milenko acimovic - fact file
2002 - 2004 midfielder
Born on 15th November 1977 in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Position : Midfield
Height : 1.86m (' ")
Signed by Glenn Hoddle before the 2002 World Cup, Slovenian international Milenko did not arrive until after the competition and has found his time at White Hart Lane a frustrating experience.
As a talented youngster, he was snapped up from Olympic Ljubljana before making the first team by Zeliznicar at17, but he made only three appearances for them before rejoining his old club. Realising his potential, he was bought by Crvena Zvezda (Red Star Belgrade) of Serbia and he starred in the national side for Slovenia in both the Euro 2000 and the World Cup 2002 finals. It was these performances which brought him to Tottenham's attention, along with his good strike rate from midfield for his club side.
A stylish midfielder, who might have been cut from a template of Hoddle himself, Acimovic had a range of passing and can get forward to finish too. He had tricks in his locker to lose his marker, but found the Premier League a physical environment which was difficult to come to terms with. In the Reserves, he showed how he can glide over the grass with the ball and pick out a colleague with accurate passing to open up a game. However, there was been little opportunity to show what he is capable of in the first XI.
When he has played, he was inevitably been introduced from the bench and played a bit part role. His most notable contribution was a shot against Fulham, which hit the bar from about a yard out and went over the top. The ball did bobble as he hit it, but in front of a live TV audience, he had this to live down.
A long-standing shoulder injury had produced a difficulty in reaching full fitness, but even when 100%, he was still not included in Hoddle's team. When Hoddle was sacked, it looked as though he was not in David Pleat's plans and may be only called upon if injury hit the midfield. It was a shame that we ever saw the best from Milenko in a Spurs shirt, as he could have been the creative hub that the midfield needed.
This proved to be the case when he was allowed to go to Lille (France) on loan in January 2004 and the move was made permanent on a free transfer in April 2004. Starring in the UEFA Cup and Champions League campaigns, he scored a winner against Manchester United in France. Acimovic subsequently went on to play for Saudi club Al-Ittihad and then back to Europe where he signed for FK Austria Vienna.
NICKNAME : "Milo"
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