Today's Nikola Žigić Talking Points
Nikola Žigić (Serbian Cyrillic: Никола Жигић, IPA: [nǐkola ʒǐːɡit͡ɕ]; born 25 September 1980) is a Serbian international footballer who played as a centre forward.
Žigić was born in Bačka Topola, in what was then SFR Yugoslavia. He began playing football as a youngster with AIK Bačka Topola, and scored 68 goals from 76 first-team matches over a three-year period in the third tier of Yugoslav football. Military service took him to Bar in 2001, where he was able to continue his goalscoring career with the local second-level club Mornar. A brief spell back in the third tier with Kolubara preceded his turning professional with First League side Red Star Belgrade in 2002. He spent time on loan at third-tier Spartak Subotica before making his Red Star debut in 2003. Despite suggestions that his height, of 2.02 m (6 ft 7 1⁄2 in), made him better suited to sports other than football, Žigić ended the season as First League top scorer, domestic player of the year, league champion and scorer of the winning goal in the cup final. He won a second league–cup double in 2005–06, a second player of the year award, and finished his three-year Red Star career with 70 goals from 109 appearances in all competitions.
In August 2006, Žigić signed for Spanish club Racing Santander; his goals and his partnership with Pedro Munitis helped them achieve a mid-table finish in La Liga. He then moved to Valencia, but was unable to establish himself as a regular in the starting eleven. He spent the second half of the 2008–09 La Liga season back with Racing on loan, for whom he scored 13 goals in just 19 matches. Žigić joined Birmingham City of the Premier League in 2010, and in his first season, he scored in their League Cup win. Even after relegation to the Championship, and despite increasing efforts to remove his large salary from the financially struggling club's wage bill, he remained with Birmingham for the full four years of his contract. Having been without a club for a few months, he rejoined Birmingham for the second half of the 2014–15 season.
Žigić made his senior international debut for Serbia and Montenegro in March 2004, and following the breakup of Serbia and Montenegro in 2006, he played internationally for Serbia until 2011. He won 57 caps for his country and scored 20 goals. He was a member of the 2006 and 2010 World Cup squads, and briefly captained his country in 2011.Close