Boško Balaban (born October 15, 1978) is a Croatian footballer
who plays as a striker.
Born in Rijeka, he started to play for local club NK Rijeka and
appeared in 97 matches between 1995 and 2000, scoring a total of
21 goals. During the 1999-2000 season, he was the top scorer of
the Croatian First League with 15 goals and attracted the
attention of another Croatian top club Dinamo Zagreb. Playing
for Dinamo he kept up his goalscoring form and once again became
the league's top scorer with 14 goals in 25 games. Two games
into the following season, he was signed by Aston Villa for a
fee of £5.8 million, earning a £20,000-a-week contract.
Balaban failed to find any form for the English club, making
just nine appearances, seven as a substitute. Perhaps
homesickness was the problem, as he was loaned back to Dinamo
Zagreb for the 2002-2003 season, scoring 15 times in 24
appearances. However, in December 2003 Aston Villa released
Balaban from his contract and he signed for FC Bruges on a free
transfer. In the 2004-2005 season he scored 11 goals in 24
appearances for the club.
In the late 1990s Balaban played for the Croatian under-21 team
and since 2000 he is also a regular member of the country's
A-team, collecting up to this time 24 caps and scoring eight