Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Pope Francis Gifted Dinamo Jersey at Vatican ahead of Friendly Football Match (PHOTOS)

November 24, 2021 - Pope Francis has been gifted a jersey of the Croatian champion Dinamo Zagreb as part of a Vatican trip that featured a friendly football match between the World Roma Organization in Croatia and the Pope's team Fratelli tutti, hosted by Italian club Lazio.

Croatian champion Dinamo was the main sponsor of a trip to the Vatican, organized by the Croatian delegation and the World Roma Organization in Croatia. The Zagreb club was represented by club president Mirko Barišić, reports HRT.

As part of the Vatican trip, a friendly football match was organized between the World Roma Organization in Croatia and the Pope's team Fratelli tutti, and the host of the match was the Italian club Lazio.

Before the match, the Holy Father received both teams and members of the delegations from Croatia and Italy, and on that occasion, Mirko Barišić presented the Holy Father with gifts, including the Dinamo jersey.

The event was organized by Msgr. Melchor Sanchez de Toca, head of the Vatican's Council for Culture and Sports, in collaboration with Nikola Kriković, Toti Dedić's assistant.

"This was an extremely pleasant and beautiful trip. For me as a Christian and a Catholic, this moment of meeting the Pope means a lot, and it means a lot to Dinamo. I was pleasantly surprised that people around the Holy Father know the name Dinamo well from the sports world. Pope Francis is a very simple man, he is very careful, he cares and advocates that "small" people should not be excluded from society, and he especially cares about minorities such as the Roma. He is particularly sensitive to this topic, advocating for all people to be given equality and to be shown that they can participate equally in society. He was delighted with the role of Dinamo as a top football club that actively supported this match as a sponsor and who showed that in addition to sports results, he takes care to respect and appreciate everything that makes a man a man. Dinamo sticks not only to the results but also to the general social values. He gave us great recognition there," said the Dinamo president.

The Holy Father had a special message for the World Roma Organization, which is extremely active in Croatia and which makes great efforts to promote equal opportunities for all, and which Dinamo has repeatedly supported through various projects and cooperation over the years.

"Dear Roma friends, I know that in Croatia you are launching many sports inclusion initiatives to help each other know each other and friendship. It is a sign of hope because big childhood dreams cannot be limited by our barriers. All children have the right to grow up together, without obstacles and without discrimination. And sport is a place of encounter and equality and can build communities with bridges of friendship."

It should be reminded that Dinamo has supported the work of the World Roma Organization countless times by promoting the fight against racism and discrimination. Likewise, the club is continuously committed to providing equal opportunities for all regardless of diversity.

At the competition of the Foundation No surrender, entitled "Equal Opportunities for All", the World Roma Organization received a donation of HRK 40,000.00. The donation was given for the project of football camps for girls and boys belonging to racial and national minorities in several different parts of Croatia.

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Thursday, 4 November 2021

Europa League: Dinamo Beats Rapid Wien 3:1 at Maksimir!

November 4, 2021 - Dinamo beats Rapid 3:1 at Maksimir stadium in Zagreb in the 4th round of the Europa League Group H. 

Dinamo and Rapid Wien met in the 4th round of the Europa League Group H on Thursday at Maksimir stadium in Zagreb. In front of 7,800 spectators, Dinamo defeated Rapid 3:1, returning to second place in the standings.

With this victory, Dinamo retaliated against the Austrian team after losing in Vienna (2:1) in the last round and made an important step towards winning one of the first two spots in the group.

Rapid took the lead in the eighth minute with a goal by Christoph Knasmullner, but the Blues turned the score around by the end of the half with goals by Bruno Petković (13') and Komnen Andrić (34'). Finally, Josip Šutalo confirmed Dinamo's victory in the 83rd minute.

Dinamo opened the group stage competition with a defeat to West Ham (0:2), after which they defeated Genk away 3:0, followed by a defeat in Vienna to Rapid. On the other hand, Rapid recorded two initial losses (Genk 0:1, West Ham 0:2) and was better than the Croatian champion in the last round.

Recap

Rapid took the lead in the eighth minute of the match with a goal by Christoph Knasmullner, though their celebration was short-lived. Only five minutes later, Petković equalized. Dinamo turned the score around in the 34th minute. Petković masterfully found Bartol Franjić, who immediately played in the penalty area, and Andrić received the ball to score for 2:1. Moments after Andrić's goal, the Bad Blue Boys celebrated their 35th birthday with an impressive banner. Dinamo confirmed the victory in the 83rd minute when Šutalo scored with his head for 3:1. 

West Ham leads the group with 10 points, Dinamo has six points, Genk 4, and Rapid 3 points.

On November 25, Dinamo - Genk, and Rapid - West Ham will meet in the next round, and the group stage competition ends on December 9, when West Ham - Dinamo and Genk - Rapid are scheduled.

The group winners go directly to the round of 16, while the runners-up will play for the quarterfinals against eight runners-up from the Champions League. The third from each Europa League group continue the season in the Conference League, where they will play the playoffs for the round of 16 against others from the Conference League groups.

Source: HRT

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Thursday, 21 October 2021

Europa League Group Stage: Rapid Wien Tops Dinamo 2:1 in Vienna

October 21, 2021 - Rapid Wien tops Dinamo 2:1 in Vienna on Thursday in the 3rd round of Europa League's Group H. 

In the 3rd round match of the Europa League's Group H, Dinamo lost to Rapid Wien in front of 22,300 spectators in Vienna, recording their second defeat in the group.

After opening the competition in the group stage by losing at home to West Ham (0:2), and then recording a convincing victory against Genk (3:0) in the second round, Dinamo was again disappointed on the road in Vienna, recording a defeat that threatened their fight for one of first two spots in the group.

This loss has certainly complicated Dinamo's Europa League future, and Rapid is back in the game for a European spring after two defeats. Marco Grull (9') and Maxmillian Hofmann (34') scored in Rapid's first victory, while Mislav Oršić (24') scored for Dinamo.

Dinamo coach Damir Krznar was missing captain Arijan Ademi, Duje Čop, and Deni Jurić due to injuries tonight. Andrić was expected to play from the first minute, but coach Krznar surprised with a few moves. Luka Menalo and Amer Gojak, who have not had much time this season, got the opportunity from the first minute, while Petković was at the top of the attack.

Interestingly, the match between Rapid and Dinamo was reffed by Ukrainian Katerina Monzul (40), who was named the best referee of the elite class of Ukrainian football last year. It was her second group stage match in her career, after leading Slovan Liberec and Gent last season. 

In the second match of Group H, West Ham plays against Genk tonight in London.

West Ham leads the table with six points, Dinamo and Genk have three points each, while at the bottom is Rapid, which has lost both games.

In the fourth round, which is scheduled for November 4, the same rivals will play. This time, Dinamo will host Rapid at Maksimir, while Genk will host West Ham at Luminus Arena.

Recall, the winner from each of the eight groups will go directly to the round of 16, while the second-placed club will play for the round of 16 with the third-placed teams from the Champions League groups. Third-placed clubs from the Europa League will be included in the knockout phase of the Conference League.

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Thursday, 30 September 2021

Europa League: Dinamo Tops Genk 3:0 in Belgium

September 30, 2021 - Dinamo tops Genk away in Belgium in the second round of the Europa League Group H. 

Dinamo played the second round of the Europa League Group H against Genk in Belgium. Dinamo won 3:0 with goals from Ivanušec (10') and Petković (45 + 3' - 11m, 67 '- 11m).

Dinamo recorded their first victory in this season's Europa League. The Croatian champion played away against Genk in the 2nd round of Group H and beat the host 3:0. After losing to West Ham (0:2) in the first round, Dinamo holds second place behind the English Premier League club. 

Dinamo has visited Belgium three times since Croatian independence until this Thursday, all in Europa League matches, and won all three times without conceding a goal. This tradition continued today.

Genk opened the game better and was more dangerous through possession, but Dinamo was the one who knew how to use the chance when it appeared.

The first goal was scored by the Croatian champion in the 10th minute. Luka Ivanušec scored for the 1:0 lead. 

Before the end of the first half, Dinamo shook the goal post after Oršić's shot, the home team retaliated in the same way through Heynen, and Dinamo again had a chance to increase the lead. Duje Čop fell in the penalty area after being hit by Toma, which was reviewed by VAR and called for a penalty. In the third minute of the extra time, Bruno Petković scored for 2:0.

Petković once again had an opportunity to score from the penalty spot and did in the 67th minute. Dinamo then calmly brought the game to an end at 3:0. 

After two matches played in the group, West Ham leads the table with six points. Dinamo is in second place with three points, the same as the third-placed Genk. Rapid is in last with one point. 

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Thursday, 16 September 2021

Europa League: West Ham Beats Dinamo in Group Stage Opener at Maksimir

September 16, 2021 -  In the first round of the Europa League group stage, West Ham beats Dinamo 2:0 at Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb. 

Dinamo and West Ham met in the first round of the Europa League group stage on Thursday at Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb. Although the Croatian champion has much more experience in European competitions, West Ham's status as a solid Premier League club made them the favorite going into this match. 

Croatia national team player (and former Hajduk star) Nikola Vlašić was in West Ham's starting 11, while Bruno Petković and Mislav Oršić led Dinamo's attack. There were 12,344 spectators at the stadium, of which 859 were West Ham supporters. 

Lineups: 

Dinamo: Livaković - Šutalo, Lauritsen, Theophile-Catherine - Ristovski, Ademi, Mišić, Franjić - Ivanušec - Petković, Oršić

West Ham: Fabianski - Fredericks, Zouma, Diop, Cresswell - Rice, Souček - Vlašić, Lanzini, Fornals - Antonio

The first half was one to forget for the Croatian club and perhaps one of the worst halves they've played in Europe in the last few years. An unrecognizable Dinamo succumbed to West Ham's pressure and gave up two corners in the first 3 minutes of play. 

Dinamo's first attack didn't come until the 11th minute, and Petković and Ademi could not get past Fabianski. An Oršić shot from 30 meters out in the 20th minute almost gave Dinamo the lead, though a catastrophic mistake by Theophile-Catherine put West Ham in the lead instead. Theophile-Catherine weakly passed back to Livaković without realizing Antonio was there to score for 0:1. Livaković had to save Dinamo from another close encounter 3 minutes later. 

Dinamo struggled to find their game, and Vlašić nearly had a few chances for West Ham in the remainder of the half, but the match luckily ended 0:1 for West Ham at halftime. 

Dinamo picked up their pace at the start of the second half with an attacking play immediately in the first minute. But West Ham was quicker to increase their lead, and Declan Rice scored for 0:2 in the 51st minute.

Dinamo had a good chance 3 minutes later when Ivanušec's shot went out for a corner, and another chance again in the 60th, which just missed the goal. 

West Ham subbed out Vlašić for Bowen in the 69th minute.

Dinamo was lucky not to concede another goal in the 79th minute. Tolić pulled a counter-attack with Jurić in the 87th minute, though it was no tough task for Fabianski. 

Three minutes of injury time were added to the end of the match, which was not enough for Dinamo to get back a goal. The match ended 0:2 for West Ham. 

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Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Dinamo Prepares for West Ham at Maksimir: "We Can Repeat Tottenham"

September 14, 2021 - Dinamo Zagreb is preparing to welcome West Ham at Maksimir Stadium on Thursday to open the Europa League group stage. 

West Ham United is playing in Europe for the first time in five years. The English club played in the competition last when they were led by Slaven Bilić and were shockingly knocked out in the play-offs by Romanian club Astra Giurgiu, reports 24 Sata.

West Ham is in the group stage of the competition for the first time thanks to finishing sixth place in the Premier League last season.

And their first stop? Croatia.

Dinamo, their first group stage opponent, plays in the Europa League group stage for the 14th time in the last 15 seasons.

Nikola Vlašić (23) will once again play against Dinamo in the Europa League group stage. Recall, Vlašić met Dinamo when playing with CSKA Moscow last season and lost at Maksimir. He made his West Ham debut in the draw against Southampton last weekend (0-0).

Spaniard Pablo Fornals (25) knows it won’t be easy, even though the Hammers are favorites for bookmakers (odds 2.25 at West Ham and 3.10 at Dinamo).

"We are playing away. It will be a new experience for all of us, and I hope that we will make all West Ham fans proud," Fornals said for the official West Ham website.

Coach David Moyes has hinted that striker Michail Antonio, who is excluded from the league game and has no right to play against Manchester United at the weekend, will play in Zagreb.

"Will I try other options? He can’t play against United, and you can look at it in several ways. I don't want Mic to be without a game for a few weeks, he played a little for the national team, but I will think about it," said Moyes.

Dinamo captain Arijan Ademi (30), the club's record holder with 87 appearances in UEFA competitions, does not believe that it will be a one-way street.

"With a full stadium, with our fans, with their great support, we can repeat Tottenham. Clearly, I am an optimist; what an athlete I would be if I were not an optimist. We believed then that we could get past the Spurs, and that faith brought us that result," said the captain and continued:

"I appeal to our fans to give us the support they know against West Ham. It means a lot to us on the field; fan support is a big motivator. The louder our fans are, the higher our percentage for success. So I hope they will fill Maksimir."

The match starts at 18.45 on Thursday and will be refereed by Frenchman Ruddy Buquet (44), who refereed Dinamo in their victory against Ferencvaros in Budapest in 2019 (4-0) and was the fourth referee against Neftči in Zagreb in 2011 (3-0). He also refereed the Croatia national team in a draw against Azerbaijan in 2015 (0-0) and victory in Finland in 2016 (1-0).

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Wednesday, 25 August 2021

Champions League Playoffs: Dinamo Loses to Sheriff, Moves to Europa League

August 25, 2021 - Dinamo loses to Sheriff in the Champions League playoffs and will compete in the Europe League competition instead. 

Dinamo failed to qualify for the Champions League group stage after playing 0:0 against Sheriff in the return match of the playoffs in Zagreb. Sheriff won the first leg 3:0 in Tiraspol.

Dinamo failed to make up for the three-goal deficit, and the Moldovan club thus qualified for the Champions League group stage for the first time.

Dinamo did not find a way to break through the Sheriff's defense led by goalkeeper Athanasiadis, whom Dinamo failed to get by in both matches.

Sheriff unexpectedly started attacking from the first minute, and in the 4th minute, Thill hit the post.

Dinamo had their first chance only after ten minutes. However, Ivanušec missed a good opportunity, and Petković's attempts were defended by the Moldovan goalkeeper Athanasiadis, and the teams went into halftime without goals. 

Sheriff's goalkeeper defended Oršić's shot in the 52nd minute, after which the match calmed down completely. Dinamo's attacks could not penetrate Sheriff's defense.

"We did our best, but we failed. I’m sorry to the wonderful fans, but hopefully, there will be a win in the Europa League. We knew we had to put more pressure than in the first game, but Sheriff deserved the Champions League," Duje Cop said after the game.

Mislav Oršić thanked the fans for their support.

"I don't know what to say; it's hard to analyze the game. They were better; that’s the only thing that matters. After that, we have to turn to the Europa League, and the HNL," said Oršić.

"We reached the last third, but in the end, there was always something missing," added Dinamo's winger.

"Maybe someone will say that this is a failure, but we are in the Europa League in which we did great things last year," concluded Oršić.

Daniele Orsato from Italy refereed in front of 8,100 spectators at the Maksimir Stadium.

Source: HRT

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Wednesday, 18 August 2021

Champions League Play-offs: Unrecognizable Dinamo Falls to Sheriff in 1st Match

August 18, 2021 - The Champions League play-offs got off to a rough start for Dinamo Zagreb, who looked unrecognizable against Moldovan club Sheriff in match 1 in Tiraspol.

Croatian champions Dinamo suffered a brutal defeat in the first Champions League play-off match against Moldovan club Sheriff in Tiraspol. Sheriff won 3:0 thanks to goals by Traore (45', 80') and Kolovos (54').

Sheriff completely outplayed Dinamo and deservedly gained a big advantage before the return match in Zagreb next week. 

"A disappointing game; Dinamo was not Dinamo today," said coach Damir Krznar. 

"We failed to impose ourselves in our idea of possessing the ball. We failed to gain control of the match, against an extremely aggressive opponent. They didn’t give us air; they didn’t let us breathe; they won all the long balls. Sheriff was the one who had more desire, more strength, more energy today, and they taught us a lesson in fighting spirit and will, and in the end, deservedly won," Krznar pointed out.

"We have to start; we have to change the philosophy in a short time; we have to go back to where we were. Everything Dinamo did, they did because they are an extremely hard-working team. Today we weren’t; today we were trying to be a hacker team from the neighborhood," the coach concluded.

Mislav Oršić and Lovro Majer were among those who gave the least.

"This is the worst Dinamo match since I've been here; I don't know what to say, I have no words. Nothing went, from the beginning everything was bad, we even had some shots in the first half, and in the second half, everything fell apart," Oršić said in a statement for Arena Sport.

"All praise to Sheriff, but I think we failed first. We have to look each other in the eyes and prepare as best we can for the return match, prepare for another miracle at Maksimir; I hope we will succeed," concluded Oršić.

Moldova has never had a representative in the Champions League group stage, and after the first 90 minutes of the clash against Dinamo, Sheriff has come very close to achieving just that. Dinamo will have to play a perfect match on August 25 to compensate for this loss. 

Source: HRT

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Tuesday, 10 August 2021

Dinamo Beats Legia Warsaw for Spot in Champions League Playoffs!

August 10, 2021 - Dinamo beats Legia Warsaw in the Champions League 3rd qualifying round to advance to the playoffs! 

Dinamo played Legia Warsaw in the hunt for the Champions League playoffs on Tuesday. The two teams met in Warsaw for the return match of the Champions League 3rd qualifying round. The result of the first game was 1:1 at Maksimir. As a reminder, as of this season, the away goal rule no longer applies.

Bartol Franjić scored the decisive goal in the 20th minute for the Dinamo lead and ultimate win. 

Dinamo was more determined on the pitch from the first minute of the match in Warsaw. Ivanušec and Majer found each other 30 meters from the goal in the 20th minute. Ivanušec put on a brilliant move and played Franjić with a great through ball, who ran into the home team's penalty area and then defeated the Legia defense to score for 1:0. 

To enter the Champions League group stage, the Croatian champion will fight against the Moldovan club Sheriff from Tiraspol. Sheriff knocked out the Red Star as a rival in the last qualifying round for the Champions League. After 1:1 in the first game in Belgrade, the return match in Tiraspol on Tuesday was 1:0 for Sheriff.

The first match between Dinamo and Sheriff will be played on August 17 or 18 in Tiraspol, and the return match will be on August 24 or 25 in Zagreb.

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Thursday, 5 August 2021

Champions League Qualifiers: Dinamo and Legia Warsaw End 1:1 at Maksimir

August 5, 2021 - Dinamo and Legia Warsaw played 1:1 at Maksimir to open the Champions League 3rd qualifying round on Wednesday. 

In the first match of the Champions League 3rd qualifying round, Dinamo played 1:1 against Legia Warsaw in front of 4,597 spectators at Maksimir Stadium.

Dinamo took the lead in the 60th minute with a goal by Bruno Petković, and Ernes Muci equalized in the 82nd minute.

"With a patient game, we took the lead, too bad we didn’t turn it into something more. We had several situations for 2:0, however, Legia sent one shot and equalized," said coach Damir Krznar.

He added that it is psychologically nice to play away with a victory, but also added.

"With 1:0 or 1:1, we would go to Warsaw with the same imperative of victory, so we will position ourselves in the return match."

He pointed out that Legia stood in the block in the first half, but with the changes at the half, Dinamo moved their lines forward.

"That helped us in the transition and pressure."

The good news is that an away goal is no longer an advantage that will help Dinamo in the return match. 

"The fact that there are no more away goals now allows everyone to play more attacking, that is a gain for football," he said.

Regardless of the outcome against Legia, Dinamo has already secured a European competition this autumn. It is only a question of which competition it will be - UEFA Europe Conference League, Europa League, or Champions League.

Namely, if Dinamo wins against Legia, they would have another obstacle on their way to the Champions League, a playoff against Belgrade's Red Star or Moldovan club Sheriff. A win in the playoffs brings the Champions League, and a defeat the Europa League.

If Dinamo loses to Legia, they would play in the Europa League playoffs. Winning that round means a spot in the Europa League, and a defeat in the Europa League playoffs, in turn, guarantees a spot in the Conference League group stage. 

Source: HRT

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