Date of birth: 11/07/2000
Nationality: North Macedonia
Lenguages spoken: Russian, English
Club: Shalke 04 (Stuttgard)
Scout: Marco Perbellini
Čurlinov played for various clubs in the Macedonian capital Skopje during his childhood. As a teenager, he was discovered by the scouts of the German third division club Hansa Rostock.
The latter signed talent to their youth department in 2014, but as there were issues with his fitness to play at first, the youngster trained with Rostock's suburban club, LSG Elmenhorst.
In the 2018/19 season the winger became the top scorer of the A-Junioren-Bundesliga Weststaffel with 18 goals. He also made an appearance for the second team in the fourth level of the Regionalliga West.
He made his Bundesliga debut during the second half of the 2-1 defeat to VfL Wolfsburg.
On 8 January 2020, after no further appearances in the Bundesliga and nine appearances in Regionalliga (six goals, two assists), Čurlinov moves to VfB Stuttgart and signs a contract until the end of June 2024. Following his first season in Stuttgart , with the VfB gets direct promotion to the Bundesliga.
In mid-August 2021, he moved to second division club FC Schalke 04 on loan until the end of the 2021/22 season.
As for his international career, Čurlinov was surprisingly called up for the friendly against Belarus in March 2017 in a 1-0 victory, becoming the youngest player ever to play for the Macedonian national team.
On June 4, 2021, he scored his first international goal in a 4-0 win over Kazakhstan. He has been called up to the North Macedonia team for Euro 2021.
-0.42 key pass per game
-1.86 shoot per game (63% accurate)
-0.26 cross per game (20% accurate)
-18 challenges - 4 aerial - 14 ground (34% won)
-2.2 dribbling per game (43% succesful)
-11 passes per game (77% accurate)
-0.51 goals per game
-16.4 expected goals (20)
Darko Churlinov is predominantly used as a left midfielder in a midfield in the 3-5-2 form.
Not infrequently, however, he is always used as a winger but in the opposite range, where he finds it more difficult and where his primary qualities are limited.
In the Macedonian national team he finds more consistency of performance as he is used in the role that best suits his characteristics than him, left winger in 4-2-3-1.
The boy is a normotype of medium height and slender structure, especially as regards the lower limbs, where the musculature is toned, of good definition but atrophic as regards the volume.
Darko is a handsome player in terms of explosive strength, he is quick and has good speed when cast in progression. Although he may seem lacking from a structural point of view, he does not give up physical clashes with opponents.
With his right foot, the boy is endowed with a great control of the ball oriented, with and without an opponent in contact, the conduction takes place in a precise way, quickly most of the time with the outside of the foot.
Dribbling and feints are his strong point that often lead him to create numerical superiority in the opposing half of the field, to return towards the center of the field and then look for or the shot, often around the far post, or to find a filtering assistant for the cut of companions.
Unfortunately, in my opinion, he is used in a role that penalizes him, when he, outside in a 5-man midfield, wastes too much energy in covering the entire range of his competence.
Energy that is then lacking in the possession phase, where, at times, he finds little clarity of thought or where he lacks the physical strength to be able to win physical clashes and duels with the opposing defenders.
This certainly also affects the psychological approach, where competition never fails but reactions to referee whistles or his mistakes are on the agenda.
He should find more consistency and be able to have a position on the pitch sewn on him that would highlight his technical qualities and hide his limits. He is certainly not a player suited to grind kilometers on the wing and continue to physically clash with opponents.
Rather unmarking in width and between the lines are characteristics that suit him best, carrying the ball with insertions that pierce the opponent's lines and then find unmarked passes in depth or game changes.
In recent seasons he lacks malice in the opponent's trocar, he has lost affinity with the goal, which in the youth sector he has shown to possess consistently.
The playing times are almost optimal, he easily finds the assist for his teammates, he knows when to play first or whether to keep the ball to favor the clearing of his teammates.
He should act with more continuity on the trocar field, where he could be more effective also thanks to his dynamism, and where he could still be useful tactically through a well-implemented pressing, he certainly does not lack a spirit of sacrifice.
In conclusion, he is certainly an interesting guy and also with room for improvement but in recent years he has not been able to make that leap in quality that his skills would guarantee him to make, this is also due to the fact that he has not managed to find continuity in the membership club; in fact, he has changed three in the last four years.