Dikic of Toronto Croatia
Dikic looked very good when scoring three goals for Toronto
Croatia in a League Cup match at Centennial Stadium in Etobicoke
on July 25.
But that was not the first time there was some buzz about a
Croatian striker looking a bit special-it came up when the season
kicked off and the word got stronger as the name appeared with
some frequency in May into June and into July.
Mladen Dikic (the pronounciation Merladin Dikich is acceptable
in Canada-but if you you are in the former Yugoslavia, you would
say Jikich) certainly looks the part-he even looks like he should
be a very good soccer player.
He's 26, quick and two-footed with experience, having played
in Europe and in the United States where he spent four and a
half years at Jacksonville University in Florida on a soccer
scholarship and was a regular in the NCAA. He gained a degree
in International Business at Jacksonville.
"I'm not sure how good I am," he said recently when
asked about his playing career and his ambitions. "But
I intend to find out."
Finding out means playing soccer this coming winter for Rijeka,
a side that finished fourth in the Croatian First Division last
season. He would also like to explore Germany, France and Switzerland
while he is still young enough to use his pace and skills with
But there have been setbacks. A calcium build-up on the heals
has been more than a nuisance and in 1999 it required surgery.
It's a recurring problem that doesn't go away for very long
and can be painful.
Dikic was born in Bosnia, of Croatian nationality. In Canada
he attended St. Martin's High School in Mississauga, a time
when even then soccer was an important part of his life. He
liked the midfield then and has gradually moved into a more
attacking role with time.
Today, a schedule that allows him to practice twice a day is
important, which is one of the reasons he went into fashion
modeling. "I really enjoy that, and it's an easy way to
make money, yet play lots of soccer." he said. Toronto
Croatia is very much his team and on the CPSL: "It's a
very good-a good league for young players to move into if they
aspire to play at the top level." Mladen Dikic is one of
Toronto Croatia's better forwards and one of the CPSL's leading
goalscorers-all in an effort to help his team win the CPSL Championship
before he sets out for Europe and what is probably going to
be his last try at the big time.