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.

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

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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)

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

To get more news about sports in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, 22 May 2021

Highlights of the Week: 5 Big Events in Croatia from May 17-23, 2021

May 23, 2021 - TCN's highlights of the week. A look at the events in Croatia from May 17 through the selection of TCN's reporter Ivor Kruljac. 

From Local elections to released details of the Euro 2020 championship strategy to the release of Zoran Mamić. Add Besana company attempting to boost its position in Croatia, and you have a truly exciting week. Here are the highlights.

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 screenshot / Jutarnji list

Highlights of the Week: Zagreb mayor candidates Tomašević and Škoro had a debate ahead of the second round of elections

Jutarnji List invited on Friday mayoral candidates Miroslav Škoro (Homeland Movement), and Tomislav Tomašević of the green-left party We Can! to debate ahead of new elections.

In the first round of the elections, We Can! earned 147.631 votes (45.15%), while Homeland Movement had 39.789 votes (12.16%). Before officially entering the second round, Škoro declared Tomašević and We Can! party extreme left and pushed the narrative of elections as an ideological referendum among right-wing and conservative circles. Škoro also accused We Can! of being foreign mercenaries working for a philanthropist George Soros or wanting to revitalize Yugoslavia and Škoro's associate Zlatko Hasanbegović earlier in the week called We Can! a lesbian syndicate. Additionally, Nikola Grmoja (Most Party) stated for N1 that We Can! are Soroshians and accusations of their weird name-calling saw a random generator on the internet designed to mock these terms by random options of name-calling. Meanwhile, Tomašević continued the campaign talking about solutions to the problems Zagreb is currently facing but occasionally makes remark accusations while keeping it clean. The debate on Jutarnji List saw similar rhetoric from both candidates in their public performances, and overall, at least for the people of Zagreb, May 30 can't come soon enough.Hrvatski_nogometni_savez.jpg

screenshot / Hrvatski nogometni savez

Highlights of the Week: Zlatko Dalić announces preliminary EURO 2020 Croatia player list

Coach Zlatko Dalic has announced the preliminary EURO 2020 Croatia player list on Monday. Luka Modrić (Real Madrid), Marcelo Brozović (Inter), Milan Badelj (Genoa), Mateo Kovačić (Chelsea) are some of the names that made it on the list.

The Croatia national team has entered the last month of preparations for the European Championship, which opens on June 13 at Wembley against England at 3 pm.

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screenshot / RTL

Highlights of the Week: Zoran Mamić released from custody

Former Dinamo football coach Zoran Mamić will remain free while in Bosnia and Herzegovina; however, he will have to report to the police once a week, and his personal documents have been temporarily confiscated, the court in Bosnia and Herzegovina decided on Wednesday.

Zoran Mamić was arrested early Wednesday morning by officers from the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) based on an arrest warrant issued against him in Croatia.

After that, Mamić was handed over to the court in Sarajevo. Judge Branko Perić determined his status, including his citizenship of BiH. The judge ruled that Mamić would remain free with precautionary measures and was ordered to give in his personal identification documents.

The court did not discuss the matter of Mamić's extradition, considering that Croatia has not sent a formal request yet.

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screenshot / Radio Labin

Highlights of the Week: Former football player Vedran Ćorluka new Croatian assistant coach

The new Croatia national team assistant coach Vedran Ćorluka was officially presented by coach Zlatko Dalić at a press conference in Zagreb ahead of EURO 2020.

Although there was a lot of speculation, Croatian football player Vedran Ćorluka officially announced the end of his playing career and was confirmed as the new Croatia assistant coach on Monday.

"I did not plan it, but the moment has come," said Ćorluka at the press conference at which coach Zlatko Dalić presented the list of players for the upcoming European Championship.

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Pixabay

Highlights of the Week: Italian company Besana strengthening position in Croatia

The Italian company Besana, which is otherwise one of the strongest European companies in the production and processing of nuts and dried fruit, is working to further strengthen its position here in Croatia.

As TCN reported on Monday, the Italian company Besana currently has 50 subcontractors located in Croatia, from whom it buys about 100 tonnes of hazelnuts per year. But, much more can be expected if their plans go well.

To learn more about Croatia, have a look at our newly launched TC website.

For more about news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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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To get more news about sports in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

New Croatia Assistant Coach Vedran Ćorluka On His New Role

May 18, 2021 - The new Croatia national team assistant coach Vedran Ćorluka was officially presented by coach Zlatko Dalić at a press conference in Zagreb ahead of EURO 2020.

Although there was a lot of speculation, Croatian football player Vedran Ćorluka officially announced the end of his playing career and was confirmed as the new Croatia assistant coach on Monday. 

"I did not plan it, but the moment has come," said Ćorluka at the press conference at which coach Zlatko Dalić presented the list of players for the upcoming European Championship.

Dalić introduced Corluka as a new member of the coaching staff.

"I am extremely honored that the coach invited me to help him. Two months ago, I got a call from the coach, he mentioned the idea to me, and we quickly agreed. I also talked to my teammates, and I hope I can help as I helped when I was a player," said Ćorluka while Dalić explained his decision.

"I advocate the vision that the national team must have former players who went through the national team. I did not have that honor, but Dražen (Ladić), Vedran (Ćorluka) and Ivica (Olić) did. Their experience is important to me. I expect Vedran to point out some things to me, to think in his own way. I expect quality advice, criticism, things I don't see," the coach pointed out.

Ćorluka pointed out that the EURO is now in the foreground, and he also revealed his plans.

"Now the EURO is in focus, and after that, we will see. Now I see myself in that; I will enroll in a coaching academy. My former club has expressed a desire to join their staff, and that is the path I want to take," said Ćorluka.

Ćorluka has played for Lokomotiv Moscow since 2012, and on Sunday, he played his last game.

"The last couple of weeks have been quite emotional. We won the Cup, and yesterday I played the last game for Lokomotiv and the last game of my career. It was hard yesterday, but today it was easier," he admitted.

He also revealed when he decided to retire.

"At one point, one realizes that's it. I didn’t plan it, but there came a moment when I decided on my own. I still enjoy football, but I think it's time to come home, to find myself in a new role, in some new joys of life."

When asked what grade he would give himself for his career, he was clear.

"I have never regretted some missed opportunities, so I give myself a rating of 10 out of 10," he said with a smile.

During his career, Ćorluka played for Dinamo, Inter Zaprešić, Manchester City, Tottenham, Bayer Leverkusen, and CSKA Moscow.

He won a total of ten trophies. He was the champion with Dinamo in 2006 and 2007, and he also won the Super Cup in 2006 and the Cup in 2007. In the Lokomotiv jersey, he won six trophies - the Russian Championship, four Cups, and the Russian Super Cup.

He scored four goals for Croatia in 103 games, and he had the crown of his career in 2018 in Russia, where he won world silver in the Vatreni jersey.

Source: HNS, HRT

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Monday, 17 May 2021

Zlatko Dalic Announces Preliminary EURO 2020 Croatia Player List

May 17, 2021 - Coach Zlatko Dalic has announced the preliminary EURO 2020 Croatia player list. 

The Croatia national team has entered the last month of preparations for the European Championship, which opens on June 13 at Wembley against England at 3 pm.

Coach Zlatko Dalic has known the starting lineup and the list for the Euro for a long time. UEFA's rule change gave him three additional positions and he can now take 26 players to the tournament.

Dalic announced their names today at 1 pm, accompanied by the coach of the U21 national team Igor Bišćan, who will reveal his team against Spain for the U21 Euro semifinals in Maribor on May 31.

"We are gathering on May 25 in Rovinj. Only a dozen players, and on the 28th another dozen of them. After that, Kovačić will come, and then the young members of the national team. I must say that this call is not final."

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Croatia layer list:

Goalkeepers: Dominik Livaković - Dinamo, Lovre Kalinić - Hajduk, Simon Sluga - Luton, pretpoziv: Ivica Ivušić

Defenders: Šime Vrsaljko - Atletico Madrid, Domagoj Vida - Bešiktaš, Josip Juranović - Legia, Dejan Lovren - Zenit, Duje Ćaleta-Car - Marseille, Borna Barišić - Glasgow Rangers, Mile Škorić - Osijek, Joško Gvardiol - Dinamo. Pretpoziv: 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. Pretpozivi: 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. Pretpozivi: Lovrić and Livaja.

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. 

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

To get more news about sports in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, 16 July 2020

Eduardo Alves da Silva Appointed Ambassador for Croatia at Euros

July 16, 2020 - The President of the Croatian Football Federation, Davor Suker, hosted Eduardo Alves da Silva, the former prominent member of the Croatia national team, who will be the HNS ambassador at the European Championship next year.

Eduardo gladly accepted the proposal to be the ambassador of the Croatian Football Federation and the Croatia national team at Euro 2020, which has been postponed to the summer of 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The favorite 'Dudu' will once again be with the national team, for which he played 64 times and scored 29 goals, which makes him the third-best scorer of in Vatreni history, behind Suker (45) and Mario Mandzukic (33).

Eduardo interviewed for the official HNS website.

How did this cooperation with HNS come about?

Last Christmas I was in Zagreb, I visited President Suker and through a conversation, he suggested the idea to me. I gladly agreed. I will be honored to be the ambassador of HNS and the Croatia national team at the upcoming Euro.

EURO 2020 will be Croatia's eleventh major competition in history. Is this confirmation of good work in Croatian football?

The results of the HNS speak for themselves. Croatia is continuously a participant in major competitions, and when you have two medals from world championships in 20 years, there is nothing more to add. I see that this high level is maintained even today, that great talents are being developed that will keep Croatia at a high level in the future as well. Quality work with young people is undoubtedly what sets Croatia apart from others, and I am thrilled that President Suker and the current leadership recognize this and invest in it.

Croatia is coming to the EURO as the World Cup finalist. How did you experience the World Cup in Russia?

Then I played in Poland, where I watched all the matches of our national team. I played for Croatia for ten years and I am aware of the quality that this national team has. Several times we really missed the chance for great success, especially in 2008 against Turkey and 2016 against Portugal. In 2012, we had an objectively difficult group with two finalists, but even then, we played very good football. So I'm not surprised that Croatia reached the final because I know these guys and I know how good they are. I played with 80 percent of these guys and I’m so glad they achieved such a fantastic success.

The captain of Vatreni, Luka Modric, also achieved incredible success, with whom you shared the locker room at Dinamo and the national team. Could you have predicted that Luka's career would develop like this?

As a young footballer, each of us dreams of being the best in the world, like our role models like Zidane and Romario. I played a lot with Luka, even against him a few times when he was at Tottenham and at Real, and he really deserved everything that happened to him. He built his career carefully, step by step, and reached the highest possible level that he earned with his quality and his work.

Regardless of the departures of several essential players after the World Cup, Croatia triumphantly went through the qualifications. What can the Vatreni do at Euro 2020?

It was expected that there would be a small drop after the World Cup because every new team needs time to play. See how much time Klopp needed and now this Liverpool team is the champion of Europe and England. It is now clear that Croatia is again ready to be competitive at the Euro and come far again.

Everyone's plans were thwarted by the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

Of course, we are all sorry that a virus has appeared that, among other things, has affected the football calendar in the same way. However, for Croatia as well as for others - I don't think it will be too much of a problem. It remains to be seen what the situation will be with the fans because Croatia is used to playing with great support from the stands.

How do you view the opponents who await Croatia at the Euros?

Whoever qualifies for the big competition is a serious team. England and Croatia are the favorites on paper. England is the host and is of very high quality, and Croatia is a World Cup finalist. But the Czech Republic is a team that plays well in the final tournaments, and whoever comes as the fourth team in the group will also be a tough opponent. Still, of course, I see Croatia as one of the passengers in the next round.

As an extremely successful striker, how do you rate Croatia's center forwards today?

The strikers are certainly among the most important figures on the pitch for any team. Football has changed a lot; there are not so many traditional "nines" but the striker is expected to work a lot for the team, cooperate and open the space with wings that score a lot of goals. Still, it’s important to have a striker who can score from nothing. I think that Croatia has excellent solutions in the attack in Petkovic and Kramaric, and we shouldn't be worried about that position.

You can read the full interview on the HNS website

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

UEFA Euro 2020 Officially Postponed until 2021

March 17, 2020 - The European Football Federation (UEFA) has postponed the European Championship until the summer of 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The European Championships were scheduled to take place from June 12 to July 12 this year, however, the umbrella football organization postponed the tournament for next summer. The new term should be from June 11 to July 11, 2021.

This was a proposal made by representatives of the European Clubs Association (ECA), representatives of the national leagues and the World Trade Union of Footballers (FIFPro) at a video conference this morning at UEFA President Alexander Cheferin and Secretary-General Theodoridis. and representatives of national alliances.

The news of the postponement was first reported by many European media, and was also published by the Norwegian, Swedish and Scottish Football Associations, and was later officially confirmed.

You can read UEFA's statement in full below: 

"UEFA today announced the postponement of its flagship national team competition, UEFA EURO 2020, due to be played in June and July this year. The health of all those involved in the game is the priority, as well as to avoid placing any unnecessary pressure on national public services involved in staging matches. The move will help all domestic competitions, currently on hold due to the COVID-19 emergency, to be completed.

All UEFA competitions and matches (including friendlies) for clubs and national teams for both men and women have been put on hold until further notice. The UEFA EURO 2020 play-off matches and international friendlies, scheduled for the end of March, will now be played in the international window at the start of June, subject to a review of the situation.

A working group has been set up with the participation of leagues and club representatives to examine calendar solutions that would allow for the completion of the current season and any other consequence of the decisions made today.

The decisions, taken by UEFA's Executive Committee, followed videoconference meetings held today with the presidents and general secretaries of the 55 national associations, as well as representatives of the European Club Association, European Leagues and FIFPro Europe, convened by UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin, to find a coherent plan to break the logjam of fixtures building up due to the spread of the virus across the continent."

Announcing the decisions, Aleksander Čeferin said:

"We are at the helm of a sport that vast numbers of people live and breathe that has been laid low by this invisible and fast-moving opponent. It is at times like these that the football community needs to show responsibility, unity, solidarity and altruism.

"The health of fans, staff and players has to be our number one priority and, in that spirit, UEFA tabled a range of options so that competitions can finish this season safely and I am proud of the response of my colleagues across European football. There was a real spirit of cooperation, with everyone recognising that they had to sacrifice something in order to achieve the best result.

"It was important that, as the governing body of European football, UEFA led the process and made the biggest sacrifice. Moving EURO 2020 comes at a huge cost for UEFA but we will do our best to ensure that the vital funding for grassroots, women's football and the development of the game in our 55 countries is not affected. Purpose over profit has been our guiding principle in taking this decision for the good of European football as a whole.

"Football is an uplifting and powerful force in society. The thought of celebrating a pan-European festival of football in empty stadia, with deserted fan zones while the continent sits at home in isolation, is a joyless one and one we could not accept to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the competition.

"I would like to thank the European Club Association, the European Leagues and FIFPro Europe for their great work today and for their cooperation. I would also like to thank from the bottom of my heart the 55 national associations, their presidents and general secretaries, and my colleagues from the Executive Committee for their support and wise decisions. The fine detail will be worked out in the coming weeks but the basic principles have been agreed and that is a major step forward. We have all shown that we are responsible leaders. We have demonstrated solidarity and unity. Purpose over profit. We've achieved this today.

"I would also like to thank Alejandro Domínguez and CONMEBOL, who have agreed to move CONMEBOL's 2020 Copa America in order to follow the recommendations issued by the international public health organisations to enact extreme measures and as a result of EURO 2020 being postponed. This means that clubs and leagues in Europe will have as little disruption as possible in the availability of their players. These joint efforts and especially this coordinated and responsible decision, are deeply appreciated by the whole European football community.

"I would like to thank FIFA and its President, Gianni Infantino, who has indicated it will do whatever is required to make this new calendar work. In the face of this crisis, football has shown its best side with openness, solidarity and tolerance."

UEFA EURO 2020 was scheduled to take place in 12 cities across Europe from 12 June to 12 July 2020. The proposed new dates are 11 June to 11 July 2021. UEFA would like to reassure existing ticket buyers and hospitality clients that if they cannot attend the tournament in 2021, the face value of their tickets and packages will be refunded in full. Within the next month, further information on the refund process will be communicated to existing ticket buyers via email and on euro2020.com/tickets.

Decisions on dates for other UEFA competitions, whether club or national team for men or women, will be taken and announced in due course.

Stay tuned for a piece on what this means for the Croatia national team. 

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Preparatory Plans Change for Croatia National Team as Doha Tournament Canceled

March 12, 2020 - Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the international Qatar Airways tournament in Doha, featuring Croatia, Portugal, Switzerland and Belgium, will not be played this month, the Croatian Football Federation announced.

HNS reports that the Croatian football team was due to play in a friendly tournament in Qatar's capital Doha at the end of March and measure its strength against the national teams of Switzerland and Portugal as part of preparations for the 2020 European Championships.

However, given the emerging health circumstances around the world, the tournament was canceled. In addition to Croatia, Switzerland and Portugal, the current top-ranked national team by FIFA was due to perform - Belgium.

The Croatian Football Federation will subsequently inform the public of the plans of the first team during the national team break.

A few days ago, Qatar authorities imposed a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all travelers arriving or staying in Italy for the past two weeks, after which they closed schools and universities, so a tournament delay was expected.

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic hoped to have two quality matches in Doha, and planned to give all players a chance and try out some systems.

“The plan is to give everyone a chance and to see the condition of all players, especially those who have been injured. The most important thing for me is to have seven days of  being together because there won't be much time later,”  the coach said Monday after releasing the player list for Doha.

This news comes after the Croatian Football Federation announced that all Croatian league games in the country would be played without fans until March 31. 

“Taking into account the emerging circumstances regarding the epidemic of the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, today the leading people of the HNS and the relevant bodies of the Federation have re-analyzed the current situation and decided that all matches in competitions under the jurisdiction of the HNS will be played without spectators until March 31.

The new measure applies to the HT First League, Croatian Cup, 2. HNL, 3. HNL, 1. HNLŽ, 2. HNLŽ, 1. HMNL, 2. HMNL and all youth leagues under the auspices of HNS, as well as the upcoming UEFA qualifying matches that take place in Croatia.

In these competitions, only teams with their staff, senior management and officials of clubs and HNS, technical staff and a certain number of media representatives will be able to attend the matches until further notice, with all the usual measures for organizing matches.

The HNS also recommends that all county associations take the same measure in competitions under their jurisdiction.

As before, the HNS will closely monitor the development of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus epidemic and, if necessary, determine other measures to which the football family and the public will be informed in due time. The decision shall enter into force immediately and shall be valid until March 31 or the end of the representative break. The Federation will make a timely decision to continue or discontinue this measure, taking into account developments, recommendations from public health institutions, and considering, above all, the health of spectators, football players and all other actors in football.

You can find the Croatia Football Federation's statement in Croatian here.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow. TCN's dedicated page.

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