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 DRAGO VABEC 1979-1983 
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Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:51 pm
Posts: 3
Name: Dragutin Vabec



Country: :CRO: Croatian / :YUG: Yugoslavia
Club: Stade Brestois 29
Position: *WF,SS
Side: RF/LS
Age: 29-33

Height: 1,73
Weight: ?

Defence: 55
Balance: 78
Stamina: 79
Top Speed: 81
Acceleration: 86
Response: 82
Agility: 80
Dribble Accuracy: 93
Dribble Speed: 90
Short Pass Accuracy: 72
Short Pass Speed: 73
Long Pass Accuracy: 81
Long Pass Speed: 78
Shot Accuracy: 83
Shot Power: 85
Shot Technique: 86
Free Kick Accuracy: 81
Curling: 79
Header: 72
Jump: 80
Technique: 88
Aggression: 86
Mentality: 82
Goalkeeper Skills: 50
Team Work: 80

Injury Tolerance: B
Condition/Fitness: 6
Weak Foot Accuracy: 7
Weak Foot Frequency: 7
Consistency: 6
Growth type: NORMAL

P03 - Trickster
P04 - Darting Run
P05 - Mazing Run

SPECIAL ABILITIES:side - dribbling-tactical dribble

Attack/Defence Awareness Card:

Free Kick Style: -
Penalty Kick Style: -
Goalkeeper Style: -


looking at old formations of yugoslavia i came across the name drago vabec i decided to research about his career and i found that he holds on his back the legendary status in dinamo zagreb and stade bretois 29, look for some videos and the similarity of his running form is impressive like playing ball with george best,Drago can dribble breaking hips or even dribble past several rivals without any problem, he has a punch that can be subtle and at the same time very powerful, which also makes him a good centering device.
almost all his videos are from his time at stade brestois 29 I will leave some below

Last edited by 32yaguarete32 on Mon Aug 16, 2021 9:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Sun Aug 09, 2020 6:19 am

Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2020 11:24 am
Posts: 6
First of all, thank you for taking the time to create the statistics of Drago Vabec who is still considered the best player in the history of Stade Brestois. A club that has nevertheless counted in its ranks some great talents: Roberto Cabanas, David Ginola, Bernard Lama, Corentin Martins or more recently Franck Ribéry ...
Drago Vabec is also regularly cited as one of the best players in the history of Dinamo Zagreb, despite the fact that he played there in a fruitless period in titles.
This is not the first time that I read comments evoking a resemblance between the game of George Best and that of Drago Vabec. I can only agree with you on this point (on the net I have already read the funny nickname of George Brest for Drago).

I would like to make some general remarks about the player.

A recent article on the Dinamo Zagreb official website celebrating Drago Vabec's 70th birthday recalled how well he was a complete player. ... NReZAxYRRA

Indeed his various coaches made him play in different positions. “Not because they didn't know where to place him on the pitch, but because on the contrary, they would have liked to put him in each of those roles. His former partner Josip Kuže said, "Anyone who has played with Dragutin will agree that no player more complete than he has played at Maksimir. He played with both feet, great dribbler, long or short game, inspiration, head game, defensive tasks ... "Of" had it all. " (« Of » was one of the nickname of Drago Vabec).

At Dinamo, he ultimately remained known mainly for two roles: left winger and "ten", that is to say "playmaker". "
In Brest, he played most of the time as a left winger, but sometimes had to (due to injuries to his colleagues or for tactical reasons) take on other roles: center forward, playmaker and even libero.

I find the statistics you are proposing fair overall, but some require, in my opinion, an adjustment. Drago Vabec had a very honorable career but many agree that he could have done much better. His abilities were, indeed, quite phenomenal.

Here are the changes I propose :
- Attack
8287 is the rating attributed to Zlatko Kranjčar, another Dinamo legend and to Roberto Cabañas, one of the best players seen in Brest. 87 therefore seems to me to be an adequate note. As a reminder, Drago Vabec has scored 46 goals in 90 1st division games while playing for Brest. Statistics that command respect, especially for a winger.

- Balance
Very good sense of balance, very low center of gravity, strong muscles, I think we can give him at least 80.

- Top Speed
During his last years in Brest, Drago Vabec had lost a little of his speed but he started from very high ! As a teenager, he participated in regional athletics competitions and was then timed to less than 11 seconds in the 100m !
When I see that Michel Platini has a score of 82 in speed, it is obvious that 81 is insufficient for Vabec. He was also faster than Six and Rocheteau who have 87.

- Acceleration
As you can see from the videos he was very explosive, if I compare to the ratings of Six (89) and Rocheteau (91) he deserves at least 90.

- Agility
There again, it deserves a note similar to those of Six (89) or Rocheteau (88).

- Short Pass Accuracy
72 → 85
For this statistic (and the next one) the scores seem unusually low to me. Drago Vabec was known for the precision of his passes, short and long. When he had his first selections for the Yugoslavian national team (1973), he was also playing playmaker at Dinamo ! It is therefore difficult to go below 85.

- Short Pass Speed
73 → 82
The same note as that of Didier Six, again that does not seem to me to be usurped.

- Long Pass Accuracy
He deserves no less than Šurjak (89). Of all the players I saw playing in Brest, the only one who offered a similar quality of cross (and also with both feet) was David Ginola.

- Long Pass Speed
Rocheteau (83), Six (81), Šurjak (82) : Vabec deserves a similar note.

- Shot Accuracy
His shots were very dangerous in their precision and power.

- Shot Power
A power comparable to that of Šurjak.

- Technical Shot
DragoVabec, as said above, was a very complete player, but, in Brest, the two peculiarities that everyone remembers are his formidable shots and his breathtaking dribbling. He explains that to shot, he used the "patellar reflex".

- Curling
79 85
If his shots were often very "pure", he knew how to put a lot of effect in these centers and corners.

- Header
72 → 78
Despite his small size (probably closer to 1m71 than the official 1m73) he had a good head game, thanks to his timing and good vertical jump.

- Technique
88, it is halfway between the scores of Šurjak (81) and Sušić (95). The quality of Vabec's controls came closer to that of the second.

Finally, here are some comments from former players, coaches and journalists.

« Vabec was a great player, ahead of his time. He had it all: technique, vista, shot, speed, ability to accelerate... His very low center of gravity made him particularly confusing. He didn't have the career that matched his talent. »
Branko Gračanin (former Dinamo player)

« I remember seeing Drago Vabec playing a match at the Parc des Princes against Paris-Saint-Germain who were already a very good team...
That day made a tremendous impression on me about his physical qualities, his speed, his playing intelligence and everything that makes a great footballer. The show he put on and, what's more, on the outside was that of a player of immense quality. »
Jean-Michel Larqué (former Saint-Etienne player, journalist)

Drago Vabec is in my opinion one of the five greatest players in club history. He is at the level of great players such as Drazen Jerković, Stjepan Lamza, Zlatko Kranjčar, Marko Mlinarić or Robert Prosinečki. Drago Vabec was never champion of Yugoslavia because he played at Dinamo which then did not have a great team, but by his dribbling, his brilliant crosses and his goals he was one of the best players in the Yugoslav league who made then part of the European top 5.
Tomislav Židak (was journalist at Jutarni List)

When you talk about the best players in Dinamo history, you always remember Stepan Lamza, Marko Mlinarić and Cico Kranjčar, but certainly Drago Vabec ranks among the first.
Ismet Hadžić, ancien joueur du Dinamo.

"I played with great players like Jean-Pierre Papin, Abedi Pelé, Ricardo, David Ginola but one of the most unknown is Drago Vabec. I saw him for 3 years in Brest and he was a phenomenon ... Drago had the qualities of Valdo but he was faster and he dribbled as well or better than Chris Waddle. "
Bernard Pardo (former player of Brest, Bordeaux, Marseille...)

“Regarding Brest, it is necessary that Vabec, a great player, is in good shape for this team to obtain such results. "
Michel Platini after a match Brest-Saint-Etienne in 1981

“By far the best left winger in France, arguably one of the best in Europe. It's simple, he does what he wants when he wants."
Francois Sorton, journalist for the magazine Mondial (avril 1982)

“You can blame Vabec for being too individualistic at times, but he sows a wind of disorder every time he touches the ball. He is for sure the best left winger operating in France. And in the circumstance, our country can even annex Stuttgart, that does not change anything! You see what I mean... "
Guy Roux in 1981(former Auxerre coach) He alludes to Didier Six in his last sentence.

“Of all the players I have had to lead during my entire career, he is certainly the most talented. Without Dzajic, he would have had a great international career with Yugoslavia. "
Dušan Nenković  in 1982 (former Hajduk Split and Brest coach)

Mon Nov 16, 2020 7:25 pm
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Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:08 am
Posts: 251
Drago was indeed a magical player, I like the George Brest nickname, really suits him :D
Overall I agree with the suggestions from SB1950, however I would like to tackle some of them:

- Short pass accuracy: 72 -> 84 even one Dzajic has 84 the most, Giggs at 86 etc
- Long pass accuracy: 81-> 87 again ,comparing to Giggs' stats, he's got 89 at best, i don't think Drago was such a good provider.. Nedved at 85, Keizer at 88, Moulijn 87, Libuda 85... some of the best player with many assists are over 90 and in that range between 91-97

They're mostly different players from Drago, but again Drago was not known so much for his assists - just putting it into perspective

- Shot Power: 85-> 86 I would move it just by 1 point
- Curling: 79-> 83 I agree with SB1950 and I would raise it for a few points, there was definitely a decent curve in his boots

Attack, Balance, Speed and Acceleration, Agility, Header and Technique I fully agree with SB1950

- Weak Foot Accuracy: 8
- Weak Foot Frequency: 8

You couldn't see if he was left or right-footed.. Many people thought he was a originally left-footed player!

Based also on what i've saw and read, I would suggest adding a couple of things:

Early Cross - i've seen he often tried finding players in this way
Incisive run - he would very often cut from wide and go straight to the goal
Long Ranger - some spectacular goals from way back, a lot of stories (not just videos) of him scoring from 35-40m
1-touch Play - Not so often with passing as he liked to hold the ball more, but more related to his shooting (not to mention his famous drop-kick goal vs Sweden in 1975 which ran across tv stations in Yugoslavia..)

Special Abilities:
Reaction, 1-touch Play, Middle-Shooting

P.S. definitely needs to have Both sides in the Side section, not just on the left...essentially he could play anywhere, probably the most versatile player in Croatian history (yes, even in CB).

Finally, I definitely think Drago deserves to have an earlier set of his time in Dinamo, maybe something like 73-77 when he also had appearances for the National Team. However in this period also he was very individualistic and his teammates would say that he was selfish, rarely passing the ball, but still praising him as the best there was at the time!

Fri May 13, 2022 10:49 am
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Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2020 11:24 am
Posts: 6
Thank you very much for your answer and your suggestions, Kolektivitet!
It's always a pleasure to talk about Drago Vabec, a player who really made me dream!
In Brest too, Drago has sometimes been accused of individualism. And in his statistics (in Brest), there are about 5 times more goals than assists... He was not appreciated by all his teammates but all had to bow to his talent !

Fri May 27, 2022 7:19 pm

Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2020 11:24 am
Posts: 6
I saw that links to this page have been added for Dinamo Zagreb All Stars and Yugoslavia 1976. That's a good thing! (Just need to add it for Stade Brestois All Stars)
On the other hand, a quick comparison with other players from these teams only reinforces my opinion: certain statistics attributed to Vabec are not consistent, especially with regard to passing and speed.

If I mix the figures of 32yaguarete32, those of Kolektivitet and mine, we would arrive at this:

Attack: 87
Defence: 55
Balance: 80
Stamina: 79
Top Speed: 88
Acceleration: 90
Response: 82
Agility: 89
Dribble Accuracy: 93
Dribble Speed: 90
Short Pass Accuracy: 84
Short Pass Speed: 82
Long Pass Accuracy: 87
Long Pass Speed: 82
Shot Accuracy: 85
Shot Power: 86
Shot Technique: 88
Free Kick Accuracy: 81
Curling: 83
Header: 78
Jump: 80
Technique: 90
Aggression: 86
Mentality: 82
Goalkeeper Skills: 50
Team Work: 80

Injury Tolerance: B
Condition/Fitness: 6
Weak Foot Accuracy: 8
Weak Foot Frequency: 8
Consistency: 6
Growth type: NORMAL

P03 - Trickster
P04 - Darting Run
P05 - Mazing Run

SPECIAL ABILITIES:side - dribbling-tactical dribble

Attack/Defence Awareness Card:

Free Kick Style: -
Penalty Kick Style: -
Goalkeeper Style: -
Early Cross -
Incisive run -
Long Ranger -
1-touch Play -

Sat Nov 05, 2022 12:18 pm

Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2020 11:24 am
Posts: 6
Here's another article that argues for a ratings hike for Drago Vabec

" Although Vabec played mostly as a left winger, he was an excellent right winger too, and could also play at a high level as a midfielder or a defender. The football experts deem him the most versatile player in Dinamo's history. Vabec was described as a highly intelligent player, with superb technique and passing skills, and equally adept with both feet." ... i-15001272

Fri Nov 18, 2022 2:26 pm
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