Željko Adžić Swaps Goals for Grapes
- by croatiaweek
- in Sport
His name is etched in Croatian football history after he scored the first ever goal in the Croatian first division (HNL) in 1992, and 23 years later Željko Adžić has moved from producing winning goals to winning wines…
Adžić (49) enjoyed a 15-year football career, which saw him play for Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb, Hamilton Steelers in Canada and Melbourne Croatia in Australia, where he won the Johnny Warren Medal awarded to the best player in Australia’s national league in the 1989-90 season. In 1993 he made his one and only appearance for the Croatian national team, scoring in Croatia’s 3-1 victory over Ukraine at Maksimir stadium.
After his career ended Adžić turned to his passion – winemaking. Adžić and his family today operate vineyards and winery in the heart of Slavonia, in Kutjevo, an area famous for its wines in Croatia.
“We started in 1994. My father worked more and I invested. I was still playing football. Viticulture has been our passion throughout the long family tradition and the first bottles from the 1995 harvest were just a beginning of a dream come true,” said Adžić, who now produces over 100,000 bottles of wine a year on their 10-hectare vineyard.
“60% of what we produce is chardonnay, the rest is Riesling, Pinot and Zweigelt. Everything is under the brand ‘Adžić’,” he said.
Adžić, who finished his football career in 1998 in Israel, is often seen promoting his wines at festivals up and down the country.
Watch highlights of Adžić, who was described as the best import Australia had ever seen, picking up his player of the year award with Melbourne Croatia.