Hajduk Split recruited a striker with Premier League experience, Nikola Kalinic, for the remainder of the season on minimum wage.

The inspiring story of Nikola Kalinic’s return to his boyhood club is brimming with joyous nostalgia and unquenchable love. His career, which has been full of ups and downs,

Both the highs and the lows of his career have been substantial. It has now rounded full circle as he returns to Hajduk Split on a very meager $1.1 deal.

The significance of this five-month symbolic act outweighs that of any financially rewarding agreement. This further proves the veteran’s undying devotion to the team he has always loved.

What did Hajduk say of its former player’s return?

The fact that Nikola Kalinic has decided to return to Hajduk Split and wear the No. 9 jersey again reflects his commitment. Following Aleksandar Trajkovski’s voluntary switch to jersey number 27, the club announced that he would be resuming his usual number 9 shirt.

It was in 2017 when the Croat chose his career above financial gain when he rejected a very generous offer from Tianjin Quanjian, a Chinese Super League team. Thus, it makes his homecoming all the more remarkable.

Now that he’s back with Hajduk Split, Kalinic wants to assist the team win the Croatian championship for the first time since 2005. They are presently in first place in the domestic league standings.

Following Wednesday’s announcement of Kalinic’s comeback, Mindaugas Nikolicius, Split’s sports director, explained:  “This was the easiest deal in my 3 years at Hajduk – it’s a 1 euro salary.

“Nikola returns with one aim: help Hajduk to win the title after 19 years. We all know what kind of situation he was in, we need to give him some time and see what form he will be in.”

Nikola Kalinic: Trip through highs and lows leads back to Hajduk

Despite seeing it as the ‘easiest deal’, it differs from a standard contract. It is a touching demonstration of dedication to the club and the sport.

This displays Kalinic’s unwavering commitment to Hajduk Split. It is a club that has played a pivotal role in his career. It has guided him to glory in 2018’s UEFA Super Cup and 2022 and 2023’s Croatian Cup titles.

With his return to the club marking his third stint there, Kalinic embodies all that is great about football: passion, devotion, and love for one’s team.

It has been an exciting and unpredictable journey for the 35-year-old’s career. After a lackluster stint with Blackburn Rovers, he finally found his groove with Ukrainian club Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. In the Premier League, he scored 13 goals in 53 games.

This comeback established the groundwork for fruitful seasons with Fiorentina, AC Milan, and Roma in Serie A, as well as a spell with Atletico Madrid in Spain. Regardless of these achievements, the striker parted ways with Hellas Verona in 2022.

Last year, Nikola took a hiatus when his contract with Hajduk ended in July. Even though he hasn’t played since May, coach Mislav Karoglan has a special conditioning plan to prepare him.