August Lešnik

August Lešnik (Croatian pronunciation: [ǎuɡust lêʃnik];[1][2] 16 July 1914 in Zagreb – 24 February 1992 in Zagreb) was a Croatian footballer. Lešnik played most of his club football for Građanski Zagreb. In 1941 he was the Croatian First League‘s top scorer while playing for Građanski, and performed the same feat twice in the Yugoslavian First League as well: in 1938 and 1939. He played for the Yugoslavian football team in the late 1930s and the Croatian national team from 1940 to 1944.

August Lešnik
Personal information
Date of birth (1914-07-16)16 July 1914
Place of birth Zagreb, Austria-Hungary
Date of death 24 February 1992(1992-02-24) (aged 77)
Place of death Zagreb, Croatia
Position(s) Forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1929–1934 HŠK Derby Zagreb
1934–1936 HŠK Šparta Zagreb
1936–1945 Građanski Zagreb
1945–1946 Dinamo Zagreb
1946–1948 Dubrava
1948–1949 Dinamo Zagreb
National team
1937–1940 Yugoslavia 10 (4)
1940–1944 Croatia 9 (6)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

. . . August Lešnik . . .

Lešnik started his career in 1929 playing for local club HŠK Derby. He spent there five years, and after that had a short spell in HŠK Šparta Zagreb. In 1936 Lešnik started playing for Građanski Zagreb, the club where spent most of his career. In the first four years at Građanski, he was twice the top goalscorer of Yugoslav First League. In the 1937–38 season he scored 17 goals in 18 matches, and the following season 22 goals in as much games.[3] He clinched two titles with Građanski in 1937 and 1940, and one of his most famous club matches occurred in spring 1937 against BSK in Belgrade in which Lešnik scored a hat-trick in the first seven minutes of the game.

In 1936, Lešnik scored three goals in an exhibition match against Liverpool F.C. which Građanski won 5–1.[4]

After World War II, Građanski was disbanded by the communist Yugoslav authorities, and Lešnik finished his career with the newly formed Dinamo Zagreb.

Lešnik had a natural instinct for goal and was very crafty and adept in using the opportunities to score; he was humorously described as being able to “score four goals out of two chances”. Despite his abilities, he remained a controversial player due to an apparent absence of interest or effort in many games; it was often said that his kit remained white and spotless even in the muddiest of conditions. Lešnik did not like to train either: he trained only on Fridays, while his teammates trained three times a week. By his own admission, he used his left foot “only for walking”. Nevertheless, Lešnik was famed for his sudden sprinting bursts, usually close to goal, and his agility and execution were unmatched by any Dinamo player until generations later, by strikers such as Dražan Jerković and Davor Šuker.[5]

  1. “Àugust”. Hrvatski jezični portal (in Serbo-Croatian). Retrieved 17 March 2018. Àugust
  2. “lijéska”. Hrvatski jezični portal (in Serbo-Croatian). Retrieved 17 March 2018. Lȅšnik
  3. Purić, Bojan (23 April 2001). “90 godina Građanskog”. (in Croatian). Retrieved 5 April 2011.
  4. Židak, Tomislav (18 May 2007). “Purgeri ispratili Liverpool sa 5-1 i banketom u Grozdu”. (in Croatian). Archived from the original on 21 October 2012. Retrieved 5 April 2011.
  5. “Uništio je Liverpool, Beograđane bacio u očaj, a njegove anegdote i danas su hit: Kazalište puno, nema karata, a ja naletio na dva Zagrepčana…”Sportske novosti (in Croatian). 12 April 2020. Retrieved 5 January 2021.

. . . August Lešnik . . .

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. . . August Lešnik . . .