Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Croatia is 8th Largest Exporter of Footballers in the World!

May 10, 2022 - Croatia is the 8th largest exporter of footballers in the world!

Namely, 400 football players from Croatia play abroad in 135 professional leagues worldwide. According to those statistics, Croatia is the eighth largest exporter of footballers in the world, reports Slobodna Dalmacija

One of the few Croatian industries that are very competitive globally is football. Even though there are less than 4 million inhabitants, hardly any adequate infrastructure, stadiums, or pitches, coaches in the younger categories are often underpaid, and laws do not adequately support investments in sports, Croatia is a real football miracle - especially when you factor in it was the 2018 World Cup finalist. 

Croatia is at the top of the world in producing and exporting quality footballers and is the fifth largest European exporter. A recent study by CIES, the International Institute for Sports Studies in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, analyzed the 80 football federations with the most significant number of players abroad in 135 world leagues. The five years from 1 May 2017 to 1 May 2022 were analyzed. That last date was taken as a reference, while this research was done five years earlier for the first time. The study included 135 world professional leagues (83 from Europe, 20 from Asia, 18 from South America, 10 from North and Central America, and 4 from Africa), or 2198 clubs.

As expected, the most footballers playing outside, in these leagues, on May 1 this year were Brazilians (1219). It is no surprise that the current world champion France follows (978). The world’s third-largest exporter of footballers is also predictably Argentina (815). Brazilians and Argentines are the most famous representatives of South American football and have long been known as class players. It isn't easy to find a league in which they are not strongly represented. England (525) is on the list of a vast number of footballers who play in other leagues in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and Germany (441) has a significant number of players of Turkish origin who were born and live in Germany but play abroad, even in the homeland of their parents and ancestors. The highest percentage of foreign players from one country is Belgians in the Netherlands (29.6 percent).

On average, teams had 6.3 foreign footballers (22 percent). As far as Croatia is concerned, this is an increase of 25 percent compared to the identical analysis made five years earlier, on May 1, 2017, or an increase of 81 footballers. Five years ago, 319 football players from Croatia were in the mentioned leagues.

In addition to quality, Croatia has also shown incredible quantity, given that according to the latest census, it has only 3.88 million inhabitants. For comparison, the world's largest exporter of football players, Brazil, has 212 million inhabitants, France 65 million, Argentina 45 million, England 56 million, Germany 83 million, Colombia 50 million, and Spain 46 million. Behind Croatia are the great football nations such as the Netherlands, Portugal, and Belgium.

The favorite destination of Croatian footballers abroad is Slovenia, with 102 Croatian footballers. The next leading destination is the neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina, with 49 players. 

Top 10 largest exporters of footballers in the world

1. Brazil 1219
2. France 978
3. Argentina 815
4. England 525
5. Germany 441
6. Colombia 425
7. Spain 409
8. Croatia 400
9. Serbia 379
10. The Netherlands 367

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

Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Nova TV to Broadcast Croatia National Team Matches for Next 6 Years

May 2, 2022 - Nova TV, the most-watched television station in Croatia, has reached an agreement with Uefa and will continue to broadcast Croatia national team matches for the next six years.

Nova TV will broadcast qualifying matches for the 2024 European Championship, 2026 World Cup qualifiers, 2028 European Championship qualifiers, and 2022, 2024, and 2026 Nations League matches. In addition, football fans will be able to watch all Croatia national team friendly matches on Nova TV, announces HNS.

"On behalf of the Croatian Football Federation, I can express my satisfaction that Nova TV will continue to broadcast Croatia national team matches for the next six years. Nova TV has proven to be a great partner in terms of organization and programming, with many great people working in front of and behind the cameras. The Croatia national team matches are the most-watched program in Croatia, and that is why I congratulate Nova TV for winning the right to broadcast in the coming period. I am convinced that many joint victories await us, to the satisfaction of our fans and viewers of Nova TV," said the President of the Croatian Football Federation, Marijan Kustić.

"We are proud to continue broadcasting the most exciting sports content on Nova TV. It is our honor and responsibility to broadcast the Croatia national team matches and present the content to the viewers in the best possible way. Nova TV, as the strongest multimedia platform, will continue to create additional value, current and attractive content for all viewers of the national team in the next six years through the synergy of television and digital channels," said the President of the Management Board of Nova TV, Dražen Mavrić.

For the new, six-year cycle of national team activities, the sports newsroom of Nova TV is preparing a series of content and graphic news in shows and broadcasting matches. As before, everything will be accompanied by a dynamic display with the latest technology prepared by the multi-award-winning Nova TV team of production graphics.

"Quality preparations and the team are what make the project a success. When a person is part of a team made up of top professionals, even demanding projects such as broadcasting Croatia national team matches are not demanding. What makes producing Croatia national team matches different is the special national charge, pride, and emotions that go to unimaginable or, perhaps better said, immeasurable heights, no matter if it is happiness or sadness. It’s so present in the stadium environment that you can’t stay cool no matter how hard you try to be a cool professional. I am proud to have the opportunity to be a part of this whole story, and that makes me happy, both professionally and humanely, as a fan," said the main producer of the Nova TV news program, Antonio Blašković, who is leading the project's production.

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

Saturday, 16 April 2022

Captains: Luka Modrić to Feature in New FIFA+ TV Series, Netflix Also Interested

April 16, 2022 - Croatia national team captain will feature in a new FIFA+ series called Captains, which has also caught the attention of Netflix. 

Fifa has launched the FIFA + digital platform, which allows free viewing of rich content to football fans around the world, reports 24 Sata.

The series "Captains" will soon be available on the platform, which follows six captains behind the scenes as they lead their countries through the qualifications for the World Cup in Qatar, including Croatia's fierce leader Luka Modrić.

The series explores the leadership qualities of each individual but also the different roles of captains, including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon), Brian Kaltak (Vanuatu), Andre Blake (Jamaica), Hassan Maatouk (Lebanon), and Thiago Silva (Brazil) in addition to Modrić.

At the age of 36, Modrić remains the engine of Real Madrid and the Croatia national team, and one of the main reasons why Netflix, one of the world's largest streaming services, showed interest in the FIFA documentary. As 24 Sata has learned, they are in advanced negotiations with FIFA, and the mentioned series will probably be found on that popular streaming platform as well.

The Netflix streaming service has already released super-successful documentaries about Michael Jordan, Michael Schumacher, and Formula 1, to name a few.

The series will, among other things, feature never-before-released footage from Luka's childhood, details from his private life, and viewers will be able to see first-hand the atmosphere within the national team during their hunt for the World Cup in Qatar.

According to 24 Sata, Luka expressed regret that the cameras did not film Croatia's path to the silver medal at the World Cup in Russia. Still, this series should also arouse great interest among viewers.

Equally, FIFA+ will soon release a feature-length documentary, "Croatia: Defining the Nation," by acclaimed director Louis Myles, which talks about how football unites and connects the Croatian people and a group of friends who have gained global recognition in the face of extreme hardships. Each of them became a legend and painted their country around the world.

The film tells many stories of Croatia's bronze national team in 1998, such as Davor Šuker's Golden Boot at the 1998 World Cup, and the captain of the national team at that time, Zvonimir Boban. 

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

Wednesday, 13 April 2022

2022 World Cup Tickets for Croatia Fans On Sale!

April 13, 2022 - 2022 World Cup tickets for Croatia fans in Qatar opened on April 13, and applications will be accepted until April 28.

After more than 800,000 World Cup tickets were sold in the first phase, a ticket sale period has opened on https://www.fifa.com/tickets (with random draws in the event of more entries than available) ticket), which runs until Thursday, April 28 at 11:00 Central European Time.

From April 13, fans can apply for tickets for the Croatia national team matches. Recall, Croatia will play in Group F against Morocco (November 23), Canada (November 27), and Belgium (December 1). All national teams are entitled to eight percent of the stadium capacity in the group stage and approximately eight percent of the stadium capacity in the continuation of the competition (depending on the stadium configuration). Fan tickets can be applied for via the following link: www.fifa.com/fanticketingportals.

In this sales period, there will be no difference whether applications are submitted on the first, last, or any other day as all tickets will be awarded after the end of the application period. In cases where the number of registered tickets exceeds the available contingent, tickets will be allocated through a random selection procedure.

All fans will be notified of the outcome of their applications no later than Tuesday, May 31, with the steps to follow if they can purchase tickets and the deadline by which they must pay for the tickets awarded.

The prices of individual tickets for the first phase of the competition are 250 (3rd category), 600 (2nd category), and 800 (1st category) Qatari riyals. Prices for the round of 16 are 385, 825 and 1,100 riyals, for the quarterfinals 825, 1,155 and 1,705, for the semifinals 1,430, 2,640 and 3,828, for the third-place match 825, 1,210 and 1,705, and for the final 2,420, 4,015 and 6,435 riyals.

All ticket information can be found at https://www.fifa.com/tickets, and ticket prices here.

Source: HNS

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

 

Saturday, 2 April 2022

Croatia 2022 World Cup Schedule: 11 am Opener against Morocco

April 2, 2022 - The Croatia 2022 World Cup schedule is here, with the dates, times, and stadiums listed for the highly anticipated tournament later this year.

The Croatia national team will play this November at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in Group F together with Morocco, Canada, and Belgium. The draw was held on Friday night in Doha. 

If Croatia is one of the first two national teams in their group, they will cross paths with Group E, where Spain and Germany are the favorites to pass, while the group also includes Japan and either Costa Rica or New Zealand. 

Croatia's 2022 World Cup matches
FIFA has announced the exact schedule of matches, and Croatia will open the tournament against Morocco on November 23 at 11 am local time at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor.

The second round is scheduled four days later, on November 27, when Croatia plays Canada at 5 pm at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.

The Group F derby is played on December 1, when Croatia and Belgium will play at 4 pm at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan.

Qatar is not opening the World Cup.
Interestingly, host Qatar will not be the first to open the competition at the World Cup. Their match against Ecuador was scheduled by the organizer at 5 pm on the first day of the tournament, but before them, the Netherlands and Senegal will take the pitch at 11 am in the same group. Then, from 2 pm, England and Iran will play.

Remembering Croatia against Mexico 20 years ago.
This early match time between Croatia and Morocco is not the earliest Croatia has played at a World Cup. Twenty years ago in Japan, Croatia played and lost to Mexico at 8:30 Croatian time.

Croatia 2022 World Cup Schedule: 
Wednesday, November 23

11:00 Croatia - Morocco

Sunday, November 27

17:00 Croatia - Canada

Thursday, December 1

16:00 Croatia - Belgium

Source: Gol.hr

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

Saturday, 2 April 2022

Zlatko Dalić on Croatia World Cup Draw: "Goal is to Get Out of Group"

April 2, 2022 - Coach Zlatko Dalić comments on the Croatia World Cup draw, expressing that the goal is to get out of the group stage. 

Croatia national team coach Zlatko Dalić commented on the 2022 World Cup draw, which placed Croatia in Group F with Belgium, Morocco, and Canada, reports HNS.

Impressions are positive.

"At first glance, the group is not too tough. However, there is no easy group at the World Cup because there are the best national teams in the world. It won't be easy, but we have our goal, and that is to get out of the group. I believe we will prepare to win every game and make a step to the next round. The schedule of playing matches is good; we are playing against Morocco, Canada, and only then against Belgium." 

What does the opening against Morocco bring?

"We know that the coach of Morocco is Mr. Halilhodžić, who took four national teams to the World Cup. He will certainly prepare well for us, and it will be a tough match. Morocco beat Congo in the additional qualifiers, and several outstanding players in their ranks play in Europe. But, equally, Morocco will be very motivated because this is their first game in the World Cup."

Next up is the match against Canada, the team's first appearance at the World Cup since 1986.

“They achieved great success, but they fully deserved it. They were the first in their group; they beat the USA and Mexico, which signifies that they are very good. So they will be very motivated, they will come to the World Cup with a lot of good energy, and we will be a kind of "target" for them. So we have to be very careful because we have a tough opponent ahead of us."

In the last match in the group, Croatia awaits Belgium, the strongest national team on paper. 

"Belgium has been first in the Fifa ranking for several years; I know Mr. Martinez very well, a great coach. He has a great team at his disposal, powerful and capable of great things, with many quality individuals. That game will be our biggest challenge in the group, and it is good that it will be our third game. In any case, Belgium is the favorite in our group in terms of rating." 

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

Friday, 1 April 2022

2022 World Cup Draw: Croatia in Group F with Belgium, Morocco, and Canada

April 1, 2022 - The 2022 World Cup draw was held in Doha tonight, revealing Croatia in Group F against Belgium, Morocco, and Canada. 

The draw for the World Cup groups was held today in Doha which started at 18:00 Croatia time. 

Croatia was in the second strongest group (Pot 2) based on the FIFA ranking from March 31. The only thing known apart from the ranking was that the host Qatar was automatically placed in Group A.

The rule is that there can be no more than two European teams in one group, and as for other continents, two teams from Asia, Africa, South America, or North and Central America cannot end up in the same group.

Croatia needed at least one draw at the Doha friendly tournament to secure their spot in the second pot, which they achieved already against Slovenia. 

Due to specific circumstances, this group draw was held when not all World Cup participants are known. So far, 29 national teams have qualified and three more are awaited. The list will be completed in June, after the completion of the remaining continental and intercontinental playoffs.

Another national team will come from Europe after Scotland and Ukraine meet in Glasgow. The winner of that match will play against Wales and the winner will be placed in one of the eight groups drawn today.

Peru is also will play against the winner of the Australia - United Arab Emirates match. One final playoffs pair is already known: Costa Rica - New Zealand.

2022 World Cup Pots

Pot 1: Qatar, Brazil, France, Belgium, Argentina, England, Spain, Portugal

Pot 2: Mexico, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Uruguay, Switzerland, USA, Croatia

Pot 3: Senegal, Iran, Japan, Morocco, Serbia, Poland, South Korea, Tunisia

Pot 4: Cameroon, Ghana, Canada, Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, Wales or Scotland or Ukraine, Australia or the United Arab Emirates or Peru, Costa Rica or New Zealand

2022 World Cup draw:
Group A: Qatar, Netherlands, Senegal, Ecuador 

Group B: England, USA, Iran, Playoff winner (Wales or winner of Scotland - Ukraine)

Group C: Argentina, Mexico, Poland, Saudi Arabia

Group D: France, Denmark, Tunisia, Playoff winner (either Peru or winner of the Australia - United Arab Emirates match)

Group E: Spain, Germany, Japan, Playoff winner (Costa Rica or New Zealand)

Group F: Belgium, Croatia, Morocco, Canada 

Group G: Brazil, Switzerland, Serbia, Cameroon

Group H: Portugal, Uruguay, Korean Republic, Ghana 

Croatia opens the World Cup on November 23 against Morocco, followed by Canada on November 27, and Belgium in the last round on December 1. The exact timetables and stadiums where Croatia will play will be known later.

The World Cup in Qatar will be played from November 21 to December 18. This will be the last World Cup according to the current concept (32 national teams divided into eight groups of four). At the 2026 World Cup, which will be hosted by Canada, Mexico, and the United States, there will be 48 national teams.

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

Tuesday, 29 March 2022

Modrić and Kramarić Score in Croatia's 2:1 Win against Bulgaria in Doha

March 29, 2022 - Modrić and Kramarić scored in Croatia's 2:1 win against Bulgaria on Tuesday in Doha. 

After Croatia played 1:1 with Slovenia on Saturday, Croatia met Bulgaria on Tuesday for their second friendly match in Doha. 

Coach Zlatko Dalić changed 10 of the 11 players from the starting lineup against Slovenia. Just as he announced, he gave everyone a chance to start from the first minute, that is, to rest those who were in the starting 11 three days ago. Because Lovren wasn't ready, the only player who started both matches was Duje Ćaleta-Car.

Lineups

Croatia: (3-5-2): Ivušić - Škorić, Vida, Ćaleta-Car - Oršić, Majer, Moro, Pašalić, Barišić - Vlašić, Livaja

Bulgaria: Vucov - Turicov, P. Hristov, A. Hristov, Jordanov - Nedelev, Čočev, Malinov, Kirilov - Minčev, Despodov.

Recap

Croatia started offensively and got into Bulgaria's penalty area in the first minute. Bulgaria had their first dangerous counter in the 6th minute which Škorić cleared. 

Livaja had a chance in the 8th minute and Barišić shot from the left in the 11th which was cleared for a corner. Oršić had a chance two minutes later which also went out for a corner. 

Moro shot on target from 20 meters in the 20th minute which the Bulgaria keeper hit out for Croatia's third corner of the match.

Bulgaria had a chance in the 25th minute which Ivušić defended for a Bulgaria corner. Mile Škorić was injured moments later forcing Pogrančić to be subbed on in the 28th minute.

Barišić shot again from the left in the 35th minute and Orišić with his left foot three minutes later. 

The first half ended 0:0 with 59% of possession for Croatia and 11 total shots, 4 of which were on target. 

Perišić and Kovačić came on for Moro and Vida to start the second half. 

Perišić threatened Bulgaria's goal two minutes into the second half. Pašalić also had a chance in the 54th minute. 

In the 60th minute, Vlašić and Livaja came out for Kramarić and Budimir. 

In the 63rd minute, Ćaleta-Car got his second yellow card and was sent off, forcing Croatia to play with a man down. 

Despodov took advantage of a hole in Croatia's defense to put Bulgaria ahead in the 69th minute. A foul was called on Kramarić in the penalty area five minutes later and Modrić scored from the penalty spot for 1:1. 

Kramarić dribbled through Bulgaria's defense in the 80th minute to find the far post for 2:1 Croatia. 

Bulgaria had a brilliant chance in the 87th minute after Kovačić lost the ball, though Barišić saved the day to keep it 2:1. 

Bulgaria had another chance in the 90th minute and the ref added 4 minutes of stoppage time. The match ended 2:1 for Croatia. 

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

Monday, 28 March 2022

Zlatko Dalić Reveals Croatia Lineup against Bulgaria in Doha

March 28, 2022 - Coach Zlatko Dalić has revealed a much different Croatia lineup against Bulgaria on Tuesday. It will be the second friendly match in Doha after Croatia and Slovenia drew 1:1 on Saturday.

Croatia national football team coach Zlatko Dalić once again commented on Croatia's performance in the first friendly match in Doha on Saturday, reports HNS.

Croatia dominated Slovenia for most of the match, which ended in a draw after conceding a goal in the last moments.

"I am sorry for the goal we conceded in the last minute. We knew there would be two minutes of stoppage time before that corner kick when we didn’t react well, and then we conceded a goal anyway. We did not stand well in the initial formation; a hole was created, but, well… It is better that it happened now than later. We will analyze the situation well, see where we went wrong, and correct it.

All in all, it saddened me because we didn't deserve the game to end 1:1. We played well, especially after the first twenty minutes when we weren’t ourselves. We had narrowed a bit; our legs were stiff and heavy, there was no depth. I have to admit that it was much better in training. It was good," said Dalić, who once again commented on the defense.

 

"The players had to attack the ball after the cross, but they didn't set up well. If they had stood properly in the space, the Slovenian player would not have come to the ideal situation to score. It's a matter of concentration. However, the problem was that we replaced six players, so the formation and schedule of players changed at that break, and we could not follow everything. Even though we knew we had two minutes. I'm sorry for the goal we received in the last seconds, but we will try to fix it in the games that follow."

The coach announced a completely new team against Bulgaria.

"Croatia solved all its problems four months ago. We are calm and peaceful, what we have to do now is check some things, that is my job as a coach. We need to get answers to some questions, and we only have a chance now. Competitive matches come later when there are no more sub-questions so that we will give a chance to all players. I told the guys that it’s all up to them, that no one will be deprived; what they show and play will be the only thing relevant to whether or not they will be part of the national team. That is why I want to give a chance to all the players. Ivušić will get a chance in goal; we have small problems in the defense because Sosa is in pain, and I don't think we will use him. He surprised me because he came to the gathering with an injury he didn’t talk about. He wanted to be with us, he tried, he struggled, but we will not force him. It doesn't make sense; I want him to rest and be ready to return to the club."

Dalić announced the rest of the lineup:

"The stoppers will be Škorić, Vida, and Ćaleta-Car, on the left side Barišić, on the right maybe Juranović, although it will be his second game then. Moro, Pašalić, and Majer will be in the midfield, and Vlašić and Livaja will be in the attack. When it comes to the right flank, we are only in a little doubt; I will not tell you who we are thinking about because you will make drama around it. The goal is to try this team and, of course, win the game." 

The coach again praised the players for their engagement and the game against Slovenia.

"We played a fair game; it's good to have a wide frame; sweet worries await me. The Nations League is already waiting for us in three months. We face difficult exams during which we will have to use more players because we will play four games in ten days. After the Doha games, the players will, in any case, know what they did or did not do."

Croatia also awaits the upcoming World Cup draw. 

"Croatia has competed in five world championships and won two medals. Who has that? And we underestimate that. A country of four million people has achieved such great results… This is something fascinating. The draw... it would be good if we pulled Qatar, no matter how much we underestimate anyone. Our goal is to go through the group to take that first step. It will be difficult, Qatar will be with the best national teams, but I believe in our team and us. I do not want to talk about some higher goals. In Russia, we went step by step. All opponents are tough from the first strong group, except the host, who is objectively the easiest opponent. The third and fourth strong group… I didn't think much about it; when the draw is over, I will be able to comment a bit more," concluded the coach.

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

Monday, 28 March 2022

HNS Chooses Croatia Camp in Qatar for 2022 World Cup

March 28, 2022 - The Croatia camp in Qatar for the 2022 World Cup has been chosen by the Croatian Football Federation. 

The Croatian Football Federation delegation visited the Dusit Hotel and the Al Gharafa Training Center, which are the first option for the Croatia national team base camp during the FIFA World Cup, held in Qatar at the end of the year, reports HNS.

Last July, the Federation's technical delegation visited a dozen potential base camps offered by FIFA in its catalog, each consisting of a hotel and a connected training center. After a detailed report to President Marijan Kustić, the leadership of the Federation and the expert staff headed by coach Zlatko Dalić chose the Dusit Hotel and Al Gharafa Training Center as its first option in Fifa's camp reservation system.

The friendly tournament in Doha was used for another visit to the hotel and training center, and the Federation was once again convinced of the excellent conditions provided by the hotel and training center. Even though several other national teams are waiting in line for the mentioned base camp, HNS has the right to "buy first" or sign a contract until June this year.

"We have moved away from our activities so far, and we looked at the camps before placing in the big competition because we are not superstitious and believe in our team. This allowed us to choose one of the better hotels and camps and now we are convinced that we made the best choice. We must provide the national team with the best conditions, and that is why I am proud of the quality logistics and administration we have in the Federation. Ultimately, it is only appropriate that the World Cup finalists have one of the best camps in Doha," said the president of the Federation, Marijan Kustić.

“I have complete confidence in our logistics, from team manager Iva Olivari onwards, and as we have always had great hotels and grounds, I am sure it will be the same in Doha. Staying here was great for us to acclimatize and get acquainted with the conditions that await us at the World Cup, and it is good that we resolved the issue of the base camp in time not to think about it at the last minute. Thanks to President Kustić and the Federation's leadership for giving maximum support to the national team in all matters, including the choice of base camp," said the selector Zlatko Dalić.

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

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