Player Profile: Sasa Curcic

Sasa Curcic is a former Serbian international who had eventful spells in the Premier League with Bolton Wanderers and Aston Villa, but his achievements on the pitch were unable to match his life off it.

After a promising start to his professional career with OFK Beograd and FK Partizan, Bolton forked out a record fee of £1.5 million for his services in 1995. His attractive and attacking playing style earned him many fans during his brief stay at Blundell Park, including Aston Villa manager Brian Little, who paid £4 million for him after Bolton’s relegation at the end of the 1995/96 season.

Curcic’s star as a footballer though would begin to fade during his stay in the Midlands, as his life began to spiral dramatically towards that of a Rolling Stone.

A love of the Birmingham night life and women seemed to become his main focus, after being unable to replicate the form he displayed at Bolton. After falling out of favour with managers Brian Little and his successor John Gregory, Curcic later told Sky Sports of his drug use and excessive partying. Possibly the best example of his madcap and extavagant excess was the purchase of a double-decker bus, which he bought to throw parties in.

Sold for £1 million to Crystal Palace towards the end of the 1997/98 season, Curcic’s interest in football appeared to be waning despite a handful of impressive performances, but his efforts couldn’t save Palace from relegation later that year.

Best remembered during his stay at Selhurst Park for parading a Yugoslav flag around the pitch at the time of the Civil War in his homeland, he made a handful of substitute appearances the following season before being sold as part of cost-cutting measures, as the club entered administration.

In 1999 he moved to Major League Soccer side New York Metrostars side where he reportedly stated his intention to become the Dennis Rodman of the MLS, but he could only manage nine appearances for the club.

After brief spells with Motherwell and Obilic Belgrade he officially announced his retirement during a 2001 interview with Sky Sports. He admitted his interests now lay off the pitch “I would not sign for another club, not even if I was offered 15 million dollars. However, it would be different if they were to instead offer me 15 different women from all around the world. I would tell the club chairman: ‘Please let me make these women happy – I will satisfy them like they have never been satisfied before” according to Wikipedia.

Seemingly happy in his life away from football as the skirt seeking lothario of Serbia, he ducked the limelight for a few years, before returning in typically theatrical manner to win the Serbian equivalent of Big Brother and walked away with €50k prize money. A resurgence in popularity in his home country also led him to feature in a series of adverts for Mobile Telephony of Serbia.

After seven years away from the game he returned for a testimonial game in August 2008 between members of his 1994 FK Partizan team, against FK Pionir from his hometown Besni Fok. Partizan 94 ran out 2-0 winners, with Curcic playing a half for both sides.

Having seemingly rediscovered an interest in football, he is now the youth team coach with Besni Fok.

Tags: Aston Villa, Bolton Wanderers, Premier League, Sasa Curcic

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