(Not so final) goodbye: Vedran Zrnic ends his playing career

Vedran Zrnic

Nexe' lucky seven, Vedran Zrnic, decided to end his career as a professional handball player. After twenty one successful seasons he felt like it was the right time to say goodbye to the playing court.

Vedran started his handball story in Badel 1862 Zagreb in 1996 and soon transferred to Gorenje Velenje where he played for two seasons. After Gorenje, he was a part of many well-known handball clubs such as German VfL Gummersbach, Polish Wisla Plock and Besiktas Istanbul from Turkey. In 2015 he joined Nexe where he spent the last four seasons and participated in the eighth SEHA – Gazprom League Final 4. 

Zrnic became famous by playing for the Croatian national team.  As a part of the Croatian golden generation, he became world champion in 2003 and a year later he won the gold at the Olympic games in Athena. He also won two silver medals at the World Championships, in 2005 and 2009, and one silver medal at the European Championship in Austria in 2010. 

In addition to many medals, his talent was rewarded in 2011 when he received the «Franjo Bucar» award, the State Award for Sports, which is the highest  acknowledgment given by the Republic of Croatia for outstanding achievements and contribution of special significance for the development of sports in the Republic of Croatia. Five years later he was voted as the best athlete of the city of Nasice. These awards are the best example that hard work and dedication always pay off. 

Even though he decided to end his playing career, he will still be a part of the handball world. He dedicated his whole life to handball, and it is now time for him to turn a new page. Zrnic will stay in Nexe, but this time outside of the playing field. “I will try to be as good off-field as I was on the field and help Nexe to be even better“, said Zrnic while stating how thankful he is for this opportunity. “My experience will surely be useful for the team and young players that still have a lot to learn, and with that we could improve what is missing.“ 

Handball lovers all over the world are saying goodbye to the absolute legend. His achievements and dedication will be remembered forever. There are not many players that stayed in this sport for so long and definitely not many of them who gave their best while being thirty-nine. We wish you, Zrna, many successful years in handball and thank you for all your astonishing results.