Andrej Kramarić continues to light up the Bundesliga for Hoffenheim. - © IMAGO/nordphoto GmbH / Bratic
Andrej Kramarić continues to light up the Bundesliga for Hoffenheim. - © IMAGO/nordphoto GmbH / Bratic

Andrej Kramarić: 10 things on the Hoffenheim and Croatia goal fiend


Andrej Kramarić is the highest-scoring Croatian in Bundesliga history with over 100 strikes and tops Hoffenheim's all-time scoring charts. finds out what else there is to know about the talented frontman...

1) Top of the shots

Kramarić capped off another impressive goalscoring campaign in style as his hat-trick helped Hoffenheim come from behind to beat Bayern Munich 4-2 on the final day of the 2023/24 term. That means he has now hit double figures for league strikes in all but one of his eight full seasons at the club, with his overall tally standing at a remarkable 110 efforts. Those goals have come against 25 different opponents, with Greuther Fürth the only side to keep the clinical marksman out in the top flight. As well as that triple versus Bayern, he has netted three in one game on as many extra occasions, with his overall haul of four putting him fourth in the all-time list alongside the likes of Tony Yeboah, Arjen Robben and Jan-Klaas Huntelaar. He even netted a quadruple versus Dortmund during the 2019/20 term in what was one of the most memorable individual displays in recent memory.

Watch: Kramaric's incredible four-goal salvo against Dortmund

2) Big cat diaries

Since arriving at the club on a permanent deal in 2016, Kramarić accounted for close to a quarter of Hoffenheim's Bundesliga goals (110/472), demonstrating that he is a bona-fide apex predator of a striker. Notwithstanding those tigerish qualities in front of goal, it was another big cat that piqued his interest in the animal world in his younger days. "I love animals, as my girlfriend is a vet," he told "To be honest, when I was a kid my favourite animal was a cheetah because it's the fastest animal in the world."

3) Inspired by greats

Growing up in the Croatian capital of Zagreb, it's no surprise Kramarić looked to legendary countryman Davor Šuker for inspiration - though he also had soft spots for Ronaldinho and Lionel Messi. "When I was a child, Šuker and Ronaldinho were the two players who were magic for me," he recalled. "When you talk about the best player in the world though, it's Messi, no doubt. It's incredible what he's done, and is still doing. He's at the age now where he can't repeat some of the things he could do when he was younger. But it's never boring to watch him."

4) Croatia and Bundesliga intertwined

It was a two-time Bundesliga champion - as a player and a manager - who gave Kramarić his first opportunity at senior international level. Niko Kovač was boss between 2013 and 2015, calling up the forward to his squad for a friendly against Cyprus and a UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying meeting with Malta. Kramarić made an almost immediate impact versus the former, providing former Wolfsburg and Bayern striker Mario Mandžukić with an early assist, while he found the back of the net against the latter.

Kramaric (l.) won his first seven senior international caps whilst Niko Kovac (r.) was still in charge of Croatia. - imago

5) Leicester's one that got away

Like Šuker, Kramarić earned his stripes at Dinamo Zagreb. Despite scoring a club record 450 goals at youth level - and 28 in 31 competitive appearances for Rijeka in his final months in his native Croatia - he arrived in Sinsheim in January 2015 as a relative unknown. His one-year stint with Leicester City had been underwhelming at best - four goals in 20 games - but he put his head down on German soil and has no regrets about missing out on the Foxes' famous English Premier League title win. He was too busy writing his own fairytale, after all, his five goals and four assists helping dig Die Kraichgauer out of a relegation-sized hole in the second half of 2015/16. A permanent move to Germany followed and, as we know, the rest is history.

6) Chelsea's loss

There was a time when Kramarić could have donned another club's blue-and-white threads. The year was 2015 and the month January when he turned down Chelsea in favour of joining Leicester. Rumour has it the Zagreb native was all set to ship out to Stamford Bridge, only for the deal to fall through as the Londoners were unable to guarantee first-team football. Instead, he opted for Leicester. "I never had a chance to meet [Chelsea boss Jose] Mourinho, but it's true there was an option for me to join Chelsea." Kramarić told the Vecemji List newspaper.

Kramaric started in just eight of his 20 appearances for Leicester City during 2015. - imago

7) Delaying the inevitable

Kramarić's early days back in Zagreb are the source of yet another 'what if?' moment. The Hoffenheim sharpshooter had the chance to play under Croatia legend Robert Prosinecki at Red Star Belgrade in 2011, in a deal that would have made him the first Croat to play in the Serbian league since the dissolution of Yugoslavia. Dinamo Zagreb owner Zdravko Mamic refused to even negotiate with the Serbian giants, however, issuing a hands-off warning to all concerned: "Andrej is not going - not to Belgrade, not anywhere."

8) Hoffenheim's all-time best

Everything happens for a reason, or so the saying goes. Kramarić's move to Hoffenheim certainly paid off. With over 130 goals for the club in all competitions, he is the Sinsheim outfit's record scorer - outstripping Sejad Salihović, second in the all-time standings, by more than double . Despite the deluge of admirers, the Hoffenheim No.27 only has eyes for Die Kraichgauer. "When I joined Hoffenheim or when I was a kid, I never thought I'd be the best striker in the history of a club," Kramarić told "I'm close to being a club legend like Salihović. I'll be happy if I score more goals, make more assists and we have success. I'm really happy here, and I wouldn't complain if I finished my career at Hoffenheim."

Watch: The best of Andrej Kramarić

9) World Cup silver and bronze

The talents Mamic fought tooth and nail to retain were laid bare to the watching world at Russia 2018. Croatia reached the final of the FIFA World Cup that year, ultimately coming up short to an Kylian Mbappé-inspired France. Kramarić played in every game, scoring a fine effort in the quarter-final victory over host nation Russia to help his countrymen emulate Šuker and the class of 1998, who finished third. He once again led the line for the Vatreni at the 2022 World Cup, scoring two goals and playing in all seven matches as Croatia beat Morocco in the third-place play-off - he will now look to add to his 92 caps and 28 strikes at a fourth consecutive major tournament at UEFA Euro 2024, which will of course take place in the country where he plies his trade.

Kramaric helped Croatia beat the likes of Argentina and England en route to the 2018 FIFA World Cup final. - getty images

10) Heart of go[a]ld

An A-grade taker of chances, Kramarić also knows a thing or two about giving back. As well as his 70-plus career assists, he donated the boots he wore when he scored his first goal in the English Premier League for Leicester against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. The signed kicks fetched £1,710 on eBay, with all proceeds going to charity. Goals, grace a big heart - is there anything Kramarić doesn't have?