Tuesday, 20 July 2021

2022 World Cup Qualifiers: Croatia and Russia to Meet at Poljud in November

July 20, 2021 - Croatia and Russia will meet at Poljud Stadium in Split to close out the 2022 World Cup qualifiers in Group H. 

The Croatian Football Federation Executive Board has registered Poljud Stadium as the host of the Croatia and Russia match as part of the European qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup, which will be held in Qatar in 2022, reports HNS.

Croatia and Russia have played four times so far, with Croatia recording two wins and two draws. Recall, Croatia and Russia most recently met in the quarterfinals of the 2018 World Cup at Fisht Stadium in Sochi. The match finished 1:1 thanks to a goal by Kramarić before going into extra time when Vida scored for the 2:1 lead. Fernandes equalized in the final minutes, forcing to game to penalties. Rakitić scored the winning penalty, advancing Croatia to the semifinal match against England. 

Split will host two Croatia national team matches this fall - on September 7, Croatia will host Slovenia on Poljud (20:45), and the competition in Group H will end on November 14 at 15:00 against Russia. In other news, the 2018 World Cup finalists will host Slovakia on October 11 at City Garden Stadium in Osijek.

After the introductory three rounds in March, the Croatia national team leads in Group H with six points, the same number of points as Russia, while Slovakia is one point behind. Croatia is expected to play against Russia (September 1) and Slovakia (September 4) in September, and the three-match program will end in Split against Slovenia.

The 10 first-placed national teams in their groups will qualify directly for the World Cup, while the second-placed national teams will compete in the playoffs in March 2022. The 2022 World Cup will be held in an untraditional term, from 21 November – 18 December 2022. 

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

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Sunday, 18 July 2021

Croatian Footballer Filip Ozobić Switching National Teams for Azerbaijan

July 18, 2021 - Croatian footballer Filip Ozobić should play for the national team of Azerbaijan, the local football federation confirmed. He has received permission from FIFA and is expected to be on the next player list of Azerbaijan coach Gianni De Biasi.

Ozobić used to be known as a great hope of Croatian football. From the age of 15, he played for all the younger selections of the Croatia national team. At the U19 Euros in 2010, where Croatia reached the semifinals, he was included in the best 11 of the tournament, as the only Croatian. In total, he played 60 times for Croatia, reports Index.hr

He also has two appearances for the A team, but they were not in official matches. However, he played two matches in the China Cup in 2017 in a team mostly made up of HNL players. Ozobić was one of the two who did not play in the Croatian league at the time.

Ozobić has been playing in Azerbaijan since 2016 and has met the five-year deadline for a player to play in a country to qualify for the national team. He has spent two years in Gabala and has been playing in Qarabag for the last three seasons. Last year, with 11 goals, he was the third-best scorer in the league, while he was the best with the same number of goals in the first season.

As an 18-year-old from Zadar, he went to Spartak Moscow. After that, he spent one year on loan at Hajduk, then over to Slaven Belupo, where he left for Azerbaijan after three seasons.

Unlike Borna Sosa, Filip Ozobić was able to change his football citizenship because he has no official appearance for Croatia national teams after his 21st birthday. On the other hand, Sosa performed on several occasions after his 21st birthday, so he could not play for Germany, although he could obtain citizenship.

Azerbaijan will play its next match in the World Cup qualifiers against Luxembourg on September 1, when Ozobić is expected to play. Games against Ireland and Portugal follow.

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Thursday, 15 July 2021

Luka Modrić EURO 2020 Goal Named 3rd Best of Tournament!

July 15, 2021 - The outside-of-the-boot Luka Modrić EURO 2020 goal against Scotland has been named the 3rd best goal of the tournament! 

Czech striker Patrik Schick's goal from the midfield line in the match against Scotland was declared the most beautiful goal of the 2020 European Championship, the European Football Federation (UEFA) announced, while Luka Modrić's goal took third place.

After the Czech Republic won the ball in the 52nd minute and went on to counter, Schick shot from the middle of the field, and the ball soared over goalkeeper David Marshall's head.

 

The Bayer Leverkusen striker shot from 45.4 meters, which is officially the farthest distance from which a goal was scored at the Euros. 

The winner was decided by the fans who voted on the official UEFA website between 10 goals selected by the UEFA technical commission. Schick's goal received almost 800,000 votes.

In second place was the goal by French midfielder Paul Pogba against Switzerland, while Luka Modrić came in third with his outside-of-the-boot goal scored against Scotland. Modrić scored for 2:1 in the 62nd minute of Croatia's final group stage match. It was a masterpiece by the captain, and a signature Luka strike.

 

With this goal, Modrić entered Croatian football history as the oldest Croatia scorer at the European Championships. He scored at the age of 35 years and 286 days. Modrić is also the youngest scorer for Croatia at the European Championships. At EURO 2008 against Austria, he scored a goal at the age of 22 years and 273 days.

In fourth place is the goal of the Italian striker Lorenzo Insigne against Belgium in the quarterfinals, and in the top 5 is Cristiano Ronaldo's goal for Portugal against Hungary.

 

Candidates

LUKA MODRIĆ (CROATIA - Czech Republic 3-1, group)

Andriy Jarmolenko (Ukraine - Netherlands 2-3, group)

Patrik Schick (Czech Republic - Scotland 2-0, group)

Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal - Hungary 3-0, group)

Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium - Denmark 2-1, group)

Paul Pogba (France - Switzerland 3-3, 4-5 11m, the round of 16)

Lorenzo Insigne (Italy - Belgium 2-1, quarterfinals)

Federico Chiesa (Italy - Spain 1-1, 4-2 11m, semifinals)

Alvaro Morata (Spain - Italy 1-1, 2-4 11m, semifinals)

Mikkel Damsgaard (Denmark - England 1-2, semifinals)

Source: Gol.hr

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Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Luka Modrić EURO 2020 Goal in Running for Best of Tournament!

July 13, 2021 - The incredible Luka Modrić EURO 2020 goal against Scotland is in the running for the best goal of the tournament! 

Luka Modrić's goal in Croatia's win against Scotland (3:1) was included among the ten most beautiful goals of the European Championship, and the most beautiful will be decided by the fans on the official website of the European Football Federation (UEFA).

Luka Modrić scored for 2:1 against Scotland in the 62nd minute. It was a masterpiece, a blow with the outside of the boot.

With this goal, Modrić entered Croatian football history as the oldest Croatia scorer at the European Championships. He scored at the age of 35 years and 286 days. Modrić is also the youngest scorer for Croatia at the European Championships. At EURO 2008 against Austria, he scored a goal at the age of 22 years and 273 days.

Certainly, the Czech Republic goal by striker Patrik Schick, who scored in the first round of Group D from the center, has the best chance of a prize. The Czech Republic had a counter and Schick shot from the middle of the pitch, going over the head of goalkeeper David Marshall.

Among the nominees for the award are Cristiano Ronaldo, Kevin De Bruyne, Paul Pogba, Lorenzo Insigne, Federico Chiesa, Alvaro Morata, Mikkel Damsgaard and Andriy Jarmolenko.

The selection of the ten most beautiful goals was decided by the Uefa technical commission, which includes Packie Bonner, Esteban Cambiasso, Fabio Capello, Cosmin Contra, Corinne Diacre, Jean-Francois Domergue, Dušan Fitzel, Steffen Freund, Frans Hoek, Aitor Karanka, Robbie Keane, Gines Melendez, David Moyes, Mixu Paatelainen, Peter Rudbk, and Willi Ruttensteiner.

The final decision will be made by the fans by voting on the UEFA website. You can vote here.

Candidates

LUKA MODRIĆ (CROATIA - Czech Republic 3-1, group)

Andriy Jarmolenko (Ukraine - Netherlands 2-3, group)

Patrik Schick (Czech Republic - Scotland 2-0, group)

Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal - Hungary 3-0, group)

Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium - Denmark 2-1, group)

Paul Pogba (France - Switzerland 3-3, 4-5 11m, the round of 16)

Lorenzo Insigne (Italy - Belgium 2-1, quarterfinals)

Federico Chiesa (Italy - Spain 1-1, 4-2 11m, semifinals)

Alvaro Morata (Spain - Italy 1-1, 2-4 11m, semifinals)

Mikkel Damsgaard (Denmark - England 1-2, semifinals)

Source: HRT

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Monday, 28 June 2021

EURO 2020 Round of 16: Croatia Eliminated After Losing to Spain in Extra Time (3:5)

June 28, 2021 - Croatia has been eliminated after losing to Spain (3:5) in the EURO 2020 round of 16 in Copenhagen on Monday. 

Croatia and Spain met in Copenhagen on Monday for their EURO 2020 round of 16 match. The match was played at Parken Stadium and officiated by Cuneyt Cakir from Turkey.

Unlike the group stage, Croatia had the support of many fans, with over 5,000 estimated at Parken Stadium today. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Lineups

Croatia: Livakovic, Juranović, Vida, Ćaleta-Car, Guardiol, Modrić, Brozović, Kovačić, Vlašić, Petković, Rebić

Spain: Simon, Azpilicueta, Garcia, Laporte, Gaya, Koke, Busquets, Pedri, Sarabia, Torres, Morata

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Slobodan Kadic

Spain possessed the game at the start and even had an early chance approaching the 2nd minute. Livaković was there for an easy save. 

Spain had another chance in the 5th minute which they missed in front of the goal. Croatia tried a quick counter but Kova played it out. 

Croatia was shaky in the first 10 minutes, which Spain used to calmly and confidently play the ball up the pitch. 

Gvardiol stopped the Spain attack with a ball to Petković who was fouled by two Spain players for a free kick. 

Spain had another dangerous chance in the 12th minute but shot outside the net. Rebić tried to find Vlašić at the top of the box in one of Croatia's few attacks of the half thus far, but the Spain defense had no issues retaking possession. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Livaković made the one-footed save of the tournament in the 15th minute, and with the help of Gvardiol, the ball went out for a corner.  

A quick Croatia counter-attack in the 17th minute saw quick one-twos between Gvardiol, Petković, Brozović, and Vlašić but no progress was made. Croatia was saved by the hand of Livaković yet again two minutes later.

But a catastrophic Spain mistake put Croatia in the lead one minute later - and it was 1:0 Croatia thanks to an own goal in the 20th minute! 

The goal gave Croatia just the momentum they needed as they continued attacking in the 5 minutes that followed. Rebić was taken down in the box which Croatia called for a penalty (with no luck), and Vlašić hit the side netting moments later. 

Vlašić dribbled through the Spain midfield to find Kova who shot just over the post.

A corner for Spain in the 31st minute was the biggest threat they had since the beginning of the half. Another Spain corner in the 36th minute resulted in a shot *almost* on goal, but it went out for a Croatia goal kick.  

A series of shots on goal and incredible saves by Livaković ultimately became too much for the Croatia defense, and Sarabia equalized for 1:1 in the 38th minute. 

Spain had two corners in the 41st minute - the latter of which was cleared by Rebić's head.

Juranović had a good cross into the box with two minutes to go in the first half but the Spain keeper stopped the play. Kova played the perfect through ball to Rebić one minute later which was only just too quick for him. Morata tried putting Spain ahead moments later but shot over the goal. 

The match ended 1:1 at the half.  

Dalić made one sub to start the second half - Kramarić came on for Petković. 

A Spain free kick from 30 meters out was cleared by Vida three minutes in. Vlašić tried for a quick Croatia counter once the ball was cleared but took a long first touch. 

Brozović switched the pitch to find Juranović who attacked up the right wing, cut in, and tried finding Kramarić. 

Spain maintained possession again for the first 10 minutes of the second half. A cross from the left found the head of an unmarked Azpilicueta in the box for the Spain lead. It was 1:2 for Spain in the 57th minute. 

Rebić just didn't have it this time, and after missing a great chance on the left side, Dalić subbed him off Mislav Oršić in the 67th minute. With just under 25 minutes to go, the Croatia fans grew even louder. 

Kramarić was one-on-one with the keeper one minute later which was called offside. 

Spain subbed off Sarabia for former Dinamo star Dani Olmo, and Garcia for Torres in the 70th minute. A Spain goal was called offside a minute later. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Dalić went in with yet another offensive sub, this time calling off Juranović for the fresh legs of Josip Brekalo. There were 15 minutes to go. 

A quick Spain free kick from the midfield line found Torres unmarked on the right side. He scored for 1:3 Spain in the 77th minute. 

Dalić made two more subs - Budimir came on for Kovačić and Pašalić for Vlašić.

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Slobodan Kadic

A mixup in the Spain defense and a series of blocked shots in front of the goal saw Oršić score for 2:3 with 5 minutes to go! 

The ref added 6 minutes to the end of the match. Kramarić had a shot on goal which was called offside.

But then it happened - Croatia came back to equalize in the 2nd minute of added time - Pašalić scored for 3:3! The match went to extra time. Two 15 minute halves were played. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Croatia had a great attack in the first minute and Oršić just shot over the goal! Another huge opportunity for Croatia came in the 95th minute with multiple shots on goal all saved by the Spain defense. 

Not long after, Morata was found alone on the far post to score for 3:4 in the 100th minute.

Busquets was subbed off for Rodri in the 101st minute. 

Kramarić had a shot right at the keeper in the 102nd, which wasn't enough. Spain came back to score again for 3:5 in the 103rd. 

The second half of extra time started with a stellar through ball by Oršić to Budimir who shot just wide of the goal. But there was not much time left for Croatia to get two goals...

Dalić subbed off Modrić for Ivanušec in the 113th minute. Spain attacked in the final minutes, hindering Croatia from making it past the midfield line. It was a decent effort from Croatia, but not enough. 

The match ended 3:5 for Spain. 

Spain plays against the winner of France and Switzerland, which we will find out tonight from 9 pm. 

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

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Sunday, 27 June 2021

Croatia Fans on Ferry from Germany to Denmark (PHOTOS)

June 27, 2021 - Croatia fans were spotted traveling on the ferry from Germany to Denmark on Sunday ahead of the round of 16 clash against Spain on Monday in Copenhagen. 

The Croatia national team will play their decisive round of 16 match against Spain tomorrow in Copenhagen, and unlike all Group D matches in London and Glasgow - Croatia fans are able to travel to Denmark with no problem. 

The Croatian Football Federation announced ticket sales earlier this week, which saw all 3,500 tickets in the Croatia sector sell out within hours. The Federation announced an additional 250 tickets for fans on Saturday, costing 1400 kuna for Category 1 and 950 kuna for Category 2. 

The excitement of fans and euphoria similar to that of the 2018 World Cup is hard to escape, and a red-and-white-check spectacle in Copenhagen is expected. 

Just a little over 24 hours before kick off, we are given a look into how Croatia fans across Europe are making their way to the Danish capital. 

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Tino Ostojić

Like these Croatia fans, for example, traveling from Nuremberg and Munich, Germany to Denmark by ferry!

Stay tuned as TCN will be reporting live from Copenhagen tomorrow. 

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Sunday, 27 June 2021

Zlatko Dalić Ahead of Spain: Who Will Replace Ivan Perišić?

June 27, 2021 - Who will replace Ivan Perišić in the EURO 2020 round of 16 match against Spain? Zlatko Dalić addresses the press. 

Croatia will play the EURO 2020 round of 16 match against Spain on Monday at 6 pm in Copenhagen. Today, a press conference was held at which coach Zlatko Dalić and midfielder Marcelo Brozovic addressed the press, reports Jutarnji List.

The main topic was the match against Spain, although most questions were related to Ivan Perišić dropping out of the Euros after he tested positive for COVID-19. 

Perišić has to be isolated for ten days, which means he would miss the other knockout phases until the final. 

Zlatko Dalić announced that he will not change the concept of the game, which proved to be a winner, and that he has a real replacement for Ivan Perišić.

"I spoke to Perišić, he is upset, it's a shock, at the last minute we were left without the best player from the group stage. We have to adapt to that. He will be our fan. God willing that everything will be fine and we will pass, so he will join us in 7-8 days. We will play for him too. It is not easy for him, he lived for it, he is in great shape, he scored two goals, but it happened," said Dalić for Perišić and added:

"Spain certainly arranged the game so that they have a more defensive player on that side who would dedicate himself to Perišić. Now they might change that and put in a more offensive one again. We will go with the player who is most similar to Ivan."

Dalić did not say who will play on the left wing.

"I have said before that we have the best selection of players in that position. There is Brekalo, Rebić, and Oršić, who play it naturally in their clubs. If we agreed differently, Kramarić and Ivanušec are here. We are going for a natural solution; we will not think much; I believe that the replacement will be of good quality. Hard to be on the level of Perišić, but he can give a lot. So we’re not going to change much because we’re going to have to spin a couple of players; we’re going to play with the same option as it was before."

Is there a fear that there will be more infected?

"It was a shock for all of us, but we have been living under stress for more than a month. We are ready for that, we adhere to everything, and we are not afraid of anything. We do everything to prevent that from happening. I hope that it won't disturb us a lot and that we are ready for the game."

Spain is quite confident. Do you follow their media?

"We should not care who says what, whether someone underestimates us or not. We respect everyone, especially Spain, which is one of the best teams in Europe by tradition, and they are not happy to play with us either. We will not underestimate them; we will be maximally motivated and responsible, and it will be seen who is best in the end. We know what we want; it’s to move forward."

Will Ćaleta-Car play stopper?

"We will not change much; that is evident. If we rotated more positions to the players, that would not be acceptable for this game. It’s not my idea; it’s not my experiment. Let's go with the same game."

This time, Croatia will have the real support of the fans.

"It will be much nicer and more pleasant than in the first three games where it was really hard. The fans mean a lot to us, and we will do everything not to disappoint them."

One Spanish journalist asked Dalić if he agreed with Ivica Olić that the odds are 50:50 or is Spain still the favorite?

"We are playing against an excellent national team, but we can't say they are better than us. Although I have huge respect for the Spain coach and a team that knows what it wants. I believe in our team. But I don’t want to say we are worse than anyone; the chances are equal."

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Friday, 25 June 2021

Bogdanović is Back: Croatia Basketball Tops Puerto Rico in Second Split Friendly

June 25, 2021 - In the second friendly match in Split, this time closed to the public, Croatia basketball tops Puerto Rico 72:66 (22-18, 24-9, 10-17, 16-22).

Puerto Rico started attacking aggressively, jumping to a 2-9 lead, forcing coach Veljko Mršić to call a time-out. Croatia successfully completed several well-executed plays and took the lead at 11-9. There were a few more draws in the first half, but Croatia held the reins firmly in their hands, and did not allow Puerto Rico to threaten the result seriously in the remaining three quarters, reports HKS.

utakmica_2_drežnjak.jpeg

HKS

Croatia held the biggest advantage when they were up by 23 points at 52:29 and 54:31 in the third quarter, both times thanks to Ante Toni Žižić. By the end of the game, Puerto Rico managed to get close to a single-digit difference.

Bojan Bogdanović also officially played the first game in this cycle of preparations, scoring 12 points with 5 assists. Ante Žižić was perfectly accurate (7/7 for field goals and 4/4 free throws) with which he scored 18 points and 7 rebounds. Captain Roko Leni Ukić also hit double digits with 11 points and Miro Bilan with 10 points.

utakmica_2_Bogdanovic.jpeg

 

HKS

“This match was closed to the public; we tried some things to see what it would look like. This is our second game in 24 hours. The first 25 minutes were excellent, we were up by 23 points, but we gave up in the last 15 minutes. We allowed Puerto Rico a lot of attacking jumps, as well as some points from the counterattack. The defense was at a nice level, we received 66 points, and we also created quite good situations offensively. Just like yesterday, our shots were weaker. However, 20-25 shots were made well, and when the tournament comes, and we are fresh, they will go in. All in all, we are satisfied. That preparation period was not easy because we got a new player every preparation game, and we had to start from scratch again, have the training, and show actions. There was a little loss of rhythm and intensity in training. However, now we have five days left until the first game of the tournament; it's time to get well, play, do our best, and try to qualify for the Olympic Games," said Veljko Mršić, the national team coach. 

The Olympic qualifying tournament in Split is held from June 29 to July 4, and Spaladium Arena is partially open to the public. Tickets can be purchased at ulaznice.hr and the Spaladium Arena box office.

"I would really like the hall to be filled as much as possible because we really need it. It is different to play in front of a full hall, and that is why I invite all basketball fans to come, support us and together, in synergy, win a place in the Olympic Games and enjoy those four days of top basketball."

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Thursday, 24 June 2021

Croatian Invasion in Copenhagen: Croatia Sector Sells Out against Spain!

June 24, 2021 - The Croatia sector at Parken stadium in Copenhagen has sold out for Croatia's round of 16 match against Spain! 

Within four hours after the start of ticket sales for the EURO 2020 round of 16 Croatia-Spain match, Croatia fans bought all available tickets for the Croatia sector at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen, HNS reports. 

Ticket sales for the Croatia sector began at 11:00 am on Thursday via Uefa's ticket portal, and tickets could be purchased using access codes. At around 15:00, all available tickets for the Croatia sector were sold out, which will thus be filled to capacity in the EURO 2020 round of 16 match against Spain, played on June 28 at 18:00 in Copenhagen.

On Friday, June 25, the free sale of tickets for neutral fans will start via the Uefa ticket portal, if there are unused tickets from other quotas available to Uefa.

The Croatian Football Federation recommends all fans, regardless of the country they come from to Copenhagen, follow the current information on the rules of entry into Denmark on the official website of the Danish authorities.

The rules for entering the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen can be found on the official UEFA website.

Croatia and Spain have played a total of eight games, winning three, drawing one, and losing four. If you ask the bookmakers, Croatia will record their fifth defeat on Monday because Spain is the big favorite of the match. The odds on their victory dropped to 1.60, and Croatia's climbed to a whopping 6.00.

Recall, Croatia lost to England at Wembley, drew against the Czech Republic in Glasgow, and defeated Scotland in Glasgow to win second place in Group D. Spain drew against Sweden and Poland but topped Slovakia 5:0 for second place in Group E. 

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

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Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Croatia and Spain to Meet in EURO 2020 Round of 16

June 23, 2021 - Croatia and Spain will meet in the EURO 2020 round of 16! 

In the EURO 2020 round of 16, the Croatia national team will play against the second-placed team from Group E, which is Spain.

After beating Scotland and finishing second in the group, Croatia knew they would play the second-placed team of Group E in the round of 16 on Monday in Copenhagen. There was total chaos ahead of the final round and all four teams had a chance to be second. 

Spain outclassed Slovakia 5:0 and did their part, but Sweden went up 2:0 and held a solid first place in the group. 

But when we thought it was the end, Lewandowski scored for 1:2, and six minutes before the end, he scored again. It seemed then that Croatia would face second-placed Sweden.

However, in the 94th minute, Claesson scored for 3:2, and Sweden finished first in Group E. 

The Croatia and Spain match is scheduled for June 28 in Copenhagen at 18:00. 

More soon...

Source: Index.hr

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