Sports Nicknames - Guerriero

Mario Mandzukic has had an interesting career. The Croatian forward has played for some of the best teams in Europe while also remaining a proficient goalscorer. He's earned many nicknames throughout his career, such as "Super Mario", "Mandzo", "guerriero" (warrior in Italian) and "Dilkos" (meaning brash and unsophisticated).

Profile illustration of Mario Mandzukic, Croatian football player.  Digital art.  Drawing.

Mandzukic started playing in Germany after relocating during the Croatian War of Independence, but he returned when he signed for Dinamo Zagreb. Despite his youth, he consistently scored and was even called up to the Croatian national team for qualification to the 2010 World Cup. These performances earned him a move to Wolfsburg in Germany.

It's Mandzukic's time in Germany that he became one of Europe's better strikers. He spent 2 years with Wolfsburg, scoring 20 times in 56 appearances. This, in addition to a strong Euro 2012 performance, earned him a move to giants Bayern Munich. His 2 years with Bayern led to 2 league titles, 2 cup titles and a Champions League title. However, Pep Guardiola's arrival at Bayern did not fit Mandzukic very well, so he left for Atletico Madrid for a year.

After Spain, Mandzukic continued his European tour with Italian giants Juventus, where he would stay put for his longest time. Here, he won 4 successive Serie A titles, 3 successive Coppa Italia trophies and helped Croatia to the World Cup final in 2018. He also scored in the UEFA Champions League final, but Juventus lost to Real Madrid.

With the arrival of Maurizio Sarri at Juventus, Mandzukic left once more, this time to Qatari side Al-Duhail. This would not last for a year, and he has now signed for AC Milan in Italy.

Mandzukic is a striker who relies on his strength, physicality, fitness and mobility. He's tall, yet, quick and works extremely hard defensively. Because of this fans have loved him at whatever club he's been at. Due to his record of scoring in important matches, the media dubbed him as a "big-game" player, which summarizes Mandzukic extremely well.

How long Mandzukic will continue playing before retirement is not clear. However, he will most certainly give everything he's got until he hangs up the boots.


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