Friday, 10 September 2021

Promising Croatian Footballer Lovro Zvonarek Signs with Bayern Munich at 16

September 10, 2021 - The weeks-long negotiations have finally ended to the satisfaction of all parties: Lovro Zvonarek has signed for Bayern Munich and will remain on loan at Slaven Belupo until the end of this season!

It is a denouement in which everyone is satisfied - Bayern swooped in on the promising young Croatian talent, and Zvonarek, in addition to signing a contract with the Bavarian giant, got the much-needed peace to continue developing his football career. Furthermore, with compensation of 1,800,000 euros, the Koprivnica club managed to keep their #10, reports Gol.hr.

Bayern will immediately pay the mentioned amount to Podravka, and the compensation may eventually increase to five million euros over the next few years. This will depend on when Zvonarek makes his debut for Bayern's first team, his performance, and other details built into the contract.

Zvonarek was born on May 8, 2005, in Prelog, where he started playing football at the Mladost Prelog club.

His phenomenal talent was first noticed by Slaven Belupo, who, five years ago, when he was 11, brought him to Koprivnica, from which he later moved to the youth division of the Koprivnica first league.

Zvonarek gives the most as an offensive midfielder, but can also play on both wings.

At the end of last season, Zvonarek made his debut for the Slaven Belupo first team, and made history in the last round, becoming the youngest scorer in the history of the Croatian First League. At 16 years and 14 days, he scored the only goal in the Slaven Belupo - Varaždin match and broke the previous record held by Alen Halilović.

"Lovro Zvonarek is the new player of the German great FC Bayern Munich, and he will stay in our club until the end of the current season!!!

Congratulations to the youngest debutant in the history of Slaven Belupo at only 16 years and four days and the youngest scorer in the history of the HNL at only 16 years and 14 days on the biggest transfer in the history of our club!" wrote Slaven Belupo in their Facebook page. 

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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Sunday, 23 August 2020

Ivan Perisic Becomes 11th Croatian Footballer to Win Champions League Title

August 23, 2020 - Croatia national team representative Ivan Perisic was an important part of the Bayern Munich team that won the Champions League final on Sunday in Lisbon.

Ivan Perisic won the Champions League title with Bayern Munich and thus continued the incredible streak of Croatian footballers to achieve the same success.

This is the eighth year in a row that Croatia has had a representative in the Champions League final. 

This fantastic series began in 2013 when Mario Mandzukic won the Champions League with Bayern. Mario was succeeded by Luka Modric and Real Madrid, then Ivan Rakitic with Barcelona before Modric, Kovacic, and the Real team conquered the European title for three years in a row.

Last year, Dejan Lovren and Liverpool conquered Europe, and now Perisic has entered this prestigious list, winning the legendary Cup with Bayern Munich.  

Bayern Munich topped Paris Saint-Germain in Lisbon on Sunday night. The match was played without the presence of spectators. 

Croatians in Champions League final:

1993. ALEN BOKŠIĆ (Marseille)
1994. ZVONIMIR BOBAN (Milan)
1995. Zvonimir Boban (Milan)
1997. Alen Bokšić (Juventus)
1998. DAVOR ŠUKER (Real Madrid)
2002. Boris Živković, Marko Babić, Jurica Vranješ (Bayer Leverkusen)
2003. DARIO ŠIMIĆ (Milan), Igor Tudor (Juventus)
2004. Dado Pršo (Monaco)
2005. IGOR BIŠĆAN (Liverpool)
2007. DARIO ŠIMIĆ (Milan)
2010. Ivica Olić, Danijel Pranjić (Bayern)
2012. Ivica Olić, Danijel Pranjić (Bayern)
2013. MARIO MANDŽUKIĆ (Bayern)
2014. LUKA MODRIĆ (Real Madrid)
2015. IVAN RAKITIĆ (Barcelona)
2016. LUKA KOVAČ, MATEO KOVAČIĆ (Real Madrid)
2017. LUKA MODRIĆ, MATEO KOVAČIĆ (Real Madrid), Mario Mandžukić, Marko Pjaca (Juventus)
2018. LUKA MODRIĆ, MATEO KOVAČIĆ (Real Madrid), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool)
2019. DEJAN LOVREN (Liverpool)
2020. IVAN PERIŠIĆ (Bayern)

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Monday, 4 November 2019

Niko Kovac Sacked as Coach of Bayern Munich after 65 Appearances

November 4, 2019 - Niko Kovac is no longer the coach of Bayern Munich, which was confirmed the Bavarian Club on its official website on Sunday.

The former Croatia national team coach was ruled out after the heavy defeat Bayern suffered on Saturday against Eintracht Frankfurt, when they lost 5-1.

The leaders of the Bavarian giant, President Uli Hoeness, executive chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and sports director Hasan Salihamidzic, agreed to relieve Kovac by mutual consent. 

“The performances of our team in recent weeks and the results have shown us that there was a need for action. Uli Hoeneß, Hasan Salihamidzic and I had an open and serious discussion with Niko this Sunday based on that and came to the mutual decision that Niko is no longer head coach of FC Bayern. We all regret this development. I would like to thank Niko Kovac on behalf of FC Bayern for his work, particularly for last season’s double win," Rummenigge said.

For now, assistant coach Hans Flick will be in charge of first-team training ahead of the important games against Olympiakos in the Champions League and Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga. 

Niko Kovac took over Bayern in April 2018, replacing Jupp Heynckes - though he already on the verge of being fired in the first season.

Bayern had a poor start to the season and after 15 rounds, was already nine points behind Borussia, which seemed almost an impossible mission to come back from. Halfway through the season, Borussia was six points ahead, and after 20 rounds they were up by seven. However, only four rounds later, Bayern closed the gap and both teams had 54 points after 24 rounds.

Borussia then suffered a major crisis and achieved only one win with two draws and a defeat from the 20-24th rounds, while the Bavarians booked four victories. In perhaps the most pivotal game of the season, Bayern crushed Borussia 5-0 and made a crucial step on the road to a record 29th Bundesliga title.

Niko Kovac eventually celebrated the title and also won the German Cup, while in the Champions League, Bayern lost in the round of 16 to the soon-to-be European champion Liverpool.

Bayern has not been convincing this season and is currently ranked fourth with 18 points, which is four less than Borussia Moenchengladbach.

"My brother Robert and I would like to thank FC Bayern for these past 18 months. During that time, our team won the Bundesliga, the DFB Cup, and the Supercup. It was a good time. I wish the club and the team all the very best," said Kovac after the announcement.

Kovac led the Bavarian club in 65 appearances in all competitions, recording 42 wins, 15 draws, and eight losses.

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

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

It's Official: Ivan Perišić Joins Bayern Munich!

August 13, 2019 - Ivan Perišić is a new member of Bayern Munich! 

Croatia national team player Ivan Perišić is officially a new player of Bayern Munich. According to German media, Bayern will pay five million euros for a one-year loan for Perišić, with the option of buying his contract at the end of the season for 20 million euros, reports HRT.

Perišić has spent the last four seasons in Inter Milan, collecting 163 appearances with 40 goals scored. 

“I am overjoyed to be in Germany again. Bayern is one of the biggest clubs in Europe. We will attack not only the Bundesliga and the Cup, but also the Champions League,” Perišić said after the signing.

Prior to joining Inter, Perišić had already played in the Bundesliga for a season and a half for Borussia Dortmund, and two and a half seasons for Wolfsburg.

“Ivan will immediately help us with years of international experience. He is technically strong and flexible in the attack. I'm sure he'll fit in quickly because he knows the Bundesliga and our coach very well,” said Bayern Munich sports director Hasan Salihamidžić.

In the Croatia national team jersey, with which he became World Cup finalists in Russia last year, Perišić has so far collected 82 appearances with 23 goals scored.

Recall, the attacking winger of Inter and Croatia missed Friday’s game between Inter and Valencia due to precaution. And it only makes sense, since Bayern turned to Perišić as a backup option after their first-choice, Leroy Sane, was badly injured in his last game for Manchester City after his transfer to Bayern was virtually settled. Instead of going to a new club, Sane is forced to take a break for half of the year.

This transfer news confirms that Perišić is just one of the victims of Inter's new coach Antonio Conte and his major cleanup of the Inter dressing room. 

But while Icardi and Nainggolan are being chased away for their poor character, Ivan Perišić is out thanks to his overpaid salary, which amounts to 8 million euros a year, and because he does not fit into the new Inter concept. Namely, Conte plays in a 3-5-2 system that has no room for wingers like Perišić.

Fortunately for Perišić, Bayern desperately needed a winger after the departure of the legendary Ribéry, and the injuries of Coman and Leroy Sane.

Niko Kovač thinks Ivan is an excellent plan B. He is experienced but not too old (30), proven himself in top football, and although he is a foreigner, he will not need to adapt to a new country, language, and league.

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

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Ivan Perišić to Join Niko Kovač? All Signs Pointing to Bayern Munich Move

August 10, 2019 - All signs are pointing to a move back to Bundesliga for Croatian footballer Ivan Perišić. 

Ivan Perišić did not travel with Inter Milan to Saturday’s friendly match against Valencia, so as not to risk injury before moving to Bayern, according to reliable media sources from Italy.

Inter and Bayern have agreed on the details of the loan, which should turn into a transfer at the end of next season. La Gazetta dello Sport and Sky Sport write that Bayern will pay 5 million euros for Perišić’s loan, with another 20 million euros for his contract, reports Index.hr.

The media reported that the big move only needed Perišić’s consent, which just happened. Sky Sport states that it did not occur on Friday when the clubs had already agreed, because he insisted on a transfer, not a loan with an obligation to purchase as the first option would give him more security.

Perišić’s move from Inter, which bought the Croatian representative over four years ago from Wolfsburg for €19 million, will cost Bayern a total of €25 million.

The attacking winger of Inter and the Croatia national team, therefore, will miss Friday’s game due to precaution. And it only makes sense, since Bayern also turned to Perišić as a backup option after their first-choice, Leroy Sane, was badly injured in his last game for Manchester City after his transfer to Bayern was virtually settled. Instead of going to a new club, Sane is forced to take a break for half of the year.

This transfer news confirms that Perišić is just one of the victims of Inter's new coach Antonio Conte and his major cleanup of Inter dressing room. Recall, some key players left already on Friday.

But while Icardi and Nainggolan are being chased away for their weak character, Ivan Perišić is out thanks to his overpaid salary, which amounts to 8 million euros a year, and because he does not fit into the new Inter concept. Namely, the Conte plays in a 3-5-2 system that has no room for wingers like Perišić.

Fortunately for Perišić, Bayern desperately needed a winger after the departure of the legendary Ribéry, injury to Coman and severe injury to Leroy Sane, who was to come as one of the replacements.

Niko Kovač, who led Perišić as the Croatia coach, thinks Ivan is an excellent plan B. He is experienced but not too old (30), proven himself in top football, and although he is a foreigner, he will not need to adapt to a new country, language, and league. For four years (2011-2015), Perišić lived and played in Germany for Borussia Dortmund and Wolfsburg. From there, he moved to Inter for €19 million. He played 163 games for the Milan club, scoring 40 goals and 37 assists. 

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

Monday, 8 July 2019

Bayern Munich Legends Arrive in Pula Before Spectacle at Arena

The legends of Bayern Munich Giovane Elber, Paolo Sergio, Klaus Augenthaler and Croatia’s very own Ivica Olić delighted the people of Pula as they announced the football spectacle held tonight at the Pula Arena. As announced, Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli and his associates joined them, reports Glas Istre on July 8,  2019.

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Filip ŠKATAR

The football greats of one of the largest clubs in the world signed photographs, shared club souvenirs and attracted numerous tourists, including many Bavarians and supporters of the club, who could not miss the opportunity for a photo or the chance to take home a valuable souvenir. The Legends of the Croatia national team were not able to address this morning’s crowd, though they will be ready to participate in tonight's spectacle. 

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Filip ŠKATAR

Recall, the ancient amphitheater in Pula will transform into a football field for the first time in history for a spectacular sporting event which will feature the legends of Bayern Munich and the legends of the Croatia national team. This spectacle is the result of the strategic partnership between the Istria County Tourist Board and the powerful Bavarian club which was agreed year ago and will continue for three years. 

The basic idea of the strategic partnership was to combine two premium brands that would help to identify quality and superior products by linking marketing activities in the offline and online segment, e-marketing, social networks, and a specific marketing campaign in collaboration with Bayern.

The strategic partnership allows Istria to cooperate on nine major marketing projects. All projects are positioned so that they take place in the period that is most important for the tourist promotion of Istria, i.e., the winter months and the preseason.

The Istria County Tourist Board announced the names of some of the Bayern Munich legends we can expect in Pula, including Ivica Olić, Paulo Sergio, Giovane Elber, Martín Demichelis, Luca Toni, Klaus Augenthaler and Marcel Witeczek.

Some of the famous footballers who will represent Croatia are Stipe Pletikosa, Robert Jarni, Ivan Klasnić, Marjan Mrmić, Ardian Koznik, Petar Krpan, and Ognjen Vukojević.

Inside the arena, a small field of 40 meters by 20 meters will installed. 

Between the games, the experience will be complemented by a music program and numerous performances, and after the winner is announced, the VIP Lounge in the Arena will continue with an entertainment program and DJs.

Schedule of events:

20:00 - 20:30 Junior’s match

20:30 Event announcement with a presentation of partners and sponsors

          Presentation of all teams (two ‘Vatreni’ and two Bayern Munich teams)

          Draw

20:50 – 21:15 First semi-final match

21:20 – 21:45 Second semi-final match

21:45 – 21:55 Music program/Performances

22:00 – 22:25 Match for third place

22:30 – 22:55 Final

The games are followed by an awards ceremony and after-party with DJs in the VIP lounge of the Arena.

FC Bayern Munich is the 4th most valuable club in the world and one of the main brands in Germany, and the key is the market. Namely, Germany is Croatia’s most significant and largest broadcast market, and within Germany, Bavaria certainly has the largest share. Thus, the strategic partnership between FC Bayern Munich and Istria is certainly one of the largest and most significant marketing projects in tourism.

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

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

TZ Istria County and Bayern Munich Executed 8 of 9 Promo Projects So Far

July 3, 2019 - As we have previously announced, the ancient amphitheater in Pula will transform into a football field for the first time in history on July 8 for a spectacular sporting event which will feature the legends of Bayern Munich and the legends of the Croatia national team. This spectacle is the result of the strategic partnership between the Istria County Tourist Board and the powerful Bavarian club which was agreed year ago and will continue for three years, reports HRTurizam.

The basic idea of the strategic partnership was to combine two premium brands that would help to identify quality and superior products by linking marketing activities in the offline and online segment, e-marketing, social networks, and a specific marketing campaign in collaboration with Bayern.

The strategic partnership allows Istria to cooperate on nine major marketing projects. All projects are positioned so that they take place in the period that is most important for the tourist promotion of Istria, i.e., the winter months and the preseason.

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So far, they have accomplished seven of the nine major activities.

1. Selecting and filming three FC Bayern Munich players as the main testimonials for the tourist promotion of Istria - significant destination campaigns;

2. Appearance of Bayern representatives at the renowned tourist fair 'Free' in Munich with all relevant promotional activities at the fair;

3. Matchdaypresenter intended for owners, co-owners and strategic partners;

4. Promotion of Istria through all channels in the online and offline segment with all presentation channels at the Allianz Arena for seven days;

5. Matchdaypresenter intended for media representatives;

6. A communication campaign through all of FC Bayern Munich's channels worth €150,000;

7. Ticket package for promotion of Istria at the Allianz Arena in Munich

The remaining two are also the most important projects - the annual workshop of FC Bayern Munich (which was just held from June 25-27) and the best way to complete the first year of cooperation - the legends match between Croatia and FC Bayern Munich. 

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The football legends of Bayern Munich and the Croatia national team will meet at the Pula Arena on July 8. The ancient amphitheater will transform into a football field or, more accurately, due to the lack of space, a futsal field, for the very first time. 

The Istria County Tourist Board announced the names of some of the Bayern Munich legends we can expect in Pula, including Ivica Olić, Paulo Sergio, Giovane Elber, Martín DeMichelis, Luca Toni, Klaus Augenthaler and Marcel Witeczek.

Some of the famous footballers who will represent Croatia are Stipe Pletikosa, Robert Jarni, Ivan Klasnić, Marjan Mrmić, Ardian Koznik, Petar Krpan, and Ognjen Vukojević.

Inside the arena, a small field of 40 meters by 20 meters will installed. 

Between the games, the experience will be complemented by a music program and numerous performances, and after the winner is announced, the VIP Lounge in the Arena will continue with an entertainment program and DJs.

Schedule of events:

20:00 - 20:30 Junior’s match

20:30 Event announcement with a presentation of partners and sponsors

          Presentation of all teams (two ‘Vatreni’ and two Bayern Munich teams)

          Draw

20:50 – 21:15 First semi-final match

21:20 – 21:45 Second semi-final match

21:45 – 21:55 Music program/Performances

22:00 – 22:25 Match for third place

22:30 – 22:55 Final

The games are followed by an awards ceremony and after-party with DJs in the VIP lounge of the Arena.

FC Bayern Munich is the 4th most valuable club in the world and one of the main brands in Germany, and the key is the market. Namely, Germany is Croatia’s most significant and largest broadcast market, and within Germany, Bavaria certainly has the largest share. Thus, the strategic partnership between FC Bayern Munich and Istria is certainly one of the largest and most significant marketing projects in tourism.

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

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Program Announced for Bayern Munich and Croatia Legends Match at Pula Arena

June 25, 2019 - The football legends of Bayern Munich and the Croatia national team will meet at the Pula Arena on July 8, as part of a spectacular program prepared by the Istria County Tourist Board. The ancient amphitheater will transform into a football field or, more accurately, due to the lack of space, a futsal field, for the very first time. 

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Copyright Romulic & Stojcic

The Istria County Tourist Board announced the names of some of the Bayern Munich legends we can expect in Pula, including Ivica Olić, Paulo Sergio, Giovane Elber, Martín DeMichelis, Luca Toni, Klaus Augenthaler and Marcel Witeczek.

Some of the famous footballers who will represent Croatia are Stipe Pletikosa, Robert Jarni, Ivan Klasnić, Marjan Mrmić, Ardian Koznik, Petar Krpan, and Ognjen Vukojević.

Inside the arena, a small field of 40 meters by 20 meters will installed. Presale tickets can be purchased online at ticketshop.hr. Prices begin at 12 euro, and proceeds will be directed to humanitarian purposes.

Between the games, the experience will be complemented by a music program and numerous performances, and after the winner is announced, the VIP Lounge in the Arena will continue with an entertainment program and DJs.

Presale tickets can be purchased at ticketshop.hr, at all Tisak selling points, and the box office in front of Arena on the day of the event. 

Schedule of events:

20:00 - 20:30 Junior’s match

20:30 Event announcement with a presentation of partners and sponsors

          Presentation of all teams (two ‘Vatreni’ and two Bayern Munich teams)

          Draw

20:50 – 21:15 First semi-final match

21:20 – 21:45 Second semi-final match

21:45 – 21:55 Music program/Performances

22:00 – 22:25 Match for third place

22:30 – 22:55 Final

The games are followed by an awards ceremony and after-party with DJs in the VIP lounge of the Arena.

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This event is the result of the strategic partnership of Istria and FC Bayern, which was signed in June last year for three-year cooperation.

Before the friendly match, from June 25 to 27, there will be about 110 representatives of the management of the German first-division club, co-owners and strategic partners of Bayern.

The strategic partnership is the largest and most important marketing project in Istrian tourism, and it is also a strategic project in positioning Istria as a destination.

The basic idea of the strategic partnership was to connect two premium brands which would be identified by their quality and top-class products through the networking of marketing activities offline and online, e-marketing, social networks and concrete marketing campaigns in cooperation with Bayern.

In the framework of the strategic partnership, the Istria County Tourist Board has contracted 10 marketing projects to use the strength of the FC Bayern Munich brand and thus incorporate a part of the image and reputation of Bayern into the brand of Istria. This contract represents the biggest and most powerful advance of Istria as a destination in the marketing sense, and the effects of this partnership will have an impact on the global level, primarily thanks to the popularity of the legendary club around the world.

The organizer, the Istria County Tourist Board, promises an unforgettable and unprecedented experience for everyone.

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

Monday, 10 June 2019

Legends Match Announced Between Croatia and FC Bayern Munich in Pula Arena

The football legends of Bayern Munch and the Croatia national team will meet in Pula Arena on July 8, as part of a spectacular program prepared by the Istria County Tourist Board, reports HRTurizam on Jun 10, 2019.

Thus, the Pula Arena will be transformed into a football field, that is, a grass futsal field, for the first time. The ground of the Arena will feature a 40x20 meter field, and tickets will be sold online and at the cashier in front of the Arena. Ticket sales should begin on June 14th.

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This event is the result of the strategic partnership of Istria and FC Bayern, which was signed in June last year for three-year cooperation.

Also, before the friendly match, from June 25 to 27, there will be about 110 representatives of the management of the German first-division club, co-owners and strategic partners of Bayern.

The strategic partnership of FC Bayern Munich and Istria is the largest and most important marketing project in tourism. For Istria, it is also a strategic project in positioning the destination

The basic idea of the strategic partnership was to connect two premium brands through which identification of quality and top-class products would be created through the networking of marketing activities offline and online, e-marketing, social networks and concrete marketing campaigns in cooperation with Bayern.

In the framework of the strategic partnership, the Istria County Tourist Board has contracted 10 marketing projects in order to use the strength of the FC Bayern Munich brand and thus incorporate a part of the image and reputation of Bayern into the brand of Istria. This contract represents the biggest and most powerful advance of Istria as a destination in the marketing sense, and the effects of this partnership will have an impact on the global level, primarily thanks to the popularity of the legendary club around the world.

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Bayern is one of the four richest football clubs in the world that owns 25 percent of ownership divided into equal shares among reputable companies: AUDI, ALLIANZ, ADIDAS, while the remaining 75 percent is 299,000 members who are co-owners of the club. They have 4,300 official fan clubs and over 340,000 members; over 652 million fans across the world and over 70 million followers on social networks.

The first extensive media campaign of Istria in Bavaria was held in February this year through three projects.

1st project: Dedicated photoshopping - At the beginning of the year, TZ Istria County started filming the activity of the players. Three key players were proposed, and after long and persistent lobbying, Istria got three ambassadors: Neuer, Alaba, and Martinez.

2nd project: Matchday Presenter - Matchday presenter is a big project that involved the seven-day presentation of Istria through all promotional channels four days before the match, the day after, and two days after the match.

The first part of the presentation was done during the Free Tourism Fair in Munich. With Istria and Croatia’s participation at the Fair, three major representatives of Bayern Munich came to the official stand of the Croatian Tourist Board. They were Giovanni Elber, the legend of FC Bayern Munich, Andreas Jung, marketing director and Joerg Wacker, director of the strategic development of the German football club.

The most important event within the Matchday presenter marketing project was the special presentation of Istria at the Siemens Cooking Lounge Arena where TZ Istria County organized an Istrian menu for forty invitees - mostly the owners of FC Bayern, then the strategic partners of the FCBM and several representatives of the media.

Stephan Lehmann, the official speaker of the FC Bayern who led the lottery at halftime of the games, transferred his experiences from Istria to the audience of 73,000 spectators and invited all attendees to visit the Croatian destination.

The main event at the half was a prize game involving a goal on the north side of the football field equipped with a large banner with four motifs from Istria: the views of Rovinj, Poreč, Motovun and Grožnjan. On the goal, four places were indicated to be hit to win a seven-day holiday in Istria. A special website was even created — namely, a landing page where interested parties could apply to play the game. 

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Additionally, TZ Istria County broadcasted a digital banner around the perimeter of the football field in the length of 250 meters, where they cooperated with FC Bayern Munich under the name 'Istrien Urlaubtraum der Champions' with the logo of Istria and Croatia.

In the end, the entire marketing project was rounded off with a broadcast of the new promotional film for Istria, which was played across four large screens at the legendary Allianz Arena.

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

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Niko Kovač Second Ever to Win Bundesliga Title as Player and Coach

Former Croatia national team coach Niko Kovač did not hide his joy after Bayern Munich defeated Eintracht 5-1 to win the Bundesliga title in the final round, reports Gol.hr on May 18, 2019. 

Just before the final round, Bayern Munich had only two more points than Borussia Dortmund and needed a victory against Eintracht to claim their seventh consecutive Bundesliga title. Borussia faced Mönchengladbach in the last leg and their hope for the title could be secured only if Bayern lost and they won. 

Bayern celebrated 5-1, while Borussia won 2-0, which kept the Bavarian club two points up on Borussia for the title. 

Behind Bayern coach Niko Kovač is a tough season which the media ruthlessly displayed. Kovač had disagreements with his players and was criticized by the club's leaders. At one point, Bayern was nine points behind Borussia Dortmund, but Kovač managed to prevail and eventually win the championship with the ovation of a packed Allianz Arena.

"I believe I will lead Bayern next season. I am confident that I will continue, I have first-hand information, not second-hand," Kovač said after winning.

Niko Kovač is just the second former Bayern player after Franck Beckenbauer to win the Bundesliga title as a player and a coach. 

However, the journey to the top was anything but smooth.

Recall, Bayern had a poor start to the season and after 15 rounds, they were nine points behind Borussia. Then, it seemed an impossible mission to compensate from so far behind. Halfway through the season, Borussia was up six points, and after 20 rounds, seven. However, only four rounds later, Bayern caught up, and both teams had 54 points after the 24th round. 

Borussia then went into crisis, and from the 20th to the 24th round, they secured just one win, two draws and one defeat, while Bayern managed four wins in a row. In the key match of the season, Bayern crushed Borussia 5-0 and made a significant step on the road to the record 29th championship title.

"It was not an easy season, I think we all saw it," said Kovač, before adding:

"We were nine points behind; however, what the team did after all the criticisms shows the quality of these players.”

Kovač commented on the ovations of fans who chanted his name.

"The fans sang my name? Of course, I am happy; I'm a man of blood and flesh," Kovač concluded. 

This is Kovač’s second trophy at the helm of Bayern after winning the Superkup at the start of the season with a 5-0 win against Eintracht. On May 25, Bayern will play in the Cup final against RB Leipzig.

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

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