Previously: Elvir Baljić, also known as Balić, was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina on 8 July 1974. The player arrived in the Spanish capital in the summer of 1999 under the guise of Lorenzo Sanz and John Toshack as a star, and at the time was Real Madrid's most expensive ever signing at 3,500,000,000 pesetas, which is around €20 million nowadays. The Bosnian had starred in Turkey, however a serious injury and the high standards expected at Real Madrid meant he did not stand out at the club. He played 11 games, scoring just once. Two years later he joined Rayo Vallecano on loan, where he played 10 times, again scoring just once.
His achievements: as a Real Madrid player, he won their eighth UEFA Champions League, albeit he did not play in the final. He is the sixth top scorer for his national side, and until Edin Džeko joined Manchester City he was his country’s most expensive ever player.
After hanging up his boots: he retired in2008 having been at Istanbulspor AS in Turkey – a country where he played for six sides in total. He has stayed involved in football and was Safet Susić’s assistant with the Bosnia and Herzegovenia national side.
Did you know: while at Rayo Vallecano he played with a compatriot, Elvir Bolić. Alongside Basque Jon Pérez 'Bolo', the three were one of Liga BBVA’s most cult front lines. In 2005 Balić released a music CD.© LaLiga - Year 2015