoslav Cup, in a 11–1 away victory. A week later, he also set a record in Yugoslavian Cup. He scored eight goals in 15–0 home victory over FK Sloga Petrovac na Mlavi, Sloga Petrovac na Mlavi. On 29 November 1952, Bobek scored a goal in a 6–0 victory over a arch rival Red Star Belgrade in the ''final'' of Yugoslav Cup. A three weeks before, he scored a hat-trick in a 4–0 home victory over one of the best West Germany, German teams at that time – 1. FC Köln. Bobek continued with great performances in next seasons. He scored a goal in biggest victory ever in Eternal Derby. After four minutes, he scored first goal on the match, in a 7–1 home victory over Red Star, on 6 December 1953. On 11 April 1954, he scored a four goals in 8–0 home league victory over FK Rabotnički, Rabotnički. Two years later after winning second Yugoslav Cup, he won a third. Again Partizan beat Red Star, but this time 4–1 and Bobek again scored one goal. On 4 September 1955, Bobek scored a goal in first ever match of European Cup. Partizan draw (3–3) with Sporting Clube de Portugal, Sporting CP, in Lisbon. He played all four matches in 1955–56 European Cup. Should be noted a legendary victory 3–0 over Real Madrid C.F., Real Madrid in ''quarter-finals''.

International career

Bobek made his debut for the Yugoslavia national football team, Yugoslavia national team on 9 May 1946, in a 2–0 win over Czechoslovakia national football team, Czechoslovakia at the Letná Stadion (Zlín), Letná Stadium, which was the nation's inaugural match as Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, SFR Yugoslavia. He scored his first international goal against the same opponents on 29 September 1946, in a 4–2 win at the Partizan Stadium, JNA Stadium. Bobek won two Summer Olympic Games, Olympic silver medals for Yugoslavia, scoring four goals in Football at the 1948 Summer Olympics, London 1948 and three in Football at the 1952 Summer Olympics, Helsinki 1952. He also appeared at the 1950 FIFA World Cup, 1950 and 1954 FIFA World Cup, 1954 FIFA World Cups, scoring once in a 1950 4–1 win over Mexico national football team, Mexico. On 17 October 1954, Bobek scored a hat-trick in a 5–1 win over Turkey national football team, Turkey, which were also his last goals on international duty. He reached 38 goals for Yugoslavia on that day and became the national side's top scorer, surpassing Blagoje Marjanović's 37-goal tally. Bobek's record stood for over 66 years, until it was beaten by Serbia national football team, Serbia's Aleksandar Mitrović on 27 March 2021.

Managerial career

After retiring from the play, he became a football manager. In 1959 he became the coach of Legia Warszawa, CWKS Warszawa in Poland, moving back to Yugoslavia the next season to manage FK Partizan. The team won three successive Yugoslav League championships under him, after which he was replaced by Kiril Simonovski in 1963. In 1964 he had another spell in Warsaw, and then he moved to Greece where he led Panathinaikos F.C., Panathinaikos in the 1960s. During his time in Panathinaikos, the team won the first unbeaten championship in Greece, for the 1963-64 season. In the 1967–68 and 1968–69 seasons, he again returned to manage FK Partizan. In 1970, he moved to Olympiacos F.C., Olympiacos. In 1972, he was the manager of Dinamo Zagreb and during 1974–75 season of Panathinaikos for a second time, but without former success. He also coached Vardar Skopje and led them to 1978–79 Yugoslav Second League's East Division title and subsequent promotion to the First League. In 1995, he was named the all-time greatest player of Partizan Belgrade. In 2009, Bobek's biography written by sports journalist Fredi Kramer was published.


Bobek died shortly after midnight on 22 August 2010 in Belgrade. He is interred in the Belgrade New Cemetery#Alley of Distinguished Citizens, Alley of Distinguished Citizens in the Belgrade New Cemetery.

Career statistics



This is the list of International Goals scored by Yugoslavia, Yugoslav forward Stjepan Bobek:


As player

FK Partizan * Yugoslav First League: 1946–47 Yugoslav First League, 1946–47, 1948–49 Yugoslav First League, 1948–49 * Yugoslav Cup: 1947, 1952, 1954, 1956–57 Yugoslav Cup, 1956–57 Yugoslavia * Summer Olympic Games, Olympic Silver Medal: Football at the 1948 Summer Olympics, 1948, Football at the 1952 Summer Olympics, 1952 Individual * Yugoslav First League top scorer: 1945 Yugoslav First League, 1945, 1953–54 Yugoslav First League, 1953–54 * FK Partizan ''Magnificent Eleven'' (1995) * FK Partizan Best player in club history (1995) Records * Yugoslavia national football team#Top_goalscorers, Yugoslavia all-time top scorer: 38 goals

As manager

;FK Partizan * Yugoslav First League (3): 1960–61 Yugoslav First League, 1960–61, 1961–62 Yugoslav First League, 1961–62, 1962–63 Yugoslav First League, 1962–63 ;Panathinaikos * Superleague Greece, Greek Championship (2): 1963–64 Alpha Ethniki, 1963–64, 1964–65 Alpha Ethniki, 1964–65 * Greek Football Cup, Greek Cup (1): 1966–67 Greek Cup, 1967 ;Vardar * Yugoslav Second League (1): 1978–79


External links

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Stjepan Bobek international stats
at {{DEFAULTSORT:Bobek, Stjepan 1923 births 2010 deaths Sportspeople from Zagreb Croatian footballers Yugoslav footballers Croats of Serbia Croatian expatriates in Poland Croatian football managers Croatian expatriate football managers Serbian football managers Serbian expatriate football managers Yugoslav First League players Yugoslavia international footballers Yugoslav football managers Olympic medalists in football Olympic footballers of Yugoslavia Olympic silver medalists for Yugoslavia HŠK Građanski Zagreb players FK Partizan players Footballers at the 1948 Summer Olympics Footballers at the 1952 Summer Olympics 1950 FIFA World Cup players 1954 FIFA World Cup players Super League Greece managers Legia Warsaw managers FK Partizan managers Panathinaikos F.C. managers Olympiacos F.C. managers GNK Dinamo Zagreb managers Panetolikos F.C. managers Espérance Sportive de Tunis managers Expatriate football managers in Greece Expatriate football managers in Poland Expatriate football managers in Tunisia FK Vardar managers Altay S.K. managers Medalists at the 1952 Summer Olympics Medalists at the 1948 Summer Olympics Association football forwards Burials at Belgrade New Cemetery