The first Croatian to play in the Premier League is Marina Abramovic.
The young forward is on course to become the club’s all-time leading goalscorer, a role he has been trying to fulfill for years, since he signed for Chelsea from AC Milan in the summer of 2013.
The 19-year-old’s career has been a long one, starting at the age of 13 in the Croatian second division, before he moved to the senior side in 2014.
His first season at Stamford Bridge was a failure, as he scored just five goals in 27 appearances, but he returned to the Croatian top flight in 2015, scoring 13 goals in 44 appearances.
“When I started I didn’t know how to play football.
I was always in the wrong positions, I wasn’t good enough.
I had to learn the position and move on.
It took me 10 years, but now I’m ready to play,” Abramović said.
“I want to play at the top level, that’s what I want to do, but it’s going to be tough.
It’s a bit difficult.
But I’m looking forward to this season.”
The Croatian forward’s career began in the second tier, but a move to Stamford Bridge helped him progress to the first division in 2015.
He has been the subject of much speculation in recent months, but the former Chelsea player is adamant that he is happy with his decision to join Chelsea.
“It was the best decision I could have made for my family, for my career and also for my future,” he said.
Despite being only 19 years old, the Croatian has already shown that he can play in this league.
His goalscoring record is the third highest in the top flight, behind fellow Croatian midfielder Ivo Sviatoslavski and former Chelsea striker Diego Costa.
It is no coincidence that his goalscored record stands above those of both Costa and fellow Croatian forward Ivan Perisic.
But what makes Abramović’s career so special is his dedication to his sport.
“In football you need to focus and have the right mentality to be successful,” he explained.
“It’s important to be ready when you’re on the pitch.
You need to have a good understanding of your team and how to make the right decisions.
That’s why I’m so happy to be here.”