Union landed Josip Juranović in January 2023 as a fully fledged international star with Croatia. - © IMAGO/BEAUTIFUL SPORTS/Meusel
Union landed Josip Juranović in January 2023 as a fully fledged international star with Croatia. - © IMAGO/BEAUTIFUL SPORTS/Meusel

Josip Juranović: Who is the Croatian star shining for Union Berlin?


Former Celtic man Josip Juranović was hot property in the January 2023 transfer window, having become a key player for Croatia. Union Berlin won the battle - bundesliga.com profiles their star defender...

Stats correct as of 10 June 2024

Age: 28 (born 16 August 1995)
Club: Union Berlin
Position: Right wing-back
Country: Croatia (37 caps)

Key stats

Juranović has been a regular feature for Union since his arrival in the German capital, making 21 appearances and chipping in with two assists. Having appeared in the UEFA Champions League for two clubs and played at Euro 2020 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the Croatian's experience has been invaluable to his club side throughout the highs and lows of recent seasons. 

Watch: The best of Josip Juranović

Juranović emerged from relative obscurity, starting his senior football career with third-tier Croatian side Dubrava. Two years later and with 14 goals in 36 games to his name, the bigger sides could no longer ignore him and along came first division giants Hajduk Split to snap him up.

After a successful five-year spell in Split, which saw him named in the Croatian league's team of the season in 2017/18, Juranović was signed by Legia Warsaw. He left for Celtic after one year and a Polish championship winner's medal

Impressive performances as he helped Croatia to third place at the 2022 World Cup led to a battle to secure his signature, which Union Berlin promptly won. Two goals - including a spectacularly sunk free-kick against Bochum - helped to propel Union's charge into the UEFA Champions League, for whom he played as his second side in the competition after Celtic in 2024/25.

Watch: Juranović sinks stunning free-kick as Union draw with Bochum in 2022/23

Plays a bit like: Joshua Kimmich

Just like his fellow-right back, Juranović has the grit and pace needed to make a contribution at either end of the field. The pair share a fondness for dangerous crosses and spectacular free-kick strikes too.

Did you know?

Football is clearly the big thing in the Juranović family. Josip's brothers Dragan and Mihael play also for Zrinjski Mostar and NK Mladost Komet, respectively.

Josip Juranović enjoyed plenty of highs and lows in his first season-and-a-half at Union Berlin - Getty Images

What they're saying

"With his pace his experience and his ability, Josip is a great fit for us. We are convinced that in him we have signed a player who will quickly be of great help, and we are very happy to have him." - Union's then director of professional football Oliver Ruhnert on his signing in January 2023.

"I can’t question Josip’s contribution, he has been fantastic. I’ve loved working with Josip. He’s been a really popular member of the dressing room." - Former Celtic coach Ange Postecoglou.