Thursday, 15 October 2020

Zlatko Dalic After France: I Need to Put Together a Competitive National Team by March

October 15, 2020 - Croatia Coach Zlatko Dalic spoke to the press after the loss against France in the 4th-round Nations League match in Zagreb on Wednesday. 

Coach Zlatko Dalic was satisfied with most of what was shown against France, but he pointed out that Croatia again made mistakes that France always knows how to punish.

"Hats off to the team, especially for the second half, but we lost again, and we didn't deserve it; that's why we are upset," said the coach at the beginning of the press conference.

"We played well, but a mistake happened. We didn’t play against anyone but against world champions. They punish every mistake, and we must avoid mistakes. Against a team like this, which is worth a billion, you can't avoid it. But the second half was excellent. We started very badly, in the first 15 minutes we could have conceded another goal. We settled down afterward, and it tuned in," he added.

He denied that Pasalic played on the left-wing: "Pasalic was not a winger, but a midfielder. It may have seemed to you because he was a bit on the wing in defense, but he is a midfielder and should be in that position."

Dalic was also asked if he had made a mistake in choosing Vida instead of Caleta-Car.

"I wasn't wrong with Vida. He is our standard stopper. You have to look at the second goal again because Vida was not to blame for it. See who Mbappe was with and how he reacted. We have three more games where we can try some things. After that, I have to have a clear picture before the qualifications for the World Cup. We have to be objective. Croatia is putting together a new national team; there are no more Juventus and Bayern players here. I am satisfied with this, and my task is to put together a competitive team for March. Everything is important, and I am sorry that we did not win. Everyone should be given a chance. I am worried that we are receiving goals, and we need to work on that," believes Dalic.

He has a generally good opinion of this three-game mini-cycle.

"I can be satisfied with this mini-cycle. We got Switzerland who played 3:3 against Germany. With that match, we secured a top seed status in the World Cup qualifiers, and Sweden is our competitor to stay in the Nations League. We played a good second half against France, and I am glad that the fans applauded the players. I am very pleased, and I told that to the players in the dressing room. I am a great optimist because I see that we have players coming," the coach concluded.

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Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Euro 2021 Qualifiers: Croatia U-21 Team Tops Greece

October 13, 2020 - The Croatia U-21 team topped Greece in Athens on Tuesday, keeping their hope alive for a spot in the tournament next summer. 

After a convincing 10-0 in Zagreb against San Marino, Igor Bišćan's team played their second October qualifying match in Athens, away against Greece, who they defeated 5-0 in Varaždin in September.

This time around, Majer scored the only goal of the match in the 27th minute, with a deft reaction after a cross by the persistent Šutalo from the right side of the pitch.

Croatia kept its lead until the end of the game, with several chances for the second goal. Greece fired just four shots at Šemper's goal - and just two into the box - while Croatia had 14 attempts and eight corners.

At a later date in Group 4, Lithuania and the Czech Republic and San Marino and Scotland will meet. Croatia will continue its qualifying campaign on November 12 on a visit to Scotland, while the qualifications will end on November 17, when it welcomes Lithuania.

EC U-21 Qualifiers, Group 4:
1. Croatia 16 (8)
2. Czech Republic 15 (8)
3. Scotland 14 (7)
4. Greece 13 (8)
5. Lithuania 7 (7)
6. San Marino 0 (8)

Source: HNS

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Sunday, 11 October 2020

UEFA Nations League: Croatia Tops Sweden 2:1 in Rainy Zagreb

October 11, 2020 - Croatia tops Sweden 2:1 in their 3rd-round Nations League match on Sunday at Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb.

Croatia continued their Nations League campaign on Sunday against Sweden, a team they didn't meet back in September. Croatia and Sweden met in rainy Zagreb at Maksimir Stadium at 6 pm. 

Coach Zlatko Dalic unveiled a slightly different lineup for this match, featuring Livakovic in goal, Melnjak, Caleta-Car, Lovren, and Uremovic in the back, Brozovic, Vlasic, Modric and Kovacic across the midfield, and Perisic and Brekalo up top.

Before this match, Croatia had played Sweden four times - in a friendly in 2003, in World Cup qualifiers in 2004 and 2005, and in another friendly in 2012, which is the only time they lost. 

The match began with heavy rain and a quick yellow card for Mateo Kovacic, who was cautioned in the first minute of play. While Sweden pressured Croatia's goal within the first five minutes, Croatia picked up the pace and Brekalo even scored an offside goal in the 10th minute. The wet pitch certainly made things more difficult.

Modric had a chance in the 18th minute, which was saved by Sweden goalkeeper Olsen, though it didn't stop him from shooting again moments later, albeit over the goal. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Sweden had their first real opportunity when Kulusevci shot in the 24th minute, though it was no problem for Livakovic to save. Vlasic took a chance at Sweden's goal two minutes later.

However, Croatia and Nikola finally got their chance. A brilliant play by Modric at the midfield line saw Croatia attack up the pitch. Brekalo found the boot of Vlasic who scored for 1:0 in the 32nd minute!

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Slobodan Kadic

Vlasic shot again off a Modric corner found him just outside the top of the box, though he hit over the goal in the 38th minute. The game ended 1:0 at the half.

Unfortunately, the weather only worsened at the start of the second half, and we could only hope that the already weak Maksimir pitch wouldn't flood. 

Croatia came out aggressively in the first few minutes, though it was Sweden to threaten Croatia's goal in the 50th minute. What was nearly an own goal by Lovren was saved by Livakovic on the goal line to keep Croatia in the lead. Sweden, however, called for a penalty as it looked as though there was a Croatia handball in the box.

Brekalo had a great chance in the 52nd minute, which went wide of the goal for a corner.  

Sweden had another excellent chance in the 56th minute from a free-kick which Livakovic tipped over the goal then caught it to ensure Croatia's lead. 

Pasalic was subbed on for Kovacic in the 60th minute.

A rocket from Perisic's right boot saw the Sweden keeper make a difficult save for a Croatia corner in the 61st minute. 

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Slobodan Kadic

A quick Sweden counter-attack in the 65th minute saw Berg even the score for 1:1. The goal certainly gave Sweden momentum, as they picked up their game considerably in the minutes that followed. 

Andrej Kramaric and Domagoj Bradaric were subbed on for Brekalo and Melnjak in the 74th minute. 

Thankfully, Kramaric brought Croatia the luck they needed. In the 83rd minute, Perisic found Kramaric unmarked in the box, who scored for the Croatia lead! The game was now 2:1.

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Slobodan Kadic

A dangerous play by Sweden in the 89th minute could have leveled the result again, but Livakovic was solid in goal. The referee added 4 minutes, in which Sweden was unable to score. The match ended 2:1 for Croatia!

In their 4th-round match, Croatia will meet France on Wednesday in Zagreb at 8:45 pm. 

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Sunday, 11 October 2020

Croatia Captain Luka Modric Talks About Time Left on National Team

October 11, 2020 - Croatia captain Luka Modric held an online press conference with Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic ahead of the Nations League match against Sweden in Zagreb tonight at 6 pm.

The Croatia captain returned to the national team after missing the cycle in September because he wanted to prepare with Real Madrid to be as ready as possible for the start of the season.

"Thanks to the coach for allowing me to do that because, at my age, it's challenging to get into a good rhythm if you don't do the preparations. I feel terrific, I think I play well at Real, and I'm satisfied," said Modric, who played only the last 25 minutes of a friendly match in St. Gallen against Switzerland.

Modric also described the situation with Ivan Rakitic, who recently said goodbye to the national team. Thus, the Croatia captain is one of the few who remained in the team from the famous 2018 World Cup generation.

"I spoke to Ivan before he announced his decision. Of course, I'm sad he's gone, but we have to respect his decision. All those cycles end sooner or later. No one is eternal, and no one will play for the national team for a hundred years. Thank you for everything once again," said Modric and looked back on his future in the national team jersey:

"I wouldn't put any limits on myself or announce that I will play in the next World Cup, and then in the meantime, change my mind. That would not be right. I am going from game to game, and I will see how I will feel both physically and mentally, and then decide."

Modric has a contract with Real until next summer, and it is not yet known what his future will be in Madrid.

"Of course I would like to stay at Real, who wouldn't? But I'm aware that I'm at a certain age. I have a pretty good relationship with the club, and I don't want to burden anyone. While I feel I can be an important part of Real Madrid, I would like to stay, but if I feel that it is no longer that, we may look for some other challenges. But that topic is not on the agenda yet, and when the time comes, we will sit down and together make the best decision for all of us," he said.

Modric will surely be in the starting lineup against Sweden, who also recorded two defeats at the start of the Nations League against France and Portugal, just like Croatia. After Sweden, Croatia will face a difficult match against France on Wednesday, also at Maksimir.

"We will need everyone to be at a high level during these two games. It's hard to say how many points we will win. We play at home, we will have fans, in small numbers, but they are there, and we always go home to win. Sweden is still a very tough team, although Zlatan is no more. I don’t need to say how important he was to them. It is still a tough team. Always maximally motivated, they have a great mentality, like all Scandinavian countries. They never give up. Against Portugal and France, they showed high quality in the game and compactness," said Modric.

He looked back at both the debutants and the new players on the team.

"It can be seen that Domagoj is a great guy and a very talented player with a bright future. I believe he will continue at the same pace. Apart from football qualities, he showed his positive character in the first game. All praise for his performance, but also Ante Budimir. Melnjak is getting better, and Uremovic is showing that he fits well in the national team. The new guys will continue to do so and will bring us additional quality in the national team. The seniors are here to help them adapt to the national team as soon as possible."

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Friday, 9 October 2020

Italy Removes Croatia from the Red List, COVID Test No Longer Required

October 9, 2020 - The latest travel news during the corona era, as Italy removes Croatia from the red list of countries requiring a negative COVID test to enter the country.

Slobodna Dalmacija reports that according to the information that can be read on the website of Italy's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which was reported to Slobodna Dalmacija from Milan by Rea Karnincic from Split, who owns the travel agency "Solo Croazia", Croatian citizens can now travel to Italy without a COVID-19 test, which was required from August 12 if they wanted to enter that country.

Specifically, in order to enter Italy, travelers had to bring a COVID test from Croatia not older than 72 hours to enter Italy, or they were required to take the COVID test in Italy within 24 hours of entering the country.

"It is a great thing for everyone in Croatia. Now our people will be able to study in Italy without testing, and also Italians will be able to, say, come to Istria over the weekend and after returning to Italy they will not have to take a test," Rea Karnincic said.

Apart from Croatia, Greece and Malta were removed from Italy's "red list", while Spain was left on the red list, and the whole of France, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Czech Republic, and the United Kingdom were added.

The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia also confirmed the news on Friday.

"The Ministry of Health of the Italian Republic abolished the obligation to test for all passengers traveling from the Republic of Croatia to Italy on 8 October 2020."

Likewise, all passengers who have stayed or transited in the last 14 in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Czech Republic, and Spain are required to a) present a negative swab test not older than 72 hours or b) take a swab test within 48 hours after arriving in Italy, says the Ministry.

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Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Tickets for Croatia Matches Against Sweden and France On Sale Today!

October 7, 2020 - Tickets for Croatia matches against Sweden (October 11) and France (October 14)  at Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb will begin on Wednesday, October 7, at 10:00.

The Croatia national football team will play two consecutive Nations League matches, both at Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb, against Sweden on October 11 at 6 pm, and against France on October 14 at 8:45 pm. Ticket sales for both matches are organized exclusively via the Internet at the following prices:

Tribune west middle lower: 250 kn

Tribune west lower: 150 kn

Tribune west upper: 100 kn

Tribune north lower: 60 kn

Tribune north upper: 60 kn

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

Due to special epidemiological measures in the stands, one person can buy only two (2) tickets, no less, no more. In addition to their data, the customer also enters data of the other ticket holder, who does not necessarily have to be a citizen of the Republic of Croatia.

The deadline for purchasing tickets online is:

October 11, 2020, until 12:00 for the match against Sweden, or October 14, 2020, until 12:00 for the match against France or until the games are sold out. 

Tickets will be available online on the HNS ticket portal, where you can find detailed information on ticket sales and payment methods.

HNS warns fans that when entering the stadium, the security will check the accuracy of personal data on the tickets. Fans who try to enter the stadium with a ticket in another name will be denied entry. Therefore, fans should not buy tickets from scalpers with someone else's information on the ticket.

As a reminder, UEFA allowed the return of spectators up to 30 percent of the stadium's capacity, which in the case of Maksimir was reduced by closing the east and south stands that were damaged in the earthquake.

Anyone entering the stadium must disinfect their hands as often as possible and maintain the recommended physical distance between themselves and other spectators.

More information can be found on HNS HERE.

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Monday, 28 September 2020

International U-16 Football Tournament "Vlatko Markovic" Held in Osijek

September 28, 2020 - Croatia is the winner of the second International U-16 category football tournament "Vlatko Markovic", held in Osijek over the weekend.

In the final match, the young Vatreni overcame their peers from Romania with a convincing 4:0 result and thus ascended the throne. Tomislav Rukavina's team did not concede a goal during the tournament and reached the final with victories against Qatar (3:0), Montenegro (2:0), and Bulgaria (1:0). Goals in the final against Romania were scored by Marko Cukon (26th), Marin Prekodravac (33rd), Lovro Zvonarek (57th) and Luka Dudukovic (65th).


Slobodan Kadic

"We did what we announced and expected as hosts, the guys deserve all the praise, not only for the presentations on the pitch but also for the overall behavior during all the days of the tournament. We are really very satisfied, this generation is very high quality and with a lot of dangerous players. If they develop properly, we will have a great generation again," said coach Rukavina for HNS.

Nemanja Poznanovic (Croatia) was chosen as the best goalkeeper of the tournament, Joseph Banda (Zambia) was the best scorer, and Rocco Zikovic (Croatia) was the best player.


Slobodan Kadic

"We expected to win the tournament because we knew we were by far the best team. We proved that on the pitch as well, so I am satisfied with how we played this tournament; we can be proud of each other. More than anything, I am glad that we have shown that together we can achieve a lot," concluded the best player of the tournament and captain Rocco Zikovic for HNS.


Slobodan Kadic

The Osijek tournament was organized with the support of Fifa's Forward program and is named after Vlatko Markovic, one of the most prominent people in the modern history of Croatian football - former player, coach, selector, football employee, and honorary president of HNS, who led the Croatian Football Federation from 1998 to 2012.


Slobodan Kadic

The Osijek final was attended by Davor Suker, president of the Croatian Football Federation, Zorislav Srebric, senior presidential advisor, Ante Vucemilovic Simunovic, vice president of HNS, Petar Krpan, chief instructor and Aljosa Asanovic, instructor for the diaspora.

Final standings: 1. Croatia, 2. Romania, 3. Qatar, 4. Zambia, 5. Bosnia and Herzegovina, 6. Bulgaria, 7. North Macedonia, 8. Montenegro.

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Monday, 28 September 2020

Slovenia's Red List Includes Eight Croatian Counties

September 28, 2020 - Slovenia's red list includes eight Croatian counties on Sunday after the Slovenian Government adopted changes in the ranking of countries on its red, orange, and green list. reports that during a correspondence session, the Slovenian government adopted changes to the countries on the lists unsafe for travel during the corona era.

"The Government took note of the Assessment of the Epidemiological Situation in the European Union and the Schengen Area, the Balkans and selected Third Countries, the Assessment of the Epidemiological Situation in the Countries and the European Commission's Re-open EU Recommendation, as well as the Criteria per 100,000 inhabitants by country prepared by the National Institute of Public Health. It assessed the professional justification of the restrictions from the Ordinance on ordering and implementing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at border crossings at the external border, at checkpoints at internal borders, and in the Republic of Slovenia and decided that these restrictions should continue to apply," said the Slovenian Government on its website.

Thus, the red list includes 16 EU Member States and the Schengen area, with only administrative units with a poor epidemiological picture and 114 third countries with an uneven distribution of infections.

Regarding Croatia, the red list now includes Brod-Posavina, Dubrovnik-Neretva, Lika-Senj, Pozega-Slavonia, Sibenik-Knin, Split-Dalmatia, Virovitica-Podravina and Zadar counties. 

The orange list now includes the Croatian counties bordering the country. This means that from these areas, Slovenia can be entered with a negative coronavirus test and without having to quarantine.

Serbia and Poland are on the green list again, together with Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, and Finland, while neighboring Italy has been withdrawn from the green list. 

The changes take effect on Tuesday, September 29, 2020, and the lists are available here.

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Monday, 21 September 2020

Croatia Features on Safe Harbor TV Show as Safe and Desirable Nautical Destination

September 21, 2020 - Croatia features on Safe Harbor, a show on the Nautical Channel, as a safe and desirable nautical destination. 

HRTurizam reports that the Croatian Tourist Board promoted nautical tourism on the TV show "Safe Harbor", which airs on the Nautical Channel and is watched by more than 200 million viewers in over 100 countries around the world.

A total of 20 five-minute shows will be broadcast from various Croatian nautical destinations to present Croatia as a safe and desirable nautical destination, attracting as many sailors as possible to our country.

Destinations that will be promoted through 20 shows on the Nautical Channel are Vis, Dubrovnik, Cres, Korcula, Rovinj, Split, Mali Losinj, Primosten, Rab, Brac, Skradin, Makarska, Pag, Murter, Omis, Vodice, Ugljan, Ston, Sibenik and Dugi Otok.

As pointed out by the Croatian National Tourist Board, in addition to the tourist offer of the destinations themselves, the shows will present various attractions for boaters, safe ports and bays, marinas, and a rich Croatian eno-gastronomic offer. Special emphasis was placed on Croatia's excellent traffic position and proximity to important markets, and staying on nautical vessels was highlighted as one of the safest forms of accommodation.

The Nautical Channel was created in 2011, by merging the Sailing Channel and the Yacht & Sail channel, and is broadcast via hundreds of well-known international platforms. The content of this program is focused on sailing and nautical sports, surfing, kite-boarding, nautical news, travel, and interviews with famous athletes.

As we know, nautical tourism is the first to open and close the tourist season in Croatia, with a fleet of over 4,300 vessels, more than 140 nautical ports with over 17,000 berths and over a million cruise passengers, Croatia is certainly a nautical superpower and one of the most important nautical destinations not only in the Mediterranean but also globally.

The average consumption of nautical tourists is 126 euro per day, and in the charter, 183 euro per day. More than 30 percent of that money is spent on other forms of tourism, from the cultural to wine and gastronomic offer, according to the research TOMAS NAUTIKA YACHTING 2017.

In the summer, nautical charter achieved 70 percent of last year's result, and only in the previous part of September, almost 200 nights in the nautical charter were realized.

This year, we also finally experienced an upgrade of Croatian nautical tourism.

Namely, the e-Citizens system, which currently has over 800,000 users, has been enhanced by three more e-services since the beginning of this year. One of the novelties, at least as far as tourism is concerned, is a new service via "e-Nautika".

Thus, from now on, through the "e-Nautika" service of the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, online registration of the arrival of a foreign vessel or Croatian boat in Croatian territorial waters is possible, for the purpose of payment and taking over the electronic confirmation of payment of the navigation safety fee. It also finally allows boaters to pay tourist tax online.

Thus, this year, a multilingual portal was opened, which guides boaters in a simple and clear way through the process of registration and payment of tourist tax. 

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Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Croatia, Malta Report Weakest Growth of Hourly Labor Costs in EU in Q2

ZAGREB, Sept 15, 2020  - Croatia and Malta are the two EU countries that saw the weakest growth of hourly labor costs in the second quarter of this year, many times lower than the EU average, which was supported by a strong increase in wage costs, shows a report from the EU's statistical office Eurostat.

In the EU27, working day-adjusted hourly labor costs grew by 4.1% in Q2 compared to the same period of last year. In Q4 2019, they grew by 3.9%.

In the euro area, hourly labor costs in Q2 grew by 4.2%, after a 3.7% increase in the previous three months.

Wage costs in both the EU and the euro area grew more strongly than in Q1 despite measures introduced to contain the coronavirus. In the EU they grew by 5.3%, after a 4.1% increase in Q1, while in the euro area they rose by 5.2%, after a 3.9% increase in Q1.

In both the EU and the euro area, the increase in hourly wage costs indicates that the decrease in the number of hours worked, due to the COVID-19 crisis, was not fully compensated by a matching decrease in wages, says Eurostat.

This increase in hourly wage costs was partly compensated by the moderate increase in the non-wage component, due to tax reliefs and subsidies introduced by EU governments to support enterprises affected by the crisis.

Hourly labor costs in the EU grew the most in the services sector, by 4.3%, followed by industry and construction, where they grew by 3.9% and 2.3% respectively.

In the euro area, the services sector saw the strongest increase in total labor costs, of 4.4%, followed by industry, with an increase of 3.8%, and construction, with a 2.8% increase.

Labor costs grow least in Malta, Croatia

Of the EU countries for which data was available, Romania saw the strongest increase in hourly labor costs in Q2, of 16.1%, almost twice as high as in Q1.

Croatia and Malta saw the weakest growth in hourly labor costs, of 0.7% and 0.8% respectively. In Q1 hourly labor costs in Croatia grew by 0.6%.

Wage costs in Croatia grew by 1.5% n the period from April to June, almost the same rate as in Q1. The cost of contributions dropped by 3.9%, after a 4.2% decline in Q1.

The largest drop in hourly labor costs in the EU in Q2 was reported by Cyprus, of 8.6%, followed by Ireland, with a drop of 3.3%.

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