Bojan Krkic has been breaking records all his footballing life.
Almost since his birth in Lleida in 1990, to a Spanish mother and a Serbian father who had played for Red Star Belgrade, Bojan has been a prodigy. He joined Barcelona in 1999 and made unprecedented progress through the youth ranks until he joined the senior squad in 2006 – 2007 season: not before he’d scored 960 goals in his seven seasons at youth level, though!
The youngest ever Barcelona first team goalscorer – 17 years, 1 month 22 days, to be exact about it – against Villareal in October 2007; the youngest player for Barca in the Champions’ League, the month before, and a Spanish Under 21 international at 16 – all these landmarks Bojan has taken in his stride. He’s also helped Spain win the European Under 21 Championship in 2007 and was part of the team which finished second in the World Under 17 Cup the same year.
So what is it about Bojan that makes him so special?
Well, he is, firstly, very quick and has that priceless ability of seeming to be just as fast when he’s running with the ball as without it. More than this, however, is that ‘splinter of ice’ in his instinct that makes sure he never panics in front of goal; he is totally assured. He seems to pass the ball into the net with complete tranquillity. Despite being carefully nurtured by Frank Rijkaard during 2007/08 season, Bojan still managed to score 10 league goals, in only 14 starts.
Spain, understandably, have been especially keen to involve Bojan with the national squad – as much to ensure that Serbia don’t snap him up as anything else. He was selected for the squad for a friendly against France in February, 2008 and was going to be given his first cap and become Spain’s youngest ever full international until he fell sick on the eve of the game. The player himself then asked to be left out of the European Championships squad, claiming exhaustion, and so the conspiracy theorists in the Spanish media were out in force. However, he did make his full debut in September, 2008 in a World Cup qualifying tie against Armenia – thus cementing his future with the Spanish team.
The management and the fans at Barcelona clearly think the world of Bojan Krkic and continue to utilise his talents sparingly. Of course, that’s relatively easy in a team containing the attacking talents that Barcelona has, but, nevertheless, Bojan is showing that he could well develop into one of the great goalscorers for both club and country. He certainly has all the attributes and has met every challenge offered to him so far in his short career.