Jarni, durante un partido con el Real Betis Balompié.

Profile: Jarni

A magnificent left foot

The Croatian Robert Jarni, an outstanding left-footed footballer, with a great pace on the wing and an astonishing kick, played at Real Betis for three seasons, leaving behind an unforgettable memory.

Undisputable in the eleven, he was part of that great team managed by Lorenzo Serra, achieving great positions in LaLiga, getting to the 1997 Copa del Rey final, and playing UEFA Cup.

He was born in Cacovek (Croatia) on the 26th of October of 1968. Robert Jarni began his career at Hajduk Split in his home country to move later to Italian football, where he played for Bari, Torino and Juventus, in that order. With the last of them, he won the Italian league and cup.

Aged 26, he was signed by Real Betis in 1995 to fill up the important gap left by Rafael Gordillo's departure. It was published that the cost of the transfer was 580 million pesetas (around 3.5 million Euros) but in Italy it was said that the price was actually 2 million Dollars (less than half of was published in Spain)

His official debut took place on the 9th of September of 1995, Match 2 in LaLiga, in a home game against Real Zaragoza that ended with a Green and White victory (3-1). That same night was the debut of other historic players such as Alfonso Pérez, Pier Luigi Cherubino and Óscar Arpón.

His performances in the first two seasons at Betis were amazing. He played 82 official games and left details of his great skills.

In his third and last season, under the management of Luis Aragonés, he played 37 games, but his clash with the Club's board started to be well-known.

In the summer of 1998, Betis lowered his buyout clause so he could sign for Coventry. He went to the English city for the medical tests but, four days later, for everyone's surprise, he signed for Real Madrid.

In his three seasons at Real Betis, Robert Jarni played 119 official games (98 league; 10 Copa del Rey, 6 Cup Winners Cup; and 5 UEFA Cup) and scored 21 goals.

A name that is engraved in the Béticos memory for ever. A player like not many have been at Heliópolis. In 1998, in the France World Cup, he finished in 3rd position with the Croatian national team.

After Real Madrid, he finished his career at UD Las Palmas and Panathinaikos.