Born and blend in Croatia, Fran Karacic is one of the many abroad-based footballers choosing to play for Socceroos. The fact that he had never stepped a foot in Australia since birth did not stop the right fullback from joining the Aussie national team in 2018.
Karacic was born in Zagreb Croatia 24 years ago to an Australian father. That is what made him qualify to play for the Socceroos. His father was born in Australia, but his grandpa decided to go back to their homeland (Croatia) in 1967. By then, his father was just three years old. That’s how he was born in Croatia.
But his journey to playing for the green and gold was not an easy one. The journey goes back in 2015 when he got a promotion to the senior team at NK Locomotive. It’s this time that his talent as a footballer was exposed to the world.
During an interview with the Football Central in mid-2016, he described his journey into the senior team. He was just 19 years when a chance to join the senior team came up. That’s after the first choice got an injury. “I took my chances to become the first choice for that position.” Said Karacic. He played 9 matches in the 2014-2015 season. In 2015-2016, he made huge improvements and helped his club in the league and also in Europa action. He was in the team that beat Andorra’s UE Santa Coloma4-1 in the Europa League qualifiers.
It is because of the promotion to the senior team that he was able to showcase his talent. At 181cm and good in the air, Karacic became one of the pivotal players for aerial threats. So far, he has helped NK Locomotive immensely for the sixth year in the senior team.
FFA management had been having their eye on the star since he joined the senior team. The management of the Socceroos has been trying to woo him into the national team. But he was torn between playing for Australia or Croatia. It was during the selection of the 2018 World Cup in Russia that he finally decided to represent Australia.
He was in Bert van Marwijk’s preliminary 26-man 2018 Russia World Cup squad. Despite not making it to the 23-man squad to the 2018 World Cup, he remained committed to the Socceroos. He says that he has no regret over chasing the world cup spot. However, he said it was difficult missing the spot but has since moved.
Although he has not been called for the international assignments by the national team, he says that he is always ready to give it a shot by being good in the midfield. Unlike the two years when he failed World Cup team selection, he is now more experienced, especially after becoming NK Locomotive captain for two years. Therefore, he is a better player than in 2018.
Karacic joined Lokomotiva at the age 16. Therefore, he has been in the club for more than 8 years. So, he grew up in the club, and that’s where his career was horned. In August 2020, he will be joining Dinamo Zagreb, which is the largest club in Croatia.
The move to Dinamo Zagreb is plus to his career as a player. It is an indication that his star as a fullback is on the rise. Being one of the biggest clubs in the Croatian league, Dinamo will expose him to bigger clubs in the world. He might also become among the most valuable players for Socceroos come 2022 if the team qualifies for the Qatar World Cup.