Ilicic Officially Resumes His Playing Career at Maribor

A month after mutually parting ways with Atalanta, Josip Ilicic has decided to continue playing and came to terms with Maribor. The attacker reportedly contemplated retirement but instead went back to the side where he first broke through.

After getting his start at Bonifika Koper and Interblock Lubiana, he transferred to the Vijolicasti in 2010. But he spent just 40 days there, playing 5 matches before Palermo noticed him and signed him. His value ballooned from €80k to €2M in a month and a half, Corriere della Sera reports.

Sporting director Marko Suler commented on Ilicic signing with Maribor on the club’s official site.

“It’s a great event for anybody. It’s surely a matter that breaks the mould and that is very meaningful not just to us but to Slovenian football in general. We have a special bond with him, which led to this positive outcome despite its challenges. Some thought this idea wasn’t realistic, but it did come true in the end.”

“It took a lot of work and energy to make it happen. Josip is truly here, and he chose Maribor because it’s different from the other teams. The presentation isn’t the same as usual, because it involves a player on which it’s unnecessary to spend many words. He marked the history of this outfit and of our national team. He still has many years ahead of him.”

Ilicic inked a contract till 2025 with Maribor and picked no.72, the same he had during his successful run with Atalanta, which tailed off due to mental health problems during and after the pandemic. He had drawn interest from Verona and Palermo in previous months.

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