Robert Prosinecki's Portsmouth love affair immortalised in book exploring Croatian star's wonderful Fratton Park season

He’s the cultured Croat whose one season cameo continues to be savoured 19 years later.

By Neil Allen
Thursday, 18th February 2021, 1:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th February 2021, 2:56 pm
Robert Prosinecki remains a huge Fratton Park favourite - and now a book has been written about the Croat and his sole Pompey season
Robert Prosinecki remains a huge Fratton Park favourite - and now a book has been written about the Croat and his sole Pompey season

Now journalist and Pompey supporter Gary Tipp has written a book about the enigmatic Robert Prosinecki.

Recruited by Blues own Milan Mandaric in August 2001, the former Barceona and Real Madrid star lit up Fratton Park in the 2001-02 season.

Pompey finished 17th in Division One, a disappointing campaign which cost manager Graham Rix, yet Prosinecki established himself in Fratton folklore.

Striving to explore the midfield genius’ time on the south coast, Tipp has released Prosinecki In Blue – A Season Of Uncommon Artistry.

And he hopes it does justice to a Pompey genius.

Tipp said: ‘The first time I ever saw Prosinecki play was while I was editor of Total Football magazine.

‘I went to the 1998 World Cup finals in France – and the first match I attended was Jamaica against Croatia.

Pompey fan Gary Tipp has written a book on Robert Prosinecki - and his remarkable Fratton Park impact

‘Being a Pompey fan, I was rooting for Fitzroy Simpson, Deon Burton, Darryl Powell and Paul Hall – but I loved how Croatia were passing the ball.

‘Prosinecki was mesmerising in possession and then scored an amazing goal. Typically he did a dummy, sold the defender, and then curled a shot into the top corner. It looked so easy.

‘The next time I saw him play was at Fratton Park in the Worthington Cup against Colchester. For him to land at Fratton Park felt special to me.

‘Brought up watching Pompey, Prosinecki was unlike anything I had seen.

‘The way he was able to manipulate the ball, run the game, his range of passing was insane, he could be man marked and it wouldn't make any difference.

‘He was a generational player – and I felt it was time for a book on him.’

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Prosinecki’s former team-mate Kevin Harper wrote the book’s foreword, while Linvoy Primus, Fred Dinenage, Mick Robinson and Shaun Derry also contributed.

In addition, Tipp encouraged supporters to get involved, supplying their memories of the Croatian crowd favourite.

He added: ‘It’s the 2001-02 season told through the prism of Prosinecki.

‘To me, Prosinecki was the ultimate crowd pleaser and it made sense to get the crowd in the book as well.

‘I interviewed lots of fans, the love of him is extremely enduring – and to many he’s their favourite ever Pompey player.’

Prosinecki In Blue – A Season Of Uncommon Artistry is priced £8.99 and available for order from [email protected], on Twitter @pompeyelevens or eBay

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