Ico Hitrec

Forward, Football player

1911 – 1946


Who was Ico Hitrec?

Ivan 'Ico' Hitrec is widely considered as the greatest Croatian football player before World War II.

The centre-forward became a legend after scoring twice against then famous Spanish keeper Ricardo Zamora during the first night game in Zagreb between Zagreb and Madrid in 1933. As one of the first Croatian international players, he went on to play for Grasshopper of Switzerland, and "Kicker", at the time the foremost sports journal in Europe, chose him as a member of the European elite 11.

Hitrec was also a goal-scorer for the Kingdom of Yugoslavia national team. He appeared in 14 international games and scored 9 goals in 7 of them. He was one of seven Croatian players to boycott the Yugoslavian national team at the 1930 FIFA World Cup after the Football Association of Yugoslavia was moved from Zagreb to Belgrade.

He was also the first technical officer and in his office in the Zagreb power-works in Gundulićeva street, the best players from Građanski met and discussed forming a new club with blue shirts which later became Dinamo Zagreb.

Hitrec was quoted as saying that he didn't like to perform 11m penalty kicks because they were "too close". He was able to sprint 100 meters in under 12 seconds which was quite fast given that the fastest sprinter at the time Jesse Owens ran the 100-meter dash in 10.30 seconds.

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Apr 13, 1911
  • Croatia
  • Austria-Hungary
Lived in
  • Zagreb

on July 23, 2013


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