Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Ante Budimir Becomes Most Expensive Player in Osasuna History!

June 8, 2021 - In the latest football transfers news, Spanish club Osasuna wanted to keep Croatian footballer Ante Budimir at all costs and decided to buy his contract from Mallorca.

Budimir thus became the most expensive footballer in Osasuna history because the Pamplona club will pay Mallorca eight million euros, reports Index.hr. Osasuna used the clause they agreed on at the same time as Budimir's loan. According to that clause, Osasuna could bring the Croatian striker for eight million euros, while for all other clubs, the clause was 15 million euros. Ruben Garcia, Dady, and Masous Shojaei were the most expensive footballers in the history of Osasuna until now, and they were paid three and a half million euros each.

Budimir thus signs a contract until 2025. While Osasuna plays in the first league, the contract buyout clause will amount to 20 million euros, and if he drops out, it will be reduced to nine million euros. Mallorca will also have a 25 percent profit from the next transfer.

Budimir scored 11 league goals on loan for Osasuna, including some of the key ones in the fight for survival.

 

"The new fan idol will now finally make a dream come true and play in front of an audience in Pamplona. Due to the coronavirus, he couldn't do it last season," AS writes about the Mallorca player brought to Spain in 2019 for 2.2 million euros from Crotone.

Osasuna finished the season in 11th place, and Budimir was the club's top scorer. Of the 11 goals in the Primera, he scored seven with his head, making him the top scorer in the Primera in that category. He was followed by Karim Benzema from Real Madrid with six goals, and Youssef En-Nesyri, who scored five goals with his head for Sevilla.

The 29-year-old striker made his debut for Croatia last year. He played seven games for the national team and scored one goal. He did not get a minute in the preparatory matches for the Euro against Armenia and Belgium.

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Sunday, 6 June 2021

Belgium Tops Croatia 1:0 in Final Friendly before EURO 2020

June 6, 2021 - Belgium tops Croatia in the final friendly match in Brussels on Sunday. 

The European Championship starts next Saturday for Belgium in St. Petersburg against Russia, and for Croatia a day later at Wembley against England.

Five days ago, Croatia played only 1:1 against Armenia.

"We made a historic result three years ago. This is not the same team that was at the time. We have a young team that has talent but needs time to play. I hope we repeat a good result. It is true that we are playing against the best team in the FIFA rankings and we have great respect for them, but we want to achieve the best result. It's a big challenge for us, but the game is played six or seven days before the first match at the Euro, the most important thing is that there are no injuries," said Dalic before the match.

Zlatko Dalic led the team in accordance with the announcements. Three changes were made compared to the Armenia friendly - Kovačić strengthened the midfield instead of Vlašić, Rebić played on the right wing instead of Brekalo, while Petković replaced Kramarić at the top of the attack.

Lineups

Belgium: Courtois - Alderweireld, Denayer, Vertonghen - Castagne, Tielemans, Dendoncker, Chadli - Mertens, Carrasco - Lukaku

Croatia: Livaković - Vrsaljko, Vida, Ćaleta-Car, Barišić - Brozović, Kovačić - Rebić, Modrić, Perišić - Petković

In the first five minutes, Croatia controlled the game and didn't allow Belgium to enter their half. Belgium's first chance came in the 11th minute when Brozović was careless and gave the ball to Chadli, who hit over the goal from the edge of the penalty area.

Belgium became increasingly dangerous as the match continued and hit the crossbar twice in the 31st minute. Perišić threatened a minute later but his shot was blocked. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Belgium finally scored in the 38th minute. A mixup in the Croatia defense allowed Lukaku to score from close range for 1:0. Petković found Perišić for a chance in the 42nd minute but he was offside. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Gvardiol made his debut at left back instead of Barišić to start the second half and quickly confirmed his spot on the Croatia team. A great ball in the box by Gvardiol in the 52nd minute found the head of Petković who aimed at Courtois. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Mertens had a dangerous opportunity for Belgium moments later was weak in is shot. 

Croatia looked good at the opening of the second half but still did not create opportunities. In the 61st minute, Dalić subbed on Pašalić, Vlašić and Kramarić for Modrić, Kovačić and Rebić.

Croatia possessed well in the 10 minutes that followed. Brekalo came on for Petković in the 69th minute. Vlašić shot for Croatia after what felt like ages, but it was an easy save for Courtois. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Oršić came on for Perišić in the 80th minute, and Eden Hazard entered the match for Belgium one minute later. 

Belgium had a massive chance in the 88th minute but two brilliant saves by Livakovć kept it 1:0. Brekalo had Croatia's best chance of the game in the 90th minute which was famously saved by Courtois. The match ended 1:0 for Belgium.

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Saturday, 5 June 2021

Works Continue on Long-Awaited New Poljud Pitch (VIDEO)

June 5, 2021 - Good news for Hajduk fans - works are currently underway on a brand new Poljud pitch that will soon crown the beloved Split stadium! 

Hajduk announced that installing the new hybrid lawn on the main Poljud pitch is in full swing. In accordance with the planned deadlines, the first planned phase of works, removing the lawn and preparing the substrate in cooperation with the company Jadro, has been completed.

In addition, 11 centimeters of old quartz sand were removed for better drainage, and the base for laying new quartz sand was leveled. Among other things, the grass surfaces of the warm-up area and the entire surrounding part outside the tartan track are being renewed.

The field was taken over by the Croatian Football Federation on Friday together with the contractor. In the next phase, they will lay the new pitch! 

 

The latest generation hybrid lawn will eventually cover the current field sand, and Hajduk will soon get the national team-worthy pitch it deserves.

Hajduk's new coach, Jens Gustafsson, will gather the team on June 14 and lead them at the beginning of preparations for the new competitive season.

Hajduk will train until June 17 in Split, when they will head down south to Konavle for three trainings before the first preparatory match. Hajduk will be guests at the 100th-anniversary celebration of HNK Slaven Gruda on June 19 at 5 pm at the Gnjila Sports Center playground.

After visiting the Dubrovnik surroundings, Hajduk will return home to train at Poljud until June 23. The team will then leave for fifteen-day preparations in Slovenia. This year, Hajduk's expedition will stay and do a series of training in the new preparation base in Zreče.

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Friday, 4 June 2021

Zlatko Dalic Sends Message to Fans Ahead of Croatia and Belgium Friendly

June 4, 2021 - Zlatko Dalic faced the press on Friday ahead of the Croatia and Belgium friendly this weekend, sending a message that the team understands their obligation to fans in Croatia. 

The day before the flight to Brussels, where Croatia will play their last pre-Euro friendly against Belgium, coach Zlatko Dalic sent a message to Croatia fans. He pointed out that the national team is aware of its obligation to the Croatian people. He spoke about the problems in the national team, the pros and cons of the draw against Armenia, and the expectations from players who are dissatisfied with their status. One of them is Andrej Kramarić, who, after 20 goals scored in the Bundesliga this season, is not safe among Dalić's starters. A few days ago, he advised the media to ask Davor Šuker what he would say after such a season.

Are there any things you are happy with from the Armenia match (1-1)?

I am satisfied with everything except the result. We had minor injury problems. We did the rest as expected, but the draw with Armenia left a bitter taste. In that game, we had to win 4-0 or 5-0, not draw 1-1. I am dissatisfied with this result. Plus, we created 5-6 percent chances, and we didn't do that in three games in a row at the beginning of the World Cup qualifiers against Slovenia, Cyprus, and Malta. We were nonchalant and irresponsible and did not realize them. We were not specific, and that is a minus. It was easier to score than to miss those chances, and if we had done that, the result would have been expected for me. I'm not happy with a draw like this. The atmosphere would be nicer because the result always brings positivity. But when I saw that we ran 118 kilometers and had a lot of high sprints, I am still satisfied.

What is the situation with injured players - Lovren, Brekalo, and Gvardiol?

Lovren works according to a custom program; he is getting better. Gvardiol and Brekalo are injured, and we will take care of them to the maximum. If they are not one hundred percent ready for training today, they will not be ready for the game. There is no point in forcing them now and forcing them to work one hundred percent; if they don’t feel the best, that’s not right. They are not ready, and we are waiting for them. According to the latest findings, everything will be ok.

What will be the focus during the training at the end of the preparations?

Belgium will be a great test to work on tactics for England and a defensive break. We will see what is not good in that game on Sunday, and we will correct it in the next 5-6 days. We will refresh the team and make the lineup.

What do you expect from the match against Belgium?

It is a big challenge for us, we are playing against the first national team in the world in the FIFA rankings, and it is great preparation for England. In that match, Croatia must show its quality, strength, especially in the defense, and resist such an opponent, who has great individuals. Next, we need to learn lessons from that game and correct the shortcomings that need to be corrected by England. Belgium will show us whether we are on the right track or not.

Does the result matter? Would winning mean a lot for confidence?

The result is always important. I told the players that after Armenia. A positive result brings a positive atmosphere, self-confidence, and, in addition to the fact that we have to look for our game, we also have to look for the result. The result raises and motivates you even more, especially against the best team in the world.

Scotland has corona; as many as seven players are unavailable to the coach.

They have seven players with corona, but they still played 2:2 with the Netherlands and led until the last minute. It is a problem that accompanies us all; tests are every day, and players are constantly under psychological pressure. It’s a burden, we constantly think about it and be careful, but little can be done there. We have to learn to live with it.

Do you know the starting lineup for England?

We know roughly the starting lineup, but we’ll leave that to ourselves. We will try everything in today’s training, and over the course of tomorrow, we still have to do some things. It is important that we standardize, determine the starting lineup, and give tasks to our players to be ready for what awaits them.

What do you think Kramarić looked like against Armenia, and is there any doubt between him and Vlašić when it comes to the starting lineup?

We have three safe matches at the Euros, and the line-up against England will certainly be different compared to Scotland and the Czech Republic. Kramarić, Vlašić, and even Pašalić are very close to the team, but it depends on the opponent. There is no place for dissatisfaction here, no place for disagreement. I’m in charge of the team I put together and put the guys inside.

Who do you think are the Euro favorites?

Nine teams are rightly shooting for the European title at the moment. The world champions France, then England, who have a great young team and play at home, and Portugal as the current European champions. These are the teams that are in the narrowest circle. There are also Spain, Germany, Italy, Belgium. Everyone has a chance, and this will be a challenging and uncertain European Championship.

Do you have a message for the fans after Croatia's poor results lately?

I also said this to the boys during the meeting: the Croatian people are waiting for us and expect good results. The people want to rejoice again, and we must accept that responsibility. This team did many good things, but during the three years behind us, it got a little lost, and the results were not great. However, we left behind our goals, all of which we had set. We really miss the fans; we know what synergy we have with them when the stands are full. I hope that we will be good again and we have a great obligation to the Croatian people.

Source: Index.hr

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Tuesday, 1 June 2021

EURO 2020 Prep: Croatia and Armenia Friendly Ends 1:1 in Velika Gorica

June 1, 2021 - Croatia and Armenia finish 1:1 in Velika Gorica in a friendly match played as part of EURO 2020 preparations. 

The Croatia national team played its first EURO 2020 preparatory match against Armenia in Velika Gorica. 

Zlatko Dalic's team will open the EURO against England at Wembley on June 13, before meeting the Czech Republic and Scotland in Glasgow on June 18 and 22. 

Until London, Croatia will play another friendly match against Belgium on Sunday. 

Lineups

Croatia: Livaković - Vrsaljko, Ćaleta-Car, Vida, Barišić - Modrić, Brozović - Brekalo, Vlašić, Perišić - Kramarić

Armenia: Jurčenko - Teterian, Voskanjan, Calisir, Hovhannisian - Babajan, A. Grigorian, Spertsian, Bajramian - Barsegian, Adamian

Croatia opened the match in control and had their first chance already in the 2nd minute when Perisic headed over the goal. Vlasic had another great chance for Croatia in the 10th minute but shot wide of the post. 

After a few threatening plays by Armenia, Croatia took the lead thanks to a brilliant Perisic header off a Modric corner. Perisic not only scored for 1:0 Croatia - he scored on his 100th cap in the Croatia shirt! 

Josip Brekalo had to come off the pitch due to injury in the 26th minute, with Mario Pasalic taking his place. Kramaric and Vida both had chances in the 10 minutes that followed, and perhaps the best chance of the match in the 42nd minute with Perisic missing from close range. Pasalic's scissor kick hit the post to end the half.  

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Slobodan Kadic

The second half began with many changes. Vrsaljko, Modric, Vida and Vlasic came out at half time for Juranovic, Rebic, Skoric, Petkovic. 

Rebic had an excellent chance to start the second half but shanked over the goal from 10 meters out. Rebic found Kramaric five minutes later who took a weak shot from in front of the goal. 

Pasalic was in an excellent position to score two minutes later but decided to lay the ball off instead of shooting. 

Badelj came on for Perisic in the 60th minute. 

Armenia shocked Croatia with an equalizer in the 72nd minute - Wbeymar scored for 1:1! Livakovic saved Croatia from another Armenia goal in the 79th minute. 

The match ended 1:1. 

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

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Monday, 31 May 2021

Under-21 European Championship Quarter-final: Croatia Falls to Spain in Extra Time

May 31, 2021 - Spain was better than Croatia after extra time in the Under-21 European Championship quarter-final in Maribor on Monday. The match ended 2:1. 

The Under-21 European Championship continued on Monday with quarterfinal matches in which the young Croatian national team fought against Spain for a spot in the semifinals. 

Igor Bišćan's side met Spain at Ljudski vrt stadium in Maribor.  

"The guys are aware that we have a great chance, they are motivated to do something and we are all around them to give them that chance and be supportive. They have quality," Bišćan announced before the match. 

Access was allowed to the stadiums in accordance with the relevant local legislation, which warranted the arrival of spectators. The stadium saw mostly Croatia fans! 

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Slobodan Kadic

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Slobodan Kadic

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Slobodan Kadic

Lineups:

Spain: Fernandez - Mingueza, Guillamon, Cuenca, Pedrosa - Beltran, Zubimendi, Garcia - Diaz, Nino, Gil

Croatia: Šemper - Šutalo, Vušković, Gvardiol, Bradarić - Babec, Franjić, Moro - Majer, Musa, Ivanušec

Croatia was solid in the first half and threatened the Spain goal on a few occasions. Despite Spain's high pressure, Ivanušec had a chance from 20 meters in the 7th minute, and in the 23rd, Bradarić's shot was blocked by the Spain defense. Spain retaliated with a Diaz shot from 20 meters, but Croatia's defense made it difficult for them to do much more. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Another chance for Croatia happened in the 36th minute. Ivanušec pulled a quick counter and found Bradarić who precisely played Majer. Majer's shot, unfortunately, hit the Spain player. 

The match ended without goals at the half. 

Spain entered the second half better with many more chances than Croatia. Bišćan introduced Croatia's first sub in the 64th minute when Špikić came on for Musa. Spain's constant pressure paid off in the end - Espanyol striker Javi Puado put them in the lead in the 66th minute for 1:0. 

In the 72nd minute, Bistrović replaced Babec, and Kulenović entered instead of Moro. In the 78th minute, Djurasek and Biuk entered for Franjić and Majer. 

Croatia was lucky to not get scored on again as Spain continued to threaten their half, but they had a few chances, too.

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Slobodan Kadic

The ref added 4 minutes of injury time. Hajduk wunderkind Stipe Biuk was fouled in the penalty box for a penalty in the 91' minute! Ivanušec was perfect for the penalty equalizer! The match went into extra time. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Croatia played very openly in the first half as Bišćan introduced all the offensive players he had at the end of the second half. Spain had a lot of space, but Croatia defended well. The first half ended without goals. 

Unfortunately, the talent of Puado was too much for Croatia once more, as he took on three players to score in the 110'. It was 2:1 for Spain. 

Spain will continue to the semi-final against the winner of Portugal/Italy, to be played at 9pm tonight. 

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

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Monday, 31 May 2021

Croatia Euros Camp Moved to Rovinj due to COVID Measures in Scotland

May 31, 2021 - The Croatia Euros camp has moved to Rovinj due to the current COVID-19 measures in Scotland. 

HNS reports that the Croatian Football Federation management has decided that the Croatia national team will stay in Rovinj instead of St Andrews, Scotland, during the European Championship.

HNS received a recommendation from UEFA to change the national team's camp due to the COVID-related measures in Scotland that could affect the national team. The Croatian Football Federation did not want to risk the possibility that due to a potentially infected person among the players and staff members, a larger number of players would have to go into mandatory self-isolation, so it was decided that St Andrews would not be the national team camp.

After a detailed analysis of available options and intensive communication with UEFA, the Federation's management, in agreement with the expert staff headed by coach Zlatko Dalic, decided that the Croatia national team will stay in Rovinj during the Euro, where it was during the first part of preparations. Croatia will stay at the Grand Park Hotel and train at the NK Rovinj playground.

"I think that in these circumstances, this is the best decision for the national team. We know that we will have excellent conditions, top accommodation, and quality terrain, and we cannot get that elsewhere in such a short time. We will try to have our peace, which is also needed. The support of the people can only give us extra energy. Given the pandemic, this is the best outcome; we have a unique opportunity to hold the championship in our country," said coach Zlatko Dalic.

"We reacted responsibly and quickly found the best solution for the national team in these exceptional circumstances. We could not allow our stay in Scotland to endanger most of the team in self-isolation. Rovinj has proven excellent living and working conditions for the national team, and other options abroad would be improvisation at the moment. We are at home in Croatia, we will be most comfortable there in these circumstances, and that is why we all agreed that this is the best decision," said HNS Executive Director Marijan Kustić.

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Friday, 28 May 2021

Nikola Vlašić Promises Spectacle against England at Wembley

May 28, 2021 - Nikola Vlašić talks about the excellent atmosphere on the Croatia national team and promises a spectacle against England at Wembley. 

After an extraordinary season in the CSKA Moscow shirt, where he profiled himself as one of the best players in the Russian league, Nikola Vlašić is full of motivation at the Croatia national team preparations, reports HNS.

Croatia will open their European Championship campaign against England on June 13 at Wembley, and Nikola Vlašić believes that coach Zlatko Dalić has numerous trump cards for such a tough meeting.

 

"It's always a motive to play for Croatia, but to play at Wembley against England ... it will be a spectacle; we all can't wait for that game. Many of our players played the best seasons in their careers, and if we transfer that to the national team, it can be a great situation. If we are organized as a team, we can expect a good result," he says.

An injury at the end of the season is not a problem for him, and spirits are high on the Croatia national team.

"There is no feeling of disagreement; we all talk to each other and hang out - I think the atmosphere is at an enviable level," said Vlašić, praising the qualities of his teammates.

The Croatia national team gathered on May 25 for Euro preparations in Rovinj. After the friendly against Armenia on June 1 in Velika Gorica, the national team will have a final check on June 6 against Belgium in Brussels, from where they will travel to the base camp in St. Andrews on June 8. 

The UEFA EURO 2020 will take place between June 11 and July 11, 2021. Croatia plays in Group D (London/Glasgow) with England (hosts), Scotland (hosts), and the Czech Republic.

Croatia opens its EURO campaign on Sunday, June 13, against England (15:00, London). On Friday, June 18, Croatia plays the Czech Republic in Glasgow, Scotland (18:00). Croatia's final group stage match is against Scotland on June 22 in Glasgow (21:00). 

The top two in each group plus the four best third-placed teams go through to the knockout phase. The round of 16 is scheduled from June 26 to 29. The quarterfinals are held on July 2 and 3, the semifinals on July 6 and 7. The final will be played on July 11 at Wembley Stadium in London. 

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

 

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Zlatko Dalić Press Conference in Zagreb ahead of EURO 2020: Croatia Gathers Today!

Mya 25, 2021 - The Zlatko Dalić press conference in Zagreb was held today ahead of the Croatia national team gathering. Tonight, the team heads to Rovinj to begin their preparations for EURO 2020. 

On Tuesday around noon, the Croatia national team gathered in Zagreb ahead of the European Championship preparations, where they will play their first game on June 13 at 3 pm against England at Wembley, reports Index.hr.

Coach Zlatko Dalić published the player list last week, and today at 11 am, he addressed the press and answered key questions before the Euros. He is now leading the national team to the base in Rovinj for the first part of the preparations.

"I can now tell you how we will do our best, die on the pitch, but it will not be enough at the Euros if Croatia is not better and more responsible. Tactically we have to look much better, and Croatia must be much better than it was in the Nations League," said coach Dalić at the beginning.

"We are opening the tournament against the national team that is the favorite for the title, they have seven players in the Champions League final, and they play at home. We must not ignore the Czechs; there are eight players from the same club in their national team, then we have Scotland, who is the host. The goal is to get out of the group."

How will Croatia play at EURO 2020?

"We will stick to what we do best tactically, but I think the best option is the one we played in Russia. Of course, it depends on the players, their health, and their form," said Dalić. 

At tonight's training in Rovinj, the coach will practice with eleven players. Pašalić and Vrsaljko will join tomorrow, and on Friday, the team should be complete. Filip Uremović is still plagued by an injury.

"We will see how he is today; he has been recovering for seven days and has an advantage because he covers the positions of the stopper and right back. But if Filip is not ready, we will not take risks. I expect Mate Kovačić, who plays in the Champions League final, on May 31, while I am waiting for the young players who are playing in the U-21 Euro in Zagreb on June 4. I want to congratulate all our players who became champions and won trophies in their clubs, as well as Mateo for placing in the Champions League final. It would be nice to have a cake during our preparations again. Because of him, I support Chelsea in the final. Lately, they have delighted me with their game, even though Manchester is the favorite," believes Dalić.

He is also worried about Ante Rebić.

"I'm worried because he always has some bad luck before the tournament. He hasn't trained for five days, and I'm cautious when it comes to him. But most of our players are in good shape, and that makes me happy. I'm not a pessimist; I just wish everyone good health. On Friday, we start with serious work," said the coach.

Aware that his national team has not looked good for a long time, Dalić announced the tactics he would practice and talked about the biggest problems.

"We will stick to what was best, the 4-2-3-1 or 4-1-4-1 system. We depend a lot on the central striker. We have 4-4-2 and 4-3-2-1 variants with two midfielders; we will also play that. We have nine training sessions, and we will focus exclusively on tactics. Set plays are a huge problem, and I am asking for more responsibility from individuals who keep opponents from scoring a goal. My players here have to be much more responsible and tell themselves that they will not allow their players to jump and score a goal. We used to defend man-on-man set plays, and there would always be someone to run away from us, and now we’re going to cross the zone, we’re going to pay attention to that. Yet, the greatest responsibility is of individuals is covering their opponents. Desire is key," Dalić said.

The question is who will play the right-wing because most wingers in Croatia prefer the left side.

"We can't allow everyone to play the position they play at their club. I don't think there are any problems in that position, and it's not that our players don't want to play; it's that they don't play the ideal football on the right wing. But we saw as Ante Rebić played at the World Cup, we have Perišić, Ivanušec and I am not afraid at all," claims Dalić and continues:

"The long season is behind us; the players are tired. We have to work carefully with a lot of emotion, we will certainly not follow a strict plan, but we will behave as needed, day by day. We will refresh ourselves and go to work on a tactical plan. We will work together because it is important for the result, which is crucial for the atmosphere. We lack time and the right atmosphere, which is very important for Croatia. We will talk a lot; I will try to reach every player."

Today, a dozen players are coming to the gathering: HNL players Petković, Škorić, Oršić, Kalinić, Livaković, and players who have no more obligations with their clubs. Sluga, Juranović, Vlašić, and Barišić are also expected.

Tonight at 7 pm is the first training, and the complete team is expected on May 28. Dalić has agreed with U21 national team coach Igor Bišćan on the status of players they share in the national teams. Thus, Joško Gvardiol, Domagoj Bradarić, and Luka Ivanušić will start preparations with the U21 team for the historic Euro quarterfinal match on May 31 in Maribor. After that, Dalić expects them at the Croatian base in St. Andrews in Scotland.

EURO 2020 Player List

Goalkeepers: Dominik Livaković - Dinamo, Lovre Kalinić - Hajduk, Simon Sluga - Luton; call-up: Ivica Ivušić

Defenders: Šime Vrsaljko - Atletico Madrid, Borna Barišić - Rangers, Domagoj Vida - Bešiktaš, Josip Juranović - Legia, Dejan Lovren - Zenit, Duje Ćaleta-Car - Marseille, Domagoj Bradarić - Lille, Mile Škorić - Osijek, Joško Gvardiol - Dinamo; call-ups Uremović and Pongračić

Midfielders: Luka Modrić - Real Madrid, Marcelo Brozović - Inter, Milan Badelj - Genoa, Mateo Kovačić - Chelsea, Nikola Vlašić - CSKA Moskva, Mario Pašalić - Atalanta, Luka Ivanušec; call-ups: Moro, Majer and Bašić.

Strikers: Bruno Petković - Dinamo, Ivan Perišić - Inter, Andrej Kramarić - Hoffenheim, Josip Brekalo - Wolfsburg, Ante Rebić - Milan, Mislav Oršić - Dinamo, Ante Budimir - Osasuna; call-ups: Lovrić and Livaja.

KEY DATES

25.5. National team gathers in Zagreb and departs to Rovinj
25.5. - 31.5. Preparations in Rovinj
1.6. Player registration deadline for UEFA EURO 2020 (until 23:59)
8.6. Arrival at the base camp in St. Andrews

MATCH SCHEDULE

1.6. friendly: Croatia - Armenia (Velika Gorica)
6.6. friendly: Belgium - Croatia (Bruxelles)
13.6. EURO 2020: England - Croatia (London)
18.6. EURO 2020: Croatia - Czech Republic (Glasgow)
22.6. EURO 2020: Croatia - Scotland (Glasgow)

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Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Ivica Olić Returns to Croatia National Team Bench for EURO 2020

May 18, 2021 - Ivica Olić returns to Croatia as an assistant to coach Zlatko Dalić for EURO 2020! 

"Ivica was allowed to join the national team. He wanted it himself, considering that he now has free time. He decided that he did not want to rest," agent Dejan Joksimović told Russian RIA Sport, as reported by Index.hr and 24 Sata.

Although Vedran Ćorluka joined the national team as a replacement for Olić, Olić managed to get CSKA to allow him to work with the Croatia national team this summer.

Olić took over CSKA in April this year, when he was fifth, but failed to get them out of trouble. He finished sixth, which is the worst placement of the Moscow club in the Russian championship since 2001.

Former CSKA player Zoran Tošić stated that Olić's decision is not clear to him because he could miss part of the club's preparations.

"I thought Ivica needed time to solve the problems at CSKA; it would probably be better if he stayed. I hope the coach and the professional staff know what they are doing. I will always support CSKA because I spent a lot of time there," Tošić said.

Olić thus joins Vedran Ćorluka and Dražen Ladić as part of Zlatko Dalić's coaching staff at EURO 2020. 

The Croatia national football team will gather on May 25 at the beginning of preparations for the Euro, which will traditionally be held in Rovinj. After the friendly against Armenia, the national teal will have a final check on June 6 against Belgium in Brussels, from where they will travel to the base camp in St. Andrews on June 8. 

The UEFA EURO 2020 will take place between June 11 and July 11, 2021. Croatia plays in Group D (London/Glasgow) with England (hosts), Scotland (hosts), and the Czech Republic.

Croatia opens its EURO campaign on Sunday, June 13, against England (15:00, London). On Friday, June. 18, Croatia plays. The Czech Republic in Glasgow, Scotland (18:00). Croatia's final group stage match is against Scotland on June 22 in Glasgow (21:00). 

The top two in each group plus the four best third-placed teams go through to the knockout phase. The round of 16 is scheduled from June 26 to 29. The quarterfinals are held on July 2 and 3, the semifinals on July 6 and 7. The final will be played on July 11 at Wembley Stadium in London. 

We will have more on this soon!

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