Standing at 2.02m, it’s impossible to miss Nikola Zigic, but the skyscraping forward’s football is also noticeable. Predictably formidable in the air, he is also capable of deceptive, accurate finishes with his right foot.
Born in September 1980, Zigic turned pro in 1998 and impressed for Backa Topola, Mornar Bar, Kolubara and Spartak Zlatibor before joining Crvena Zvezda in 2003. The Backa Topola native consequently scored 71 times in 110 games for the Belgrade big guns, helping them do the league and cup double in the 2003/04 and 2005/06 seasons.
Racing Santander took note, bought Zigic, paired him with Pedro Munitis and watched an intriguing little-and-large partnership fire them to tenth place in La Liga in 2006/07. So enamoured were Valencia that they parted with £20m to sign the hulking striker.
Zigic, however, struggled to break into a Che side spearheaded by David Villa. He had the opportunity to join Portsmouth on a temporary deal in January 2008, but nevertheless turned it down in order to fight for a first-team place at Valencia. It was a battle he failed to win and the following December, he returned to Racing on loan, hitting 13 goals in 19 outings during the remainder of the season before making his way back to the Mestalla, where he has since spent extended periods on the bench once again.
Zigic joined Premier League side Birmingham City in May 2010, signing a four-year contract, with the Midlands club reportedly paying £6m for his services.
Zigic debuted for Serbia and Montenegro in 2004, and delivered some excellent performances towards the end of the successful Germany 2006 qualification campaign. He sat out of their two opening group games at the FIFA World Cup™, but started their third and final match, scoring a 3-2 loss to Côte d'Ivoire.
The tallest player across all 32 nations at South Africa 2010, Zigic has become an automatic choice for Serbia coach Radomir Antic, and netted three goals in nine appearances during South Africa 2010 qualifying.