Mario Pašalić

Mario Pašalić (Croatian pronunciation: [mâːrio pǎʃalitɕ];[2][3] born 9 February 1995) is a Croatian professional footballer who plays as a central midfielder for Serie A side Atalanta and the Croatia national team.

Mario Pašalić
Mario Pašalić with Spartak in 2017
Personal information
Full name Mario Pašalić
Date of birth (1995-02-09) 9 February 1995 (age 26)
Place of birth Mainz, Germany
Height 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)[1]
Position(s) Central midfielder
Club information
Current team
Number 88
Youth career
2003–2005 GOŠK Kaštel Gomilica
2006–2013 Hajduk Split
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2013–2014 Hajduk Split 32 (11)
2014–2020 Chelsea 0 (0)
2014–2015Elche (loan) 31 (3)
2015–2016Monaco (loan) 16 (3)
2016–2017Milan (loan) 24 (5)
2017–2018Spartak Moscow (loan) 21 (4)
2018–2020Atalanta (loan) 68 (14)
2020– Atalanta 25 (6)
National team
2009 Croatia U14 2 (0)
2011 Croatia U16 2 (0)
2011 Croatia U17 10 (2)
2013 Croatia U19 4 (2)
2014–2016 Croatia U21 12 (7)
2014– Croatia 26 (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20:53, 23 May 2021 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 15:58, 13 June 2021 (UTC)

He began his career at Hajduk Split before moving to Chelsea for a reported £3 million in 2014. Chelsea loaned him to Elche, Monaco, Milan, Spartak Moscow and then Atalanta. Following two seasons at the Bergamasque club between 2018 and 2020, he was signed permanently ahead of the 2020–21 season.

Pašalić made his senior international debut for Croatia in 2014, representing the side at UEFA Euro 2020.

Club career

Hajduk Split

Pašalić started playing football at county club NK GOŠK Kaštel Gomilica before joining the Hajduk Split's youth academy in 2006. A youth international, he first gained wider recognition in the 2011–12 season, scoring 17 goals for the under-17s, despite being a midfielder, and scoring the winner for the under-19s in a 3–2 success against Hrvatski Dragovoljac, which secured the club's championship trophy.

During the pre-season, however, Pašalić was diagnosed with a staphylococcus infection, being sidelined for the first half of the 2012–13 campaign.[4] He played his first match as a professional on 14 April 2013 replacing Ivan Vuković in the 90th minute of a 2–1 home success against Cibalia.[5]

In summer 2013, Pašalić signed a four-year professional contract with Hajduk and went on to make 36 appearances in all competitions during the 2013–14 season, scoring 11 goals and assisting a further five. On 14 September 2013, he scored two goals in a derby 2–0 victory against Dinamo Zagreb,[6] and repeated the same fate on 8 February the following year, in a 2–1 win at city rivals RNK Split.[7]


On 9 July 2014, Chelsea announced the signing of Pašalić for an undisclosed fee.[8] Upon signing, Pašalić said, "I am very happy because I am now a Chelsea player."[9]

Loan to Elche

On 22 July 2014, Pašalić joined Elche on a season-long loan deal.[10] He made his La Liga debut on 25 August, starting and being booked in a 0–3 away loss against Barcelona.[11] On 12 April 2015, Pašalić scored his first goal in the top flight of Spanish football, netting the last in a 2–0 win over Córdoba.[12] On 29 April 2015, Pašalić scored in a 4–0 victory over Deportivo de La Coruña.[13] On 3 May 2015, he scored a late goal which turned out to be the winner in the match against Málaga in a 2–1 victory.[14]

Loan to Monaco

On 3 July 2015, it was announced that Pašalić will spend the 2015–16 season on loan at Monaco.[15] Striker Radamel Falcao went on loan to Chelsea as part of the loan agreement for Pašalić to join the Monégasque side.[16] During an interview about his loan move to Monaco, Pašalić stated that staying at Chelsea this season was never an option and that he "needs to improve, grow and then hope to get a chance with Chelsea".[17]

On 28 July, Pašalić made his Monaco debut in a 3–1 victory against Swiss side Young Boys in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round, in which he scored the final goal to make it 3–1.[18] On 8 August, Pašalić made his Ligue 1 debut after playing 25 minutes in a 2–1 win over Nice.[19] On 19 August, Pašalić scored against Valencia, but it was not enough to stop Monaco from losing 3–1 in the first leg of the Champions League play-off.[20] On 17 September, he made his Europa League debut in a 1–1 away draw with Anderlecht.[21] In the 2015–16 Coupe de France, Pašalić scored twice in two appearances.[22]

Loan to Milan

On 27 August 2016, Pašalić joined Serie A side Milan on a season-long loan.[23] A month after the loan was completed, there were reports that stated Milan was looking to cut the loan short and return Pašalić in January.[24] He made his debut off the substitutes' bench on 30 October 2016 in a 1–0 win against Pescara.[25] In the following game, Pašalić made his first start in a 2–1 win over Palermo.[26] Pašalić scored his first goal for Milan in a 2–1 home victory against Crotone.[27]

Pašalić scored the winning penalty in the 2016 Supercoppa Italiana against Juventus, bringing Milan its first major trophy since 2011 after the regular match finished in a 1–1 draw (4–5 penalties). On 8 February 2017, Pašalić scored an 89th-minute winner against Bologna in Milan's 1–0 away win. On 2 April, Pašalić scored the equalizer in Milan's 1–1 away draw with Pescara.

Loan to Spartak Moscow

On 2 August 2017, Pašalić signed a new four-year deal with Chelsea and joined Russian champions Spartak Moscow on loan for the 2017–18 season.[28]

On 12 August, he scored his first goal for Spartak in a 2–1 away defeat to CSKA Moscow.[29] He made his Champions League debut on 13 September in a 1–1 away draw with Maribor.[30] On 27 November, he scored in a 3–1 home victory over Zenit Saint Petersburg.[31] On 10 December, he once again scored in the Main Moscow derby, as Spartak won 3–0 at home.[32]


On 25 July 2018, Pašalić agreed to join Italian side Atalanta on a season-long loan with an option to purchase at the end of the spell.[33] The Italian side finished the season as third in Serie A, qualifying for the next year's Champions League.

On 4 July 2019, Pašalić signed a new contract at Chelsea until 2022 and returned to Atalanta on loan for a second season.[34] On 18 September, Atalanta made their Champions League debut, as Dinamo Zagreb beat them 4–0 at Stadion Maksimir.[35] On 6 November, Pašalić scored the equalizer against Manchester City in a 1–1 draw at San Siro.[36] On 11 December, he scored the second goal in a 3–0 victory over Shakhtar Donetsk at Metalist Stadium. This made Atalanta the first debutant to reach the final 16 of the Champions League since Leicester City in 2016–17, and the first team ever to do it with only seven points.[37] On 2 December 2019, Atalanta negotiated a 15 million option to buy to be activated at the end of the season.[38] On 15 February 2020, he scored the winning goal in a 2–1 victory over Roma, only nineteen seconds after being substituted for Duván Zapata.[39] On 19 February, he provided two assists for Josip Iličić and Hans Hateboer, as Atalanta defeated Valencia 4–1 and went on to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.[40] On 22 June, Mario Pašalić joined Atalanta permanently for €15 million (£13.4 million).[41][42] On 14 July, he scored his first career hat-trick in a 6–2 victory over Brescia, becoming the fifth Croatian to achieve that in Serie A.[43] On 12 August, in a Champions League quarter-final against Paris Saint-Germain at Estádio da Luz, he scored the only goal for Atalanta before getting substituted off for Luis Muriel; however, PSG managed to overturn the result scoring two goals in injury time and knocking Atalanta out.[44]

In December 2020, Pašalić underwent a sports hernia surgery, which kept him off the pitch for more than two months. He returned to the pitch in a 3–1 defeat to Lazio, in which he scored Atalanta's only goal.[45][46]

International career

On 14 May 2014, Pašalić was on Croatia manager Niko Kovač's 30-man list that was named to participate in the 2014 World Cup.[47] He was not, however, selected for the final squad.[48] He made his debut for Croatia on 4 September 2014 when he replaced Mario Mandžukić in a friendly home victory over Cyprus.[49]

In May 2018, he was named in Zlatko Dalić's preliminary 32-man squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia,[50] but did not make the final 23.[51]

He scored his debut goal for the national team on 7 October 2020 in a friendly 2–1 victory over Switzerland.[52]

Personal life

Pašalić was born in Mainz, Germany, but grew up in Kaštel Gomilica, Croatia. His father Ivan is a Bosnian Croat from Sarajlije near Tomislavgrad. His mother Slavica hails from Vrlika. He is a cousin of fellow footballer Ivan Krstanović.[53][54][55]

In June 2019, Pašalić married his longtime girlfriend Marija Grbeša on the island of Čiovo.[56]

Career statistics


As of match played 23 May 2021[57][58]
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Hajduk Split 2012–13 Prva HNL 20000020
2013–14 3011303[lower-alpha 1]01[lower-alpha 2]03711
Total 32113030103911
Elche (loan) 2014–15 La Liga 31340353
Monaco (loan) 2015–16 Ligue 1 16332109[lower-alpha 3]2297
Milan (loan) 2016–17 Serie A 245201[lower-alpha 4]0275
Spartak Moscow (loan) 2017–18 Russian Premier League 214417[lower-alpha 5]0325
Atalanta (loan) 2018–19 Serie A 335524[lower-alpha 1]1428
2019–20 359109[lower-alpha 6]34512
Atalanta 2020–21 256305[lower-alpha 6]0336
Total 93209218412026
Career total 21746255103762028257
  1. Appearances in UEFA Europa League
  2. Appearance in Croatian Super Cup
  3. Four appearances and two goals in UEFA Champions League, five appearances in UEFA Europa League
  4. Appearance in Supercoppa Italiana
  5. Six appearances in UEFA Champions League, one appearance in UEFA Europa League
  6. Appearances in UEFA Champions League


As of match played 13 June 2021[59]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National teamYearAppsGoals
Croatia 201410
International goals
Scores and results list Croatia's goal tally first.[59]
1 7 October 2020 Kybunpark, St. Gallen, Switzerland 15   Switzerland 2–1 2–1 Friendly
2 11 November 2020 Vodafone Park, Istanbul, Turkey 18  Turkey 2–2 3–3
3 27 March 2021 Stadion Rujevica, Rijeka, Croatia 22  Cyprus 1–0 1–0 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification



Hajduk Split Reserves





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