Asmir Begovic Profile
|Born||Jun 20, 1987|
After carving a successful Premier League career at Stoke City and Chelsea, Asmir Begovic is currently the goalkeeper of AFC Bournemouth and is trying to return to the top flight of English soccer.
Asmir Begovic is a professional soccer player who plays as a goalkeeper for Championship side AFC Bournemouth. He is also a veteran of the Bosnia & Herzegovina national team, having received his first call-up for them in 2009 after previously representing Canada at U-20 level.
Now at Bournemouth, Begovic is best-known for his stints in the Premier League with Stoke City and Chelsea. He was part of the Chelsea squad which won the 2016/17 Premier League title under Antonio Conte, but served as a back-up option for Belgian international Thibaut Courtois.
Begovic has represented many clubs throughout the course of his career, including La Louviere, Macclesfield Town, Ipswich Town and Yeovil Town on loan from Portsmouth and Qarabag on loan from Bournemouth.
Other than Chelsea, Begovic's brief time at the top of European soccer was with AC Milan, with whom he spent time on loan in the 2019/20 season from Bournemouth. Once again, Begovic's role in the side was limited.
Time at Portsmouth
Begovic's first Premier League club was Portsmouth, but he rarely featured in the side there as David James had an iron grip on a starting role between the sticks.
After six years on the books of Pompey and several loan stints, Begovic was finally handed his debut in a 3-1 win over Sunderland on May 18, 2009.
He was recalled early from his loan spell at Ipswich Town the following season due to injury to James. Begovic played 15 matches for Portsmouth in their ill-fated 2009/10 campaign, their last in the Premier League to date.
Scoring at Stoke
He subsequently joined Stoke City on February 1, 2010. The fee for his transfer was reported to be around £3.25million.
"We have been tracking Asmir for some time and we believe that potentially he is the best young keeper in the country," said Tony Pulis, the manager at the time of Begovic signing for the Potters.
Begovic made his debut on April 25, replacing the injured Thomas Sorensen in the 35th minute of a clash with Chelsea. However, he could not prevent Stoke suffering a heavy defeat to the eventual league champions.
Begovic was handed the No. 1 jersey by Pulis the following season and became the first-choice goalkeeper.
Although he was briefly dropped in the 2011/12 season, he earned a four-and-a-half-year contract extension in December 2011 and won his place back in March 2012.
Begovic began the 2012/13 season in fine form, conceding just 12 goals in Stoke's opening 15 matches. He went on to win the club's Player of the Year award.
On November 2, 2013, Begovic earned his place in the 2015 Guinness World Records for the 'longest goal scored in soccer'. He scored from 97.5 yards out against Southampton, beating opposite number Artur Boruc just 13 seconds in.
Begovic remained at Stoke City until the end of the 2014/15 season. He was dropped by Mark Hughes for three matches after a mistake against Sunderland and subsequently departed for reigning Premier League champions Chelsea, signing a four-year deal for a reported fee of £8million.
In return, Chelsea midfielder Marco van Ginkel was sent on loan to Stoke for a year, but eventually had his loan terminated in February 2016.
Spell at Chelsea
The Blues had steamrollered their way to the Premier League title in 2014/15 under Jose Mourinho, but struggled to get out of the blocks in the 2015/16 campaign.
After Thibaut Courtois' red card in the 2-2 draw with Swansea City, Begovic was thrust into the limelight as he enjoyed plenty of playing time in the early stages of the campaign.
Mourinho was sacked in December 2015 and replaced by Guus Hiddink on an interim basis. Chelsea finished the season 10th in the Premier League and crashed out of the UEFA Champions League in the round-of-16 after losing 2-1 home and away to PSG. It was the club's worst season since the takeover of Russian owner Roman Abramovich in 2003.
Begovic made a total of 25 appearances in all competitions for Chelsea throughout the course of the 2015/16 season.
In 2016/17, Begovic worked under a new head coach, Antonio Conte. The former Juventus boss engineered Chelsea's revival as he switched the team to a formation built upon a back three of Gary Cahill, David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta, with Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses operating as wing-backs.
Chelsea won the Premier League title at a canter once more, but Begovic's playing time was limited and he left the club after the season concluded.
Starring for Bournemouth
Begovic played every match for Bournemouth in their 2017/18 Premier League campaign. He featured regularly in 2018/19 too before going on loan to Qarabag and then AC Milan in 2019/20.
Begovic returned to Bournemouth for the 2020/21 season and has played a crucial role for them in the Championship, with the team seeking immediate promotion back to the Premier League.
Bosnia & Herzegovina national team
Despite initially indicating that he would prefer to play for Canada and representing them at youth level, Begovic ultimately chose to play for Bosnia & Herzegovina, accepting a call-up from them in August 2009.
"I was born in Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina is my homeland and I wouldn't be disappointed even if I don't get a chance to play right away," he said.
He became Bosnia's first-choice goalkeeper in August 2012 and has held down the position for the best part of the last decade.
Begovic married the American-born Nicolle Howard on June 18, 2011. The couple have two daughters, Taylor and Blair Rose.
Begovic spent much of his childhood in Germany, moving there from SFR Yugoslavia aged four. He reportedly supported Bayern Munich and idolised Oliver Kahn.
He is fluent in German, English and French, as well as Bosnian. He started his own charity, the Asmir Begovic Foundation, in October 2013.
His younger brother, Denis, plays for Shaw University as a goalkeeper and was previously with Bristol City U-18s.
According to Spotrac, Begovic earns a base salary of £3,640,000 annually at Bournemouth.