Teddy Lucic (defender) 2002-03
Born: Biskopsgarden, Gothenburg, Sweden, 15 April 1973
Born in Sweden of a Finnish mother and Croatian father, Teddy Lucic was qualified to play for three different countries. An ever present for Sweden in the World Cup finals in 2002, he spent the 2002/03 season on loan at Elland Road from AIK Solna as new manager Terry Venables sought to bolster the club's defensive strength.
Lucic's father, Kresimir, was also a footballer and settled in Sweden in 1966 where he plied his trade. Teddy began his career as a 16-year-old with local club Lundby IF in 1989, making his Swedish League debut that season. He went on to make a further 62 appearances for Lundby over the following three years before moving on to Vastra Frolunda in 1993.
Lucic made his Under-21 debut for Sweden on 7 September 1993 and went to the World Cup finals in the United States in 1994, though he didn't get a game. He was given his chance during the Umbro Cup tournament in England in 1995. He made his full debut on 4 June 1995 against world champions Brazil at Villa Park and also appeared four days later in a 3-3 draw against England at Elland Road.
After three seasons with Vastra, Lucic signed for IFK Goteborg in 1996 and won the Swedish championship with them in his first season. He remained with the club until 1998, when he decided to try his luck abroad. He signed for Bologna of Italy, but was limited to 9 appearances in Serie A over the following two seasons.
Lucic returned to Sweden to sign for AIK in 2000 and was a mainstay of the national team's performances in the 2002 World Cup finals in Korea and Japan, when they drew 1-1 with England to finish top of their group before going out to Senegal at the next stage.
AIK ran into financial difficulties in 2002 and had to get some of their best paid players off the wage bill and on 31 August 2002, Lucic joined Leeds United on loan, seemingly to provide cover for left-back Ian Harte. United manager Terry Venables had been impressed by Lucic's appearance against England seven years earlier when he had been national team manager.
Lucic had to wait several weeks before making his United debut after suffering an injury in training; he appeared at centre-back alongside Jonathan Woodgate at home to Liverpool on 19 October. According to Joe Lovejoy in the Sunday Times, Lucic's "impressive debut will finally have persuaded Michael Duberry that it is time to move on."
Lucic continued to appear regularly for United, playing both in the centre of defence and at left-back. He scored his only goal for Leeds in the 3-2 defeat at Chelsea on 28 January, poking the ball in from close range following a corner.
Lucic lost his place to Duberry after Peter Reid replaced Venables as manager in March 2003. His final appearance came in a 3-1 defeat at Liverpool on 23 March.
With AIK in some financial difficulties, United were given an option to make Lucic's stay permanent for £600,000, but Reid declined the offer and he was sold instead to Germany's Bayer Leverkusen at the end of May.
Lucic struggled to make an impact in Germany, appearing just eleven times over the next two seasons before returning to Sweden in 2005 to sign for BK Hacken.
He was sent off while playing for Sweden against Germany in their last game of the 2006 World Cup finals, his 86th and final international appearance.
Lucic signed for IF Elfsborg in January 2008 for £169,000 and after their final game of the 2010 season, announced his retirement as a player after 54 appearances for the club.