Where is Bojan Krkic now?

Robin Bairner
Bojan Krkic was once considered Barcelona's successor to Lionel Messi

When Bojan Krkic broke into the Barcelona team, there was hope that he might be the next Lionel Messi.

Although Bojan would go on to play more than 100 Primera Division games for Barca and was even once-capped for Spain, he would never live up to the billing given to him as a teenager.

Indeed, he has had a globe-trotting career that has seen him play in six countries and three continents – and he is still only 30.

Krkic signs for Vissel Kobe

On August 9, it was confirmed that Bojan Krkic had joined Vissel Kobe.

Speaking to the club’s official website, he said: “I can't wait for this wonderful challenge. This opportunity is one of the best, both personally and professionally, and I can't wait for this big challenge.

“I have been attracted to Japanese culture for a long time and, thanks to Vissel Kobe, I can experience Japan for myself.”

Of course, he is not the first Spaniard to move to the J-League side, where fellow La Masia graduate Sergi Samper and Barcelona icon Andres Iniesta both currently perform.

Bojan’s interminable decline

Bojan’s career has been a tale of slow decline after bursting onto the scene so impressively as a teenager a Camp Nou. He had an immense weight of expectations on his shoulders from his debut, on which he broke Messi’s record to become the club’s youngest ever player to feature in La Liga and the Champions League, and to score in the league.

Bojan even captained Barca briefly and after the 2010/11 season had accumulated 104 league appearances and 24 goals.

From there, he moved to Roma, although Barcelona retained an obligatory buy-back option that was exercised in 2013, when the Italian side declined to purchase him permanently. By that point, Bojan had just spent a year at Milan, who also decided they did not want him.

Returning to Camp Nou was not what the player wanted, though. Instead, he sought first-team minutes at Ajax but did not light up the Eredivisie.

From there, he made a much-publicised move to Stoke for what appeared a bargain €1.8 million, which reflected how far his star had fallen. He was beginning to gain momentum when he suffered a knee injury, and when he returned he ultimately dropped to the bench.

Loans to Mainz and Alaves were the consequence, and by the time he returned to the Potters they were in the Championship, which was a league he failed to acclimatise to.

Similarly, he moved to Montreal Impact in August 2019, but after around 18 months it was deemed he had not done enough to justify a new contract.

When Bojan signed for Vissel Kobe, it ended an eight-month spell without a club, despite being only 30.