Wednesday, 6 October 2021

PHOTOS: Luka Modrić Returns to Croatia Team ahead of Cyprus and Slovakia

October 6, 2021 - Captain Luka Modrić returns to Croatia for the first time since the EURO 2020 match against Spain! 

Ahead of the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Cyprus and Slovakia, the Croatia national team held a training, also attended by captain Luka Modrić. reports Gol.hr.

Since he missed the September qualifiers, Modrić played his last game in the national team jersey at the European Championship against Spain in June.

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Goran Stanzl/PIXSELL

Everyone could hardly wait for Luka's return to the national team, confirmed by assistant Vedran Ćorluka. Modrić arrived at the national team camp on Monday night, and on Tuesday night, had his first training session with Croatia after a long break.

Unfortunately, the national team lost Josip Juranović and Dejan Lovren before the October qualifiers, while Domagoj Vida will miss one game. Thus, Josip Stanišić, a Bayern player and the new star of Croatia, could make his debut as a right back.

"Lovren and Juranović will not come to the gathering. We agreed, due to their injuries and the current situation that they stay at their clubs and train. Juranović dropped out, and Lovren will not be with us for the first week, and we will see if he will be OK for the match against Slovakia. We have a situation with stoppers, but I wouldn’t say a problem either because we have a lot of quality in that part of the game. We activated the callups to Ćaleta-Car and Pongračić, they are in full training, although they did not play all the games," said Dalić on Monday. 

Coach Zlatko Dalić sees Stanišić in the first match against Cyprus, and maybe against Slovakia, played in Osijek on October 11 at 20:45.

Unfortunately, Mislav Oršić missed Tuesday's training due to ankle discomfort, and the medical team did not want to take any risks. However, the Dinamo player should be ready for the qualifiers against Cyprus and Slovakia.

Tuesday's training also featured goalkeeper Simon Sluga, who arrived as a replacement for the injured Ivica Ivušić.

On Monday, Croatia also trained at the Hitrec-Kacian auxiliary ground at Maksimir Stadium. Nikola Vlašić's 24th birthday celebration enhanced the already great atmosphere. 

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

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Monday, 4 October 2021

Zlatko Dalić Ahead of Croatia's October World Cup Qualifiers: "We Must Remain Disciplined"

October 4, 2021 - Croatia's October World Cup qualifiers begin on Friday against Cyprus and continue in Osijek against Slovakia next Monday. Coach Zlatko Dalić addressed the press in Zagreb today before the national team gathered to discuss the upcoming cycle.

The Croatia national team is gathering in Zagreb ahead of the October World Cup qualifiers. Zlatko Dalić's team will play against Cyprus on Friday and host Slovakia on Monday in Osijek. Dalić has a lot of problems in the Croatia defense due to injuries, reports HRT.

"We must continue to be disciplined. We must continue even more seriously, even more responsibly, if we want to ease the cycle in November," said Dalić to begin.

On Sunday, he activated a callup to Borussia Dortmund defender Marin Pongračić. A few days ago, he also called up Duje Ćaleta-Car, due to the uncertain injuries of Domagoj Vida and Josip Juranović.

Dalić commented on Josip Brekalo's return to the national team:

"Josip Brekalo was not a problem for me; he was looking for a club, he was not in rhythm, and that is why he was not invited. He went to Turin, he played, and as soon as he got back in shape, we called him. We need him like other players who were not on the national team. No one will be deprived of the national team; whoever deserves their games, with their behavior, statements, and attitude towards the national team, will not be deprived because I see my interest first. Mine is that Croatia plays well to qualify for Qatar and the interest of the Croatia national team. I did not communicate with Rebić; there was no contact."

Croatia leads Group H with 13 points, the same as Russia. Slovakia is third with nine points, and Slovenia has seven. Malta and Cyprus follow with four points each.

"I think that 21 points will be enough, but we must decide for ourselves."

What does he think of the World Cup every two years?

"I don't think it's good, especially for the players, and the charm of playing the World Cup would be lost. We have to take care of the health of the footballers, and they play too many games this way."

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Sunday, 3 October 2021

To Infinity and Beyond: Luka Modrić Real Madrid Contract Extension?

October 3, 2021 - The latest on the Luka Modrić Real Madrid contract extension as Marca reports the Croatia captain could stay at the royal club beyond 2022.

Gol.hr reports that Croatia captain Luka Modrić signed with Real until 2022. However, Spanish sports daily Marca wrote in the text entitled "Luka Modrić: To Infinity and Beyond" that he could stay at the club after the summer of 2022, i.e., extend his contract for another year when his current contract expires.

"Modrić agreed to a lower salary as he realized his dream and ended his career at the Santiago Bernabeu. However, the 2018 Ballon d'Or winner plans to play for another two or three years and is still a key player at Real although his replacements Fede Valverde and Eduardo Camaving are ready," writes Marca. 

"He is physically in better shape than in previous years. Last year he was fantastic with 48 games played, and that is why Real is planning to fulfill his dream and allow him to conclude his career with a contract until the summer of 2023. There are no official negotiations yet, but the club is open to that idea."

If Modrić succeeds, it will be good news for Croatia because the captain will not have to look for a new club for the last season of his playing career and appearance at the World Cup in Qatar. Recall that the World Cup will be played in the winter of 2022, and since Luka has a valid contract until the summer of next year, he would have to sign with another club for a year if he leaves Madrid, all to be in shape for Croatia in Qatar.

If he signs a new contract with Real, he will end his career in Madrid and be ready for the World Cup there.

He would also get the honor Zidane received last - playing his final official match in a Real Madrid jersey.

This honor was not given to many legends like Sergio Ramos, Raul, or Iker Casillas, who had to conclude their famous careers elsewhere. The last to do so was the legendary Zizou, though the Croatia national team captain could follow in his footsteps.

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Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Tickets on Sale for Croatia World Cup Qualifier Against Slovakia in Osijek

September 29, 2021 - Tickets are on sale for the Croatia World Cup qualifier against Slovakia at City Garden Stadium in Osijek on October 11.

The Croatia national football team will continue qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in October. Zlatko Dalić's team will play against Cyprus in Larnaca on October 8 and Slovakia three days later in Osijek, reports HNS.

Online ticket sales for both Cyprus and Slovakia started on September 28 at 3 pm, the Croatian Football Federation announced.

The ticket price for the match against Cyprus is 80 kuna, and tickets can only be purchased online. One person can buy a maximum of four tickets.

Online ticket sales include a personal collection at the stadium box office with the presentation of a passport and a purchase confirmation (voucher), which is downloaded from the user's website after a successful purchase. Replacing vouchers at the stadium will be determined later, and all customers will be notified by e-mail.

Only citizens of the Republic of Croatia have the right to purchase online, regardless of residence address, by filling in personal data (name and surname, OIB, passport or identity card number, date of birth, and customer address). In addition to their data, the buyer also enters data on other spectators for whom they buy tickets, while other spectators do not have to be Croatian citizens.

The deadline for purchasing tickets is October 1 until 12 noon, i.e., until the availability of tickets is used.

Buying tickets for Croatia fans for the match against Cyprus is possible only through the Croatian Football Federation website. Croatia fans will not purchase tickets at the stadium box office or access the stadium without a voucher.

Entry to the stadium will be allowed only to those fans who have a valid EU digital COVID certificate issued based on complete vaccination or recovery of the coronavirus. EU digital COVID certificates issued based on PCR or antigen tests will not be recognized. HNS notes that no different vaccination certificates or sickness certificates will be recognized, but only the EU digital COVID certificate with a valid QR code checked at the entrance.

Ticket sales are organized exclusively online for the qualifying match between Croatia and Slovakia at City Garden Stadium in Osijek (October 11 at 8.45 pm). Ticket prices in presale (as of October 10) are 150 kn (west), 100 kn (east), and 75 kn (south). On the day of the match on October 11, the prices will be 200, 120 and 90 kn.

Everyone coming to the stadium must have an EU digital COVID certificate. However, children under the age of 12 who have a ticket can enter the stadium without an EU digital COVID certificate if accompanied by a parent or guardian who has a certificate and a ticket.

Ticket sales include e-tickets that the customer must download and print. Only citizens of the Republic of Croatia have the right to purchase, regardless of residence address, by filling in the required personal information.

One person can buy up to four tickets. In addition to their data, the buyer can also enter data on other ticket holders, where they do not necessarily have to be a citizen of the Republic of Croatia.

TICKETS CAN BE PURCHASED HERE

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Friday, 24 September 2021

Potential Nations League Opponents for Croatia Revealed

September 24, 2021 - Potential Nations League opponents for Croatia have been revealed, while the groups for the 3rd edition of the competition will be decided in a draw on December 16. 

UEFA has announced the strongest groups for the upcoming Nations League draw on December 16 in Montreux, Switzerland, reports T.portal.

The Croatia national football team is still in the strongest, League A of the UEFA Nations League, and to start, Croatia has at least found out which three national teams they certainly cannot meet in the group stage. 

The plan is for the Nations League matches to be played in June and September next year, primarily because the World Cup in Qatar will be played in late winter, through November and December.

Croatia has thus been placed in the Group C draw group with England, Poland, and Switzerland.

But who does that leave as Croatia's potential opponents?

From Group A, Croatia can face France, Belgium, Italy, and Spain, in Group B, Portugal, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany, while from Group D, Croatia can play against Wales, Austria, the Czech Republic, or Hungary.

The winners of the UEFA Nations League will play the Final Four tournament in June 2023. They will also have a place in the additional qualifiers for Euro 2024 if they do not qualify for that competition through regular qualifiers.

The last national teams from each of the four League A groups are relegated to League B.

Nations League draw groups (December 16):

Group A: France, Belgium, Italy, Spain
Group B: Portugal, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany
Group C: CROATIA, England, Poland, Switzerland
Group D: Wales, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary

Nations League 2022/'23:

Round 1: June 2-4, 2022
Round 2: June 5 to 7, 2022
Round 3: June 9-11, 2022
Round 4: June 12-14, 2022
Round 5: September 22-24, 2022
Round 6: September 25-27, 2022

Recall, Croatia still has to finish up their 2022 World Cup qualifiers this year, with two games next month against Cyprus away and Slovakia at home. After that, Croatia completes their qualifying campaign in November against Malta away and Russia at Poljud. 

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Monday, 20 September 2021

Luka Modrić Returns for Croatia's October World Cup Qualifiers

September 20, 2021 - Captain Luka Modrić returns for Croatia's October World Cup qualifiers against Cyprus and Slovakia.

The Croatia national team coach Zlatko Dalić invited 24 players, with six call-ups, to the qualifying matches against Cyprus and Slovakia in October, reports HNS.

After a very successful September, sitting at the top of the group with seven points in three games, the Croatia national team awaits the continuation of the European qualifications for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Croatia will play in Larnaca near Cyprus on October 8, and then they will host Slovakia on October 11 in Osijek.

The national team will gather on October 4 in Zagreb, where they will train until October 7 and then travel to Larnaca. They will travel to Osijek immediately after the match against Cyprus.

After missing the September qualifying campaign due to injury, Dalić's player list is again led by captain Luka Modrić.

"After a successful September, of course, we now welcome the new gathering with a lot of optimism, positive energy, and confidence. However, we must be aware that all the good we have done must now be confirmed with six more points and that we can only do so with the full concentration, approach, and togetherness we had at the last gathering. We have already beaten Cyprus and Slovakia in this cycle, and we accept the role of favorites in both games, but I repeat - we must be at our maximum. I am convinced that the invited players will successfully respond to this challenge, and of course, we are especially pleased with the return of Luka Modrić, who as a player and leader is of inestimable importance to us," said coach Zlatko Dalic.

List of players for Cyprus and Slovakia:

Goalkeepers: Dominik Livaković (Dinamo Zagreb), Ivica Ivušić (Osijek), Ivo Grbić (Lille).

Defenders: Domagoj Vida (Bešiktaš), Dejan Lovren (Zenit), Borna Barišić (Glasgow Rangers), Josip Juranović (Celtic), Mile Škorić (Osijek), Filip Uremović (Rubin Kazan), Joško Gvardiol (RB Leipzig), Borna Sosa (Stuttgart), Josip Stanišić (Bayern).

Midfielders : Luka Modrić (Real Madrid), Mateo Kovačić (Chelsea), Marcelo Brozović (Inter), Mario Pašalić (Atalanta), Nikola Vlašić (West Ham), Luka Ivanušec (Dinamo Zagreb), Kristijan Jakić (Eintracht Frankfurt).

Strikers: Ivan Perišić (Inter), Andrej Kramarić (Hoffenheim), Josip Brekalo (Torino), Mislav Oršić (Dinamo Zagreb), Marko Livaja (Hajduk).

Callups: Duje Ćaleta-Car (Olimpique de Marseille), Ante Budimir (Osasuna), Antonio Mirko Čolak (Malmö), Simon Sluga (Luton Town), Kristijan Lovrić (Gorica), Nikola Moro (Dinamo Moskva).

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, 9 September 2021

Age-defying Luka Modrić Celebrates 36: Happy Birthday to Croatia's Best Footballer

September 9, 2021 - The age-defying Croatian football great Luka Modrić celebrates 36 years today. To honor the Croatia captain and Real Madrid star, we recount an unknown story about the 2018 Ballon d'Or winner. 

Although already in his finer years, Luka Modrić is still one of the core players of the biggest football clubs in the world, Real Madrid. But Luka's path to stardom was anything but easy, especially when recounting his early childhood days. 

Luka's war history has been retold many times because as a six-year-old boy, he had to leave his family home in Zaton Obrovački, where in front of that house, Chetniks killed his grandfather Luka, after whom he was named. 

For many years, Modrić lived with his family in refugee hotels in Zadar - he was in the Kolovare Hotel until 1997, and then he moved to the Iž Hotel. He would go to school and training and moved his focus solely to football, which eased the pain of life's everyday difficulties. 

The separation, time of war, and everything that accompanied Luka's early years in Zadar were anything but pleasant, but there were many people with big hearts who tried to make those days better.

Namely, Luka received help from a Scottish humanitarian association founded during the war in former Yugoslavia, and its founder Magnus MacFarlane-Farrow (53) admitted his run-in with now football great Luka Modrić on The Scottish Sun.

“Little did we know that among the crowds of kids there was one who would grow up to be a global superstar. But now we can celebrate an amazing moment in the Mary’s Meals story," said funder and CEO of Mary’s Meals, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow. 

“Today, two million children ate Mary’s Meals in a place of education. When we set out on this path nearly 30 years ago, we were overwhelmed by people’s goodness in donating – and that’s been the story ever since."

In the beginning, Magnus personally came to Medjugorje with his brother Fergus and delivered help for those in need. And in 2019, to mark the 10th anniversary of the Mary's Meals branch, he visited Croatia. 

"In 2019, my Julie and I travelled back to Croatia for the ten-year anniversary of Mary’s Meals support there.

We enjoyed an amazing evening of dancing and singing in Slavonski Brod, a town we had last visited nearly thirty years previously when it was being ripped apart by war and home to many thousands of refugees.

At the main event in the capital, Zagreb, the following evening, I received a very wonderful surprise when I finished making my short speech.

One of the volunteers climbed onto the stage and presented me with a parcel, which on opening turned out to be a Croatia football top.

I was happy enough with that, being a big fan of their amazing national team, which had reached the World Cup final the previous year, but only when I turned it over in my hands did I realize it was much better than that.

It was a signed gift from Luka Modrić, who was the holder of the Ballon d’Or - so recognised as the best footballer on the planet.

He and his family support Mary’s Meals partly because they were themselves refugees in the coastal town of Zadar when Julie and I used to deliver aid there.

Little did we know that among the crowds of kids there was one who would grow up to be a global superstar."

Luka Modric won the Golden Ball at the 2018 World Cup, where he also became a finalist with Croatia. He went on to win the Ballon d’Or and was named the men’s best player by FIFA and UEFA for the 2017/18 season. He also won the Golden Ball at the FIFA World Club Cup with Real Madrid, and helped the club win their third consecutive Champions League title. But that's only part of it, and there is no stopping him yet. 

Happy 36th Birthday, Luka!

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Croatia against Russia at Poljud to Decide 2022 World Cup Spot

September 8, 2021 - Croatia against Russia at Poljud Stadium - the match that will decide the winner of Group H and a direct spot at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Croatia completed their September World Cup qualifiers with the victory against Slovenia (3:0) at Poljud on Tuesday, winning seven out of nine points. In the last six days, all three games were played against the main competitors for direct placement in the 2022 World Cup, reports Index.hr.

Croatia must finish the qualifications at the top of the group to directly qualify for the World Cup. Recall, finishing second leads to the most difficult additional qualifications for the World Cup in history. It is important to emphasize that these qualifications for the World Cup are completely different from all others so far. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the schedule is condensed, so the European part of the World Cup qualifiers is played across eight months, instead of the previous one and a half years. Namely, Qualifications run from March to November this year.

Furthermore, only ten group winners will secure a spot at the World Cup, while ten runners-up will play additional qualifiers. Thus, two winners of the 2020/21 Nations League groups will join those national teams, but only those who did not directly qualify for the World Cup and did not secure additional qualifications as runners-up in the World Cup qualifying groups.

Unlike in the past, during these additional World Cup qualifiers, the national teams will be divided into three groups. Only one knockout match will be played to define which three European national teams ensure their spot at the 2022 World Cup.

Four games before the end, it is clear that Croatia and Russia will decide the winner of the group. Both national teams have 13 points, and one goal only divides them. 

Before the qualifications, coach Zlatko Dalić said that he thinks 20 or 21 points will be enough for first place in the group. However, Croatia could again finish in the additional qualifications with 20 points, just like for the 2018 World Cup, when Croatia overcame Greece.

Apart from Croatia, Denmark also went to the playoffs with 20 points, but it is worth noting that in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, Portugal and Ukraine went to the playoffs, even though they had 21 points each. So Dalić's calculation should not be taken as relevant.

Croatia has 13 points after six games, and by the end of this part of the qualification, four more games will be played from October 8 to November 14.

If Croatia, as expected, beats the two weakest national teams, Cyprus and Malta, it would have 19 points. Still, the decision will fall in Osijek and Split against the significantly stronger Slovakia and Russia. A mitigating circumstance for Croatia is that they play against both national teams at home.

Until the end, Russia's schedule and results will be equally important to Croatia, and the derby will decide the winner of the group in the last round, Croatia - Russia at Poljud

Croatia's schedule until the end of the World Cup qualifiers:

October 8: Cyprus - Croatia

October 11: CROATIA - Slovakia

November 11: Malta - Croatia

November 14: CROATIA - Russia

Russia's schedule until the end of the World Cup qualifiers:

October 8: Russia - Slovakia

October 11: Slovenia - Russia

November 11: Russia - Cyprus

November 14: Croatia - Russia

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Ivan Perišić to Captain Croatia against Slovenia: Every Game at Poljud is Special

September 7, 2021 - Croatia national team coach Zlatko Dalić and Inter Milan midfielder Ivan Perišić spoke to the press ahead of Croatia's final September 2022 World Cup qualifier at Poljud on Tuesday. Ivan Perišić will captain Croatia against Slovenia. 

Croatia needs a victory at Poljud to increase points after consecutive visits to Russia and Slovakia.

"Certainly, there will be no Livaković in goal; we will not take any risks; Gvardiol is also questionable. I am not inclined to force what I am not sure of, as in the case of Modrić and Budimir. We will go with healthy and ready players. This, after all, was shown by this census at the beginning of the September cycle. Some players played a lot, Sosa, Juranović, Lovren… I'm a little scared to start a game with players who played a lot. We won’t change and invent much because we have nothing. I will say that Livaja will start the game, he has known this for several days, and I expect great things from him; he deserved it with his performances for Hajduk. In what position will he play? Everyone is there to play what is meant for them. Nobody plays a dominant position, even though the media constantly emphasize it," says Zlatko Dalić, who went on to discuss the importance of a victory and the demands of the third game in a week.

"We have to be favorites at our stadium, in front of our fans. Perhaps this will be the most difficult match for us because it is the third in just seven days against an aggressive and combative opponent who beat us in Slovenia. If we do not show the energy from Bratislava and Moscow, it will be difficult for us. However, I doubt that the audience will carry us in our motive, and I believe we will win the match. In which way, it doesn't matter; only the points are important."

Slovenia is no easy opponent. 

"Slovenia is not just Jan Oblak. Iličić rested; he is fresh and the biggest danger; he forms an attacking axis with Lovrić, and I expect Mlakar as well. Slovenia will play as much as we allow them and as we position ourselves on the field. We did not let Russia or Slovakia play with pressure; I am delighted with that game segment. We must react well to other opponents' balls again. Problems in the attack? We were a little futile going forward, but these aren’t games to die for in beauty. Points matter, not impressions. I said that I had no objections to what Croatia played, except for that final."

The team will once again be weakened with the absence of Luka Modrić.

"Luka will not be forever; we cannot keep repeating Luka, Luka, Luka. No one can replace him individually; we can only replace him as a team; we must understand that. He started training; he will be with us in October. We have to get rid of that rumor so that we can play without the captain, who we miss a lot."

There will be no lack of support at Poljud, and well-filled stands are expected.

"The support of the audience will be important to us. We remember Hungary and the fantastic atmosphere that reigned at Poljud during that match. It was an atmosphere that gave you chills. However, since I was the coach, where the point was that we played, it was beautiful for us, in Osijek, Rijeka, Zagreb… Regardless of what someone wants to do that is worthless, the Croatian people recognize the good. Therefore, I expect great support from the stands, and we will try to thank you with three points," concluded Dalić.

Ivan Perišić will lead Croatia as captain against Slovenia. Ivan is aware that the victory against Slovakia in Bratislava additionally raised the self-confidence of the national team.

"The atmosphere is great after the victory in Slovakia; it gave us extra energy. We did well in the matches against Russia and Slovakia, we did not concede a goal, and we can be satisfied with two of perhaps the most difficult away games. However, if we don't beat Slovenia, it won't mean much," said Perišić, who spoke about the hard September rhythm of these matches.

"The rhythm is tough; everything happened in a short time, it will be a little easier in October and November, but then we will already have two games a week with our clubs. Whoever survives will talk, ha, ha, ha… However, we have 25 players so that the coach can choose and distribute the forces. The skeleton of the team is there; the younger players already have a lot of serious games, they give us extra strength." 

Ivan spoke about the course of the match against Slovenia.

"We will start from the first minute to score; it will be easier if we open them at the start, as was the case against Hungary at Poljud. We definitely need to improve our attack, and we need more time for that. Poljud? Every game at Poljud is something special; it means a lot to me, family, friends, we can't wait for it to start."

Source: HNS

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Monday, 6 September 2021

Mandatory EU COVID Passports at Poljud and Croatia News Before Slovenia Qualifier

September 6, 2021 - Attending Croatia's 2022 World Cup qualifier against Slovenia in Split on Tuesday? Here's all you need to know about mandatory EU COVID passports at Poljud Stadium, Spaladium Area ticket sales, and match expectations. 

Upon entering Poljud stadium for the 2022 World Cup qualifier between Croatia and Slovenia, which is played on Tuesday, September 7, visitors must present an EU digital Covid certificate, the Split Police reassured. 

"We remind visitors that at the entrance they must have: purchased a personalized ticket, an identification document with a picture (identity card, passport, driver's license) based on which their identity and EU digital Covid certificate will be verified before entering," the Split Police Department said in a statement.

All three documents must have identical identification data because visitors will not be able to enter the stadium.

Croatia and Slovenia will meet on Tuesday at 8:45 pm, and the entrance to the stadium will be open from 6 pm.

"We invite visitors to come earlier so that after inspections and checks, they can enter the stadium and take their place marked on the ticket," the police explained.

They stressed that, after entering the stadium and during the match, spectators could only sit in the place specified on the ticket and cannot be in spaces not provided for them.

The police note that before, during, and after the match, they will "intensively observe the area of ​​the City of Split, visit places where fans and fan groups will gather, carry out measures and actions within the competence of the police, all to prevent illegal behavior and protect property and safety."

"We are informing the citizens that in the coming days, and especially intensively on the day of the match, police officers will be more present in the City of Split, but also on the access routes, and take measures and actions within the competence of the police to prevent illegal behavior," the police said. 

The police emphasized that on the day of the match, in Split, but also Split-Dalmatia County, a large number of fans and members of various Croatia fan groups are expected.

"We ask citizens if they notice groups of people who are behaving illegally or could behave in such a way, to call the police at 192 immediately," the police urged.

They informed the citizens that they would block the traffic on the promenade around the stadium from Monday, from 8 pm until the end of the match on Tuesday.

As of Sunday, around 9,000 tickets had been sold for the match so far. The Spaladium Arena box office will be open on Monday, September 6, from 12 to 10 pm, and on Tuesday, September 7, from 9 to 9 pm. 

Hajduk striker Marko Livaja spoke about playing at home, at Poljud. 

"I am happy to be in the national team again, and I do not burden myself with minutes; it will be the way the coach decides. My position? I haven't played at the top of the attack for six, seven years, the coach has his vision, he knows what I play at the club, but I can certainly do better," says Livaja, who knows what Poljud has to offer.

"I am convinced that the atmosphere will be great and that we will play the right game. A victory would push us close to the desired goal. We are of better quality; I expect that Slovenia will close and wait for their chance. If we are real, we will win. Kek is a proven good coach, and he certainly knows our team well, but we have to concentrate on ourselves, and then the victory should not be in question."

Source: HNS, HRT

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