ZAGREB, 31 August 2020 – Former Croatia international Nikica Jelavić has returned home after 13 years playing abroad and signed for the Zagreb-based club NK Lokomotiva.
Jelavić scored six goals for Croatia in his 36 appearances during 2009-2014. After starting his career at Hajduk Split, Jelavić went on to play for Rapid Wien, Glasgow Rangers, Everton, Hull City, and West Ham, before spending the last four years in China.
Jelavić made his name at Rangers when he scored 30 goals in 45 matches. This led him to be signed by Everton for £5 million.
“After 13 years, I have returned to the HNL. Nostalgia and the desire to be with my family in Zagreb was the deciding factor. Although I recently turned 35, I can help the team with my play and advice and guide young players.
Lokomotiva played the most beautiful football in the league last season, I believe that as time goes on it will get better and better. A two-week HNL break due to national team matches will come in handy, in order to fit in better with the game team and hone their form,” Jelavić said.
NK Lokomotiva finished runners-up last season in the Croatian first division, earning them a place in Champions League qualifying for the first time. They were knocked out last week by Jelavić’s former club Rapid Wien and will now join qualifying for the Europa League.
Nikica Jelavić novi je igrač Lokomotive! 🚅💪
Dobrodošao na Kajzericu! 🚅💙 pic.twitter.com/jYkzzLMJWM
— NK Lokomotiva Zagreb (@NKLokomotiva) August 31, 2020