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Mladen Dikic of Toronto Croatia

Mladen 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 authority.

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.

Paul Munster
George Azcurra
Lucio Ianiero
Phil Ionadi
Abraham Osman
Mladen Dikic
Eddy Berdusco

In addition to Toronto Croatia, which other club has won the CPSL championship twice?
St. Catharines Roma Wolves
Ottawa Wizards
Toronto Olympians
North York Astros

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