Davor Šuker, born on January 1, 1968, in Osijek, is a former president of the Croatian Football Federation. He is also a member of UEFA’s executive committee. Šuker used to be a Croatian national football team player and is the all-time top scorer for the Croatian national team. He played as a forward and was widely known and admired around the world. He was one of the best forwards in the world during the 1990s.
Davor Šuker was born in Osijek in 1968, but his family comes from Livno. He started his football career in 1984 in his hometown, Osijek, playing for the top-tier club NK Osijek until 1989. During his time in Osijek, he played 91 league matches and scored 40 goals. After leaving Osijek, he joined the ranks of a stronger Croatian club, NK Dinamo, where he stayed until 1991. Then he moved to the Spanish La Liga, joining FC Sevilla. He spent the next five years in Sevilla, becoming an icon of the club and scoring 76 goals in 153 appearances. Before the 1996 European Championship in England, Real Madrid acquired him. At Real Madrid, Šuker won the Spanish championship title in 1997 and the UEFA Champions League in 1998. During his time with Real Madrid, he played a total of 106 matches and scored 49 goals. In the same year, he received the award for the best athlete of the year according to “Sportske novosti“, and he was a two-time recipient of the highest State Award for Sports, “Franjo Bučar,” both as an individual and as a member of the national team.
As he entered his 30s, Šuker’s career took a different turn. He began changing clubs more frequently, spending a short time at Arsenal (1999 – 2000), followed by West Ham United (2000 – 2001), and then TSV 1860 München (2001 – 2003).
Šuker played for the Yugoslav national football team in 1991. He played 2 matches and scored 1 goal during his time with the team. He played against Turkey, resulting in a 1-1 draw in Izmir, and against the Faroe Islands, winning 7-0 in Belgrade. Before that, he was a member of the Yugoslav national team in the 1990 World Cup in Italy. He also represented Yugoslavia in younger age categories, including the European U-21 Championship in Russia in 1990. In that tournament, the Yugoslav U-21 team finished as runners-up, losing in the final to the host country. Davor Šuker was named the best player of the tournament.
Davor Šuker was a member and one of the best players of the Croatian national football team during the period when Croatia emerged on the world football stage. In just six years from 1992 to 1998, Croatia climbed from 125th to 3rd place in the FIFA rankings. He made his debut in the Croatian checkered jersey against the Romanian national football team in 1990, in Zagreb (2-0). In his 69 appearances for the national team, he scored an impressive 45 goals, setting a record.
In 1996, he participated in the European Football Championship in England, where he went after scoring a record 12 goals in the qualifiers. He scored 3 more goals in the championship and was included in the Ideal Team. The year 1998 is remembered for the FIFA World Cup in France, where with 6 goals in 7 matches, he was one of the best players who led Croatia to 3rd place in the world. He received the Golden Boot award, given to the top goal scorer of the World Cup, the Silver Ball for the second-best player of the World Cup, and the FIFA Bronze Trophy for the third-place team, according to the votes of all national team coaches worldwide.
Croatia did not qualify for the European Football Championship in 2000, so Šuker did not participate in that tournament. He traveled with the Croatian national team to the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea and Japan but played only 64 minutes in the loss to Mexico, marking his last appearance for the Croatian national team.
After retiring from his playing career, he ran the Davor Šuker Soccer Academy in Zagreb for several years.
In 2010, he became a member of the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) assembly as a representative of the Zagreb Football Association (ZNS). In June 2011, he was elected to UEFA’s Football Committee. On July 5, 2012, during the Croatian Football Federation Assembly, he was unanimously elected as its president.
Since March 24, 2015, Šuker has been a member of UEFA’s Executive Committee.