Friday, 26 November 2021

Croatian PlantOn App Offers Users "Garden in Their Palm"

November the 26th, 2021 - The Croatian PlantOn app allows its users to access their garden ''in their palm'' from wherever they might be.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes, Goran Markovanovic and Mario Salai from Slavonia created the Croatian PlantOn app, which provides its customers and producers with a "garden in the palm of your hand" experience, with direct connections between the user and the grower permitted with ease.

The user of the Croatian PlantOn app is directly connected to the producer from whom they have rented the garden, while the same producer grows vegetables for the user and sends them all of the crops from their garden to their home address.

By paying for the service, the buyer provides farmers with a fixed monthly income throughout the year, and the family does not have to worry about the placement and sale of their vegetables.

“The Croatian PlantOn app also opens up new employment opportunities for local farmers, and better quality control and product quantity planning reduces the risk of overproduction, unnecessary production and food waste. When a user asks to rent a garden, they can do so even when planting has only just begun, so the crop can be already fully sold, which provides family farms with security and additional motivation, and direct delivery ensures the better hygiene and freshness of the vegetables. The PlantOn system enables income to be kept in the hands of the ''small'' people, who will retain purchasing power and improve the economy of the more rural parts of Croatia,'' said Markovanovic.

All activities from the field are available to tenants via the Croatian PlantOn app so they can see their garden at any time. In this way, the customer gets healthy, locally grown foods easily and they even know exactly how they've been grown and where they've come from.

As Markovanovic and Salai added, the delivery of fresh vegetables from Slavonia and Baranja gardens is possible to all parts of Croatia. They have three packages - Family (eight types of vegetables), Custom (the buyer chooses everything down to the last bit) or Business, which is intended only for business entities (this is done only with large areas with the cultivation of crops of choice). In addition to growing vegetables, the app also offers seasonal nutrition tips and different recipes.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Friday, 26 November 2021

Zagreb Brewery to Begin Producing Popular Irish Beer Brand in 2022

November the 26th, 2021 - The well known Zagreb Brewery (Zagrebacka pivovara) is set to start producing one of the world's most popular beer brands as of next year, which is sure to delight many.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes, Diageo, the world's leading premium beverage company, producer of Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Guinness, has announced a partnership with Zagreb Brewery, a member of the Molson Coors Beverage Company, to distribute Diago's beer portfolio across the Republic of Croatia starting on January the 1st next year.

For Diageo, the strategic partnership with Molson Coors will help the Guinness and Kilkenny brands to market even more rapidly with the strong presence of the Zagreb Brewery's distribution channels here in Croatia.

"We're pleased to be able to announce our new partnership with Molson Coors in Eastern Europe. We're going to continue to develop our marketing strategy and we believe that this collaboration will help us significantly increase the availability of our beer brands. We look forward to the opportunities and growth we can achieve together with Molson Coors in Croatia with our brands and future innovations,'' said Michael Holm, the Diageo CEO for Eastern Europe.

Sergey Yeskov, CEO of Molson Coors Beverage Company for Central and Eastern Europe, said they want to expand their portfolio to allow them to offer premium brands. They also want to find partners with the same values ​​as Molson Coors, who, as he pointed out, are “rooted in quality, workmanship and heritage”.

“We're excited and proud that we're going to be able to distribute these two global Diage brand icons here in Croatia. We will continue to invest in products that are more than premium and use our distribution network to bring Guinness and Kilkenny, which perfectly complement our great portfolio, closer to beer lovers across the country,'' said Yeskov.

Guinness is a very well known dark Irish stout created at the Arthur Guinness Brewery in St. Louis. James’s Gate, in Dublin back in 1759. It is one of the world's most successful alcohol brands, produced in almost 50 countries and available in more than 120 countries of the world. Kilkenny is also an Irish beer produced by Guinness, which originates from Kilkenny in Ireland.

For more, check out our business section.

Friday, 26 November 2021

Covid-Related Economic Fears Still Strong for Croatian Exporters

November the 26th, 2021 - Croatian exporters are still dealing with concerns related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the economic issues that it has created over the best part of the last two years.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Ana Blaskovic writes, in a sea of ​​bad news which has been circulating since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic - restrictions, bottlenecks in supplies, energy spikes and the latest headaches due to inflation - there's also a bit of good news here and there. The euro slipped to its lowest value against the dollar since July last year, giving exporters dealing in the single currency a competitive advantage globally.

The effect unfortunately won't really spill over significantly to Croatian exporters and other domestic producers because the lion's share of foreign trade takes place in euros. However, good export trends could be disrupted by new ''lockdowns'' which have been reintroduced in some European countries, especially Austria and Germany.

The single currency lost about 8 percent of its value against the US dollar in one year. The decline reflects the fact that the European Union had to pay a very high price during a pandemic, from the initial confusion to public conflict over vaccines that have led to high death rates and blows to respective EU economies.

Despite the rapid recovery we've seen in recent months, markets continue to perceive relative lagging behind global players.

“Europe has a fundamental problem of reducing the trade surplus because it has two major challenges; rising energy prices and raw material vulnerabilities ”, explained Zeljko Lovrincevic from the Institute of Economics. The implementation of the Green Agenda, which is being firmly pushed by richer EU member states and is the backbone of EU policy, carries a high price for the poorer nations.

"Although the euro has weakened considerably, not only against the dollar but also against other currencies, trade has deteriorated as import prices have risen," Lovrincevic said, noting that EU producers ultimately didn't benefit too much from the currency's frequent weakening, and that's the situation for Croatia as well.

Eurostat figures clearly testify to the slowdown in the bloc's trade. The EU's trade surplus with the world fell to 4.8 billion euros back during the month of August this year, from 14 billion euros in the same month a year ago. In September, the total trade surplus fell to 7.3 billion euros, while in 2020 it amounted to 24.1 billion euros.

The weaker euro was also contributed by the position of the European Central Bank that the current inflation is only a temporary disturbance due to which it will not hurry with the raising of interest rates. ECB chief Christine Lagarde has made it clear that tightening monetary policy would "do more harm than good" and that it is "unlikely" that the conditions will be met next year either.

Consumer price growth accelerated to 4.1 percent in the Eurozone and 4.4 percent at the European Union level in October. In the conditions of a stable exchange rate, inflation in Croatia spills over through import prices, especially in regard to energy and food, and prices rose by 3.8 percent in October.

"For the EU, this means that inflation will not only be a short-term phenomenon, but that it will be present in the long run instead. This is a consequence of targeting monetary moves according to the needs of the weakest member states, so it is expected that the ECB will be the last to raise interest rates,'' it was explained.

Croatian exporters, who are often rumored to be the best part of the economy, will be more affected by accelerating prices in the business environment. The more inflation persists, the expectations for further growth are built into contracts on salaries, suppliers, pensions… The first test of whether an inflation clause will be arrived to in this country will be the current negotiations between the state and public sector unions on a new collective agreement. If the unions do succeed in breaking the ice, the others will go the same way too.

Local producers will thus not benefit from a weaker euro as they are firmly tied to exports to the European Union; exports to other member states make up about 70 percent of the total value of exports, while a significant part of exports to EFTA and CEFTA countries are realised solely in euros, they stated from the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK).

They added that in the global market over more recent years there have been significant oscillations in the movement of the euro against other currencies, so when contracting new export transactions it is not possible to be guided by the current depreciation trends.In addition, it should be emphasised that regardless of the current trend of the weakening of the euro, its average value against the dollar (and thus against currencies linked to the dollar) and the Swiss franc in the first ten months of this year was higher than in the same period last year.

There is now an immediate problem placed at the door of European and Croatian exporters - new ''lockdowns'' that were eagerly rejected by politics until recently, but which have been reintroduced by some nations. "The introduction of new covid restrictions in several Eurozone member states will certainly have additional adverse effects on the economy of the Eurozone, to which the majority of Croatian exports are tied. This isn't good news for Croatian exporters and producers at all, especially since the Eurozone trade surplus to the rest of the world decreased significantly in 2021 compared to what we saw in 2020, and Croatian exporters depend on the likes of Germany and other Eurozone members, so their economic weakening means and lower potential for our export placement and Croatian GDP growth,'' explained worried Croatian exporters.

For more, check out our business section.

Friday, 26 November 2021

Innovative Croatian ScanShop App Being Tested Out by NTL

November the 26th, 2021 - The large shopping chain NTL (Narodni trgovacki lanac) has been testing out the innovative new Croatian ScanShop app in its stores.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes, the NTL chain is starting to test out the Croatian ScanShop app in its stores, which allows the customer to independently scan the desired items in the store via their own mobile phone and thus skip the queues for the cash register. This is a practice already common in some large Northern European chains, such as the British Tesco.

The Croatian ScanShop app allows shoppers more time to select their products instead of standing and waiting in lines at the checkout, it reduces frustration for the customer and makes the experience more positive in general. It also provides the user with personalised content based on their shopping list and previous purchases, as well as all information about the product(s) or various promotions in individual stores.

"We're glad to have the opportunity to be the first to test out an innovative Croatian product and check the technical and operational possibilities for its implementation. With the support of small technological start-up companies, our goal is certainly to provide our customers with even greater customer satisfaction. The introduction of the Croatian ScanShop app potentially opens the possibility for the better use of the time of our employees so that they, instead of at the checkout, are at the service of customers when they're shopping and are actually choosing products,'' said the director of NTL, Martin Evacic.

As part of a European Union (EU) project, the Croatian ScanShop app has reached a stage where it is ready for use in stores, but continued testing in real conditions is a necessary prerequisite for the further development of the application to reach its full potential.

"We're happy that NTL has recognised us as a possible partner and allowed us to test out our application in real conditions. In this phase, the Croatian ScanShop app development team improve things with the support of NTL employees, and we hope that the knowledge from the test phase will enable ScanShop to progress even more, and with the support of investors, it will be available to the general public and as many stores as possible,'' said Luka Buljan on behalf of the technology team developing the application.

The development of the application was supported by European Union funds, which emphasises the financing of radical innovations with the potential for success. The total value of the project was 1.6 million kuna, of which EU funds financed 85 percent.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Friday, 26 November 2021

Donna Vekić Becomes New Brand Ambassador of Peugeot Croatia

November 26, 2021 - Osijek native and Croatian tennis star Donna Vekić is the new brand ambassador of Peugeot Croatia!

Croatian tennis player Donna Vekić, who won her third WTA tournament last month, signed a one-year collaboration with the Peugeot brand and became its Croatian Brand Ambassador.

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Tennis has been a part of the Peugeot brand for decades, and this sport best represents its values. Namely, tennis has been woven into the brand’s genes for almost 50 years. Peugeot actively cooperates with crucial organizations and tennis players and is undoubtedly one of the most visible car brands. In addition to the partnership it has had with significant tennis organizations, Peugeot is partnering with tennis players, including the most famous and best among them, Novak Djokovic.

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Accordingly, Peugeot Croatia decided to cooperate with Croatian tennis player Donna Vekić to support her in conquering the top of the tennis world. Donna Vekić, known for her relentless motivation, goals, and good results, fits perfectly into the strategy of the Peugeot brand, which in this way decided to support her on her path to sporting success. With the partnership signed between Donna Vekić and Tomislav Miletić, General Manager for Peugeot, Citroën, and DS Automobiles, Donna Vekić becomes the Croatian Brand Ambassador of Peugeot!

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During this collaboration, Donna Vekić will test Peugeot models, starting with the 2008 model, currently the best-selling car in Europe. This modern SUV of the new generation stands out with its unique style, equipped with modern technologies and absolute comfort. It is intended for everyone ready for a new dimension of driving pleasure. 

“I am thrilled to work with a brand that embodies superior design, quality, and driving pleasure. Peugeot has recognized my high ambition for further sporting success, and I am grateful that it will support me along the way. The values ​​I care about as an athlete and owner of the private brand DNNA match those that Peugeot emphasizes through its brand. I am looking forward to everything that awaits us!" said Donna Vekić.

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"We decided to cooperate with Donna Vekić because we believe that she best represents the values of our brand. It embodies in the best possible way the demanding attitude and emotions, and it is precisely these values of the Peugeot brand and its rich history of over 210 years," concluded Tomislav Miletić.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Friday, 26 November 2021

Sales Expert Vedran Sorić Delights at Adria Business Network #18

November 26, 2021 - Adria Business Network #18 was held with sales expert Vedran Sorić, who added excellent energy to the networking event.

Adria Business Network #18 hosted sales enthusiast and consultant Vedran Sorić at his second gathering this season. The event was organized by entrepreneurs Željka Barišić, owner of Forca Digital Agency (www.forcadigitalagency.com), and Lee Kosović, owner of LOL Event Management (www.lol.hr) at Aspira College, which is a partner of the event. The goal of the event is business networking in Croatia and the region, creating business opportunities and encouraging continuous education. The event offers the opportunity for all participants to get to know each other better and network better and in a targeted way.

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Vedran reviewed the event:

“I have always considered and will consider that such events where knowledge is transferred are never enough. So my message would be that just as each of us is an individual, so are our customers. If customers don’t accept you as what you are, you may not be the ideal salesperson for them. Can you learn some of that to reduce that difference? YOU CAN. Can you adapt to most situations and people and be flexible in your performance? YOU CAN. After all, that's what real professionals do. But can you achieve that in 100% of cases? Probably YES, if you put in a lot of effort, but the question is DO YOU WANT IT?"

Željka Barišić, Forca Digital Agency owner and one of the founders of Adria Business Network, added: “Excellent energy and a lecture supported by concrete examples. The audience was also delighted because Vedran included them in the interaction. For the first time, we had networked with Sana delicacies that everyone present could enjoy. One wonderful evening that motivated us to continue with the same enthusiasm.”

The diamond partner of the event is A1 Croatia. The silver sponsor is ManpowerGroup. The event is sponsored by the Bagatin Polyclinic and the Aspira High School. Partners are Vladimir Abicic Photography, Kupovino vino - Kupilek, Valenta Wines, Planet Art Theater, and Sana Delicatessen.

Media partners of the event are the magazine and portal Poduzetnik, magazine and portal Zaposlena, Netokracija, She.hr, Zagrebonline.hr, Rep.hr, Glas Istre, Flash.hr, Moja Domovina, Total Croatia News, Fama, ZgExpress, Akademija Art, Radio 92 FM, and Znatko.

For more, check out our business section.

Friday, 26 November 2021

Extreme Rakija: 10 Unusual Uses of Slavonia's Favourite Friend

November 26, 2021 - I am still recovering from my body being marinated in rakija on last week's tour of Slavonia. But rakija is not just for drinking. Ten things and uses you need to know about the culture of extreme rakija.  

As part of my detox, I posted on Facebook a few days ago, asking people to name their most unusual usage of this very fabric of Slavonian society, as well as their most (un)memorable moment. Here are three of the many answers.

My great grandma used to slather rakija on her entire body every morning (like someone less extreme would put on body lotion). I don't think she's ever had a cold in her life.My great grandma used to slather rakija on her entire body every morning (like someone less extreme would put on body lotion). I don't think she's ever had a cold in her life.

Use it for hair massage. It runs blood circulation so fast that you will have long hair overnight after massage. (Editor's note - I tried this but the bald patch is still there.)

In Croatia there is a famous cocktail called dum-dum vodka. Mix vodka and sprite, cover the glass with your hand and hit the table a few times. When we ran out of vodka, we decided to go for dum-dum rakija and use the motorbike helmet on my head instead of the table. Numerous dum-dum-dum's followed after that. That was a shaky experience!

There was clearly an article to be written, but not only is my time very limited at the moment due to last week, but also why reinvent the wheel when there are experts with time on their hands. 

I decided to contact one of the most dangerous and entertaining men I have met in Croatia - last week's guide, Domagoj Butkovic of the outstanding Kulen Travel. 

Rakija - nectar of the Gods. Universal medicine. Tradition deeply rooted in history. When in Croatia - you can run but you can't hide from Rakija. And don't you dare to refuse one when offered, because you will be forever marked.

This 40% alcohol fruit distillate is a solution to many problems. Plum, pear, apple, quince, apricot, you name it we have it! A good old saying goes: A psychiatrist can help, but rakija is less expensive. 

Let's go together through some unusual uses of this God given liquid.

1. The way to prove who is the boss 

The easiest way to tell who's the head of the household is to just look at rakija production. If more plums from the orchard go for marmalade, the lady is in charge. If more plums go for rakija, the man is in charge. 

2. Cleaning

Sunday family lunch is prepared and your kitchen floor is full of greasy stains? Don't worry, rakija is here to save the day! Sweep the floor with rakija and make those tiles shine once again! 

3. Numbing the pain

Probably the most famous use of rakija is to numb the pain. No matter if it is toothache, headache or heartache, rakija will make all the problems go away. Doctors suggest taking a shot 3 times a day, every 8 hours.

4. Antifreeze

It's a cold winter day and your car ran out of antifreeze. How many times have you found yourself in this situation? Take a sip of rakija, pour the rest of the bottle in your car and watch it defrost.

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5. Rakija-powered Tomos

Believe it or not, legend has it that the famous motorcycle Tomos can run on rakija. The only trouble is a liter of rakija is far more expensive than a liter of gasoline, but maybe not for too long.

6. Lowering the body temperature

Smell of rakija reminds us of being sick. When we were kids, our grandmas were the ones taking care of us, and grandmas know best. Socks and scarves dipped into rakia and then worn are the best way to lower your temperature.

7. Disinfection

In this day and age we all know how important disinfectants are. Spray rakija on your hands and all the unwanted germs and bacteria will be gone in the blink of an eye. Take a shot after to do the same with your throat. 

8. Good luck charm

After a baby is born, a bottle of rakija is buried underground. This rakija is to stay buried until the event of a great meaning - usually wedding. Opening that bottle of rakija and serving it to guests means good luck.

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(TCN in familiar Slavonian drinking pose with Kulen Travel's Domagoj Butkovic and Stanko Skrobo at the phenomenal Baranjska Kuca in Karanac)

9. Better than a contract

When you buy something, settle a deal or get a job, you are supposed to have a rakija with everyone who you meet shortly after. This tradition is called aldumash and it is here to make sure your new contract is going to last.

10. Skin cleaning

A well hidden secret from many of us is that rakija can be used to clean the skin of your face. It's not as strong as medical alcohol and it does have antioxidants and vitamins which are good for your skin. You might smell funny, but you will look nice!  

Looking for more extreme rakija insights? Check out the TC Rakija, Disconnecting People guide

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Kornati National Park Finalist for 2021 Best European Filming Location

Kornati islands are among the finalists competing for the best European filming location of the year!

The European Film Commission Network (EUFCN) announced the five finalists competing for the Location Award 2021. In the fifth instalment of the annual competition, Kornati National Park made the cut as one of the filming locations for the award-winning Croatian film Murina

Each year, all EUFCN member film commissions have a chance to nominate one location from a film or a TV series filmed in their country; the list of submissions is then reviewed by the Location Award Jury who select the top five locations to compete for the title. EUFCN state that the jury looks for locations that have a significant role in the story and innovative use in the audiovisual product. 

Here’s a full list of this year’s finalists:

Berlin, Germany: The Queen’s Gambit

Cahir Castle, Ireland: The Green Knight

Malaga, Spain: The Crown (Season 4)

Stadlandet, Norway: Dune 

Kornati National Park, Croatia: Murina

eufcn.pngEUFCN - European Film Commissions Network 

Voting is open to the general public - you can cast your vote until January 31st, 2022 at the EUFCN Location Award page. If you need an incentive, let it be known that one lucky voter will be randomly selected and awarded a trip to the winning location!

Murina was directed by Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović and stars Gracija Filipović, Leon Lučev, Danica Ćurčić and Cliff Curtis. 

The Dubrovnik-born director’s first feature film won quite a few international accolades this year, most notably the prestigious Camera d’or award at the Cannes Film Festival in July. Murina had its Croatian debut at the Pula Film Festival where it won three awards: the Golden Arena for Best Supporting Actress (Danica Ćurčić), the Breza Award for Best Debutant (Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović), and the Golden Gate of Pula Audience Award for best film in the Croatian programme. 

Apart from Kornati, the filming of Murina also took place on Hvar and Koločep island. 

 

For everything you need to know about filming in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 25 November 2021

2023 Basketball World Cup Qualifiers: Croatia Loses to Slovenia in Dramatic Finish (74:76)

November 25, 2021 - The Croatia basketball team opened the 2023 Basketball World Cup qualifiers with a loss to Slovenia in Zagreb on Thursday night. 

The Croatia basketball team opened the first round of 2023 World Cup qualifications against Slovenia at the Dražen Petrović hall in Zagreb on Thursday. The 2023 Basketball World Cup will be held in Japan, the Philippines, and Indonesia, from Friday, August 25, 2023, to Sunday, September 10, 2023.

Lineups

Croatia: Rogić, Marčinković, Drežnjak, Marić, Rudan. Klupa: Gnjidić, Kalajžić, Badžim, Prkačin, Gabrić, Bundović, Branković, Perković.

Slovenia: Rupnik, Blažić, Prepelič, Dimec, Murić. Klupa: Nikolić, Rebec, Lapornik, Hodžić, Čebešek, Kosi, Macura, Habot.

1st Quarter

With a 3-pointer by Bundović, Croatia led 19:16 at the end of the first 10 minutes. It was 11:3 and 16:10 for Croatia, though Slovenia equalized at 16:16.

2nd Quarter

Slovenia went into halftime leading 39:41. Rogić's 3-pointer was too early and too short for a possible lead at halftime. Croatia also had a 10-point advantage, but it was Slovenia to go into the 3rd quarter ahead. 

3rd Quarter 

Croatia led 56:55 going into the last 10 minutes of the game. Bundović was the first player to hit double-digits for Croatia against Slovenia. 

4th Quarter 

The dramatic final quarter saw Croatia maintain the lead, with two minutes to go ahead 72:69. However, Slovenia ultimately came back in the last two minutes to win it 74:76. 

About two thousand spectators came to see the much younger and promising Croatia play in Zagreb tonight. Bundović ended the game with 16 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. 

The World Cup qualifiers are played in six qualifying cycles of two matches, divided into rounds 1 and 2, as was the case with the qualifiers for the last World Cup. The next cycles are in February 2022, June 2022, August 2022, November 2022, and February 2023.

Croatia plays Finland next in Espoo, part of the more famous Helsinki metropolitan area, on Sunday, November 28 at 18:00.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Europa League: Dinamo and Genk Play 1:1 at Maksimir

November 25, 2021 - Dinamo and Genk played 1:1 at Maksimir stadium on Thursday night in the 5th round of the Europe League Group H, securing at least a spot in the Conference League in the spring. If Dinamo does not lose to West Ham in the last round in London, they will play in the Europa League knockout phase. 

Dinamo and Genk met in the 5th round of the Europa League at Maksimir stadium on Thursday. A victory or a point would have brought Dinamo to the next stage of a European competition, meaning the Zagreb club would secure at least second place in the group with a new victory tonight. However, even with a defeat, the Croatian champion would not fall out completely. 

Looking only at the result of the first match against Genk, Dinamo was the absolute favorite tonight, defeating Genk away 3:0 in their first Europa League meeting at the end of September.

While both sides had their fair share of chances in the first half, Dinamo took the lead with a goal by Luka Menalo in the 35th minute. Thanks to a long ball by Theophile, Krznar's joker withstood pressure on his back to tap the ball into the back of the net for 1:0. 

Unfortunately, in the last seconds of the first half, Ugbo's crossbar shot went over the goal line to equalize at 1:1.

While there were a few close calls for both teams in the second half, neither team was able to score to keep the result even at 1:1. 

West Ham and Dinamo will face off in the final round in London on Thursday, December 9. If Dinamo does not lose to West Ham in the last round, they will play in the Europa League knockout phase. If they lose, they will move to the Conference League. 

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

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