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Ask me about Alen Bokšić

The blonde alien

Ask me about Alen Bokšić The blonde alien

“O brawling love! O loving hate!
O any thing, of nothing first create!
O heavy lightness, serious vanity,
Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms,
Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health,
Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!
This love feel I, that feel no love in this.”

(William Sheakspare, Romeo e Juliet - Act I) 


Alen Bokšić was this for me and for all those who admired him, a difficult love, contrasting but at the same time unconditional and unconscious, I remained enthralled and enraptured in front of the aesthetics, beauty and elegance that the Croatian player was able to express on a soccer field. Bokšić satisfied the intellect.


One hundred and eighty-seven centimeters, a clamorous game vision, a player capable of doing everything with the typical class of Eastern players, the one against which you can not do anything because it dominates you when you find it in front of you, it annihilates you. He had everything, physique, speed, header and kicked beautifully with both feet, he possessed a "candour" in playing football that justifies his mistakes in front of the door because as Silvio Pellico writes: "those who work for sincere conscience can err, but it is pure before God" and in fact it does not really matter to me that Bokšić has made many more goals than those he actually scored, 134 goals in 433 official matches, because true beauty, after all, consists in purity of heart.

He was born in Makarska, a small town in Croatia (at that time still Yugoslavia) overlooking the Adriatic Sea on 21 January 1970. He made his debut at 17 in Hajduk Split where in 1991 he won a Cup of Yugoslavia and in the same year he moved to France to Marseilles, but since he had already reached the maximum number of foreigners in pink he turned it to Cannes, where however he collected only one presence. The following season, the 92/93 season, is that of the consecration, of the empirical manifestation of what was expected of him. 23 goals in 37 appearances, Ligue1's top scorer, French champion (then revoked title) and European champion with Olympique de Merseille, who in the meantime had him back from the loan at Cannes, beating Milan in the final in Munich . The performances that come to him are worth a very serious candidature for the 1993 Ballon d'Or: in the final standings it is preceded only by Roberto Baggio, Dennis Bergkamp and Éric Cantona.

After winning everything with the OM, in November of 93 "the alien", this his nickname, lands in Italy and has brought it to us is Lazio paying him 15 billion lire, makes his debut on November 7 against Naples, scored a beautiful goal against Turin but did not avoid the defeat at the Biancocelesti. The coach of that Lazio is Dino Zoff who does not hesitate and put him in a trident against Juventus that is a compendium of class, strength, and madness: Signori, Gascoigne and Bokšić that first takes the crossbar and then plunges a goal son of his ability to anticipate everything and everyone.


In the 94/95 season on the bench of Lazio sits Zdeněk Zeman, and the way of playing of the Bohemian exalt the Croatian striker who in the "tennis" challenge against Foggia, finished 7-1, Bokšić scored a hat-trick. Everything seems set for the explosion of what Roberto Mancini always said reminded him of Ruud Gullit but things went differently. Alen begins to suffer the training methods of Zeman and the relationship between the two tends to flow in a moment to say the least surreal: March 14, 1995, during the match against Borussia Dortmund valid for access to the UEFA Cup semi-finals leaves the field for 10 minutes. Do not know the real reason, the fact is that from that episode Zeman and Bokšić have moved away perhaps definitely and after the 11 goals of the first season with the Bohemian on the bench, the following year is a trickle, just 4 goals in 26 games. At this point it is clear that the Croatian must necessarily change the air and to win his talents is Juventus that in 1996 brings him to the shadow of the Mole for 14 billion lire.

Only one season in Turin but won almost everything, Scudetto, Intercontinental Cup, UEFA Super Cup but not the Champions League losing it in the final against Borussia Dortmund. To better describe the past year from Bokšić to Juventus, we borrow the report from La Gazzetta dello Sport after Juventus - Inter of October '96 (Zidane in that match scored his first goal in Italy):

"Difficult to give a precise assessment for a man with a double face, extraordinary for how the actions begin, how he brings them to fruition, a real disaster for how he concludes on the net." There will also be a bit of bad luck and misfortune, of course. seeing it play is really a pleasure for the eyes 7.5"

However, he contributes to the victory of the Scudetto with a decisive goal that, on the 28th day, allows Juventus to beat Bologna and increase the points of advantage on Parma second in the standings defeated by Udinese.


But, as Antonello Venditti sings, "certain loves do not end, they make immense laps, and then return" and in fact in the 97/98 season the patron of Lazio, Sergio Cragnotti in "biancoceleste" for 25 billion. And the new adventure of Alen with the shirt of Lazio starts at the overwhelming, three goals in the Coppa Italia and then the masterpiece against Samp which remains one of the most beautiful goals in the recent history of Serie A. In the first Lazio Eriksson plaque the agreement with another total player like Vladimir Jogovic is the emblem of what the team is, after the departure of Signori the Swedish technician frees him and gives him responsibility at the same time and on the field the Croatian divinely plays and scores. It has a devastating impact on the derby both in the Italian Cup and in the league, will then arrive four successes in a row against the Rome of Zeman, a unicum in the history of the Roman "stracittadina".
With 10 goals scored in the season, Bokšić is ready to face the 1998 French World Championship as the absolute protagonist and with a very strong Croatia full of wonderful players like Davor Šuker, Zvonimir Boban, Robert Jarni and Mario Stanić. Unfortunately a bad knee injury destroys Alen's World Cup dream that will see her teammates reach a historic third place. The last year with the Lazio shirt is sad, refuses to take the field because of a tight jersey on May 14, 2000, the day of the second Biancoceleste championship and the Croatian does not participate in that party, does not even play the final Cup Winners' Cup.
In his second three years in the "biancoceleste" jersey, however, he takes home two Coppa Italia, an Italian Supercup, a UEFA European Supercup, a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and a Scudetto.
After 43 goals in 157 games, in 2000 he decided to leave Italy permanently and went to Middlesbrough, in the Premier League, where he remained for three seasons before retiring at 33.

You know where Alen is now, she lives on an island she bought in 1999, the island of Mariaska, she spends her time with her family and she does water skiing, sometimes she goes on TV as a commentator but according to her, not he talks about soccer all day.
Dear Alen, we just wanted to say thank you for the immense wonder you gave us because, to quote Luis Ferndinand Celine and his masterpiece "Journey to the End of the Night", after seeing you in the field we will not be, we are sure, never so cold, scoundrels, vulgar like the others, for the beauty and dream that you gave us in the course of a few years in Italy.