Thursday, 19 September 2019

City of Split and HNS Meet: Details Revealed

September 19, 2019 - Croatia and Hungary will meet at Poljud Stadium next month for a crucial Euro 2020 qualifier. The City of Split and HNS sat down at Poljud on Wednesday to discuss the details. 

Slobodna Dalmacija and Gol.hr report that a five-hour marathon meeting was held on Wednesday at Poljud on the topic of the upcoming Croatia-Hungary match, which will be played on Thursday 10 October. The media learned at 3 pm on Wednesday that everything is going according to plan, and that they are moving to the City Administration where they will finalize the contract they had not yet signed.

Just after 10 am, executive chairman Marijan Kustic arrived at the head of a large HNS delegation, including Vlado Iveta, Niksa Martinac, Zoran Cvrk, and female representatives and match managers Helena Pushkar and Antonia Burazer, who runs the VIP.

“What are the points in the contract? The organization of the match, the items that HNS is taking over, that is what we spoke about. There is no controversy, but there are a lot of details, a lot of points, so everything took five hours,” Kustic said pleased after the meeting.

Is Hajduk still not participating in the organization of the match?

“I’d be the happiest if they chose to participate. But, we are negotiating with the City and signing a contract with them,” Kustic added.

Split Mayor of Andro Krustolovic Opara was only at the beginning of the meeting to welcome the HNS delegation to Poljud, before hurrying back to the City Administration. Thus, the details were agreed by Mate Omazic and Domagoj Maroevic, and Kustic was to join Opara at the City Administration later. 

"It is important that the people and services work and cooperate and look for the best model for this to be a win-win situation," said Split Mayor Andro Krstulovic Opara. Recall, Dalmatinski Portal reported that the message ‘Opara liar - choose a side' welcomed the Split Mayor in front of Poljud Stadium on Wednesday. 

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While some might think the most important win would entail qualifying points, the victories the mayor speaks of is normalizing relationships in Croatian football - and with Hajduk specifically. 

"I want both Hajduk and HNS to come to the situation they announced two months ago, and I believe we are on the right track," Opara added.

"The items that HNS itself is taking over are in regards to the organization, and they are taking over some of the things that we have discussed. But in the end, we agreed on everything," he said.

Thus, the return of the Croatia national team and 2018 World Cup finalists to Poljud in Split goes its course. Tickets will be on sale from Monday and run between 100 to 250 kuna. In responding to media reports, Kustic does not believe that ticket prices are unusually high (up to 250 kuna on the day of the match). 

Recall, the match at Poljud on October 10 is the return of the national team to Split for the first time since 2015. The World Cup finalists last played at Poljud in 2015 against Italy behind closed doors. Before that, they met Georgia in 2011. Both matches were played as qualifiers for the European Championships, in 2012 and 2016 respectively.

Croatia is on the verge of qualifying for the Euro once again, and every four years the national team seems to arrive back in Split.

This will be the 13th ever match played in Split, at Poljud Stadium, since Croatia gained independence. 

The meeting on Wednesday was the second of such a gathering at Poljud.

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

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

City of Split and HNS Meet at Poljud to Discuss Upcoming Euro 2020 Qualifier

September 18, 2019 - The City of Split and the Croatian Football Federation met at Poljud Stadium on Wednesday to discuss the technical details of organizing the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifier between Croatia and Hungary. 

Slobodna Dalmacija writes that the Croatian Football Federation and the City of Split should take a new step towards hosting the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifier between the national teams of Croatia and Hungary, which will be played on October 10 at Poljud. The meeting likely focused on the organization of the match.

It is necessary to emphasize that Hajduk is not involved in the organization of this match, that is, until HNS has shown serious signs towards normalizing their relationship. Recall, Hajduk previously presented their seven requirements to the umbrella football organization, which they expected to be fulfilled as a prerequisite for eventually becoming involved in the organization of this European qualifier.

Certain processes have been initiated, like the meeting in Dugopolje recently been held with HNS and the County Federation, but the results are nowhere near tangible. Thus, Hajduk will continue to hold off from jumping in on the organization of the national team match, which is here in just three weeks.

At 10:15 am Wednesday morning, an HNS delegation led by executive president Marijan Kustic and Zoran Cvrk arrived at Poljud. The representatives of the City of Split, led by Mayor Andro Krstulovic Opara, followed.

What we know thus far is that the main topic of the meeting would be to harmonize the technical details. However, some Croatian media unofficially reported that no contract had yet been signed to play the match between Croatia and Hungary at Poljud. This formality was expected on Wednesday or in the coming days.

While we await the details from the meeting, Dalmatinski Portal reported that the message ‘Opara liar - choose a side' welcomed the Split Mayor in front of Poljud Stadium on Wednesday. 

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Dalmatinski Portal / N.M.

Recall that Croatia and Hungary will plat at Poljud on October 10, which is the return of the national team to Split for the first time since 2015. The World Cup finalists last played at Poljud in 2015 against Italy behind closed doors. Before that, they met Georgia in 2011. Both matches were played as qualifiers for the European Championships, in 2012 and 2016 respectively.

Croatia is on the verge of qualifying for the Euro once again, and every four years the national team seems to arrive back in Split.

This will be the 13th ever match played in Split, at Poljud Stadium, since Croatia gained independence. 

The meeting on Wednesday is the second of such a gathering at Poljud.

More details soon.

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

Monday, 9 September 2019

Euro 2020 Qualifiers: Croatia and Azerbaijan Draw in Baku (1:1)

September 9, 2019 - The Croatia national team met Azerbaijan in Baku on Monday for the 6th round of the EURO 2020 qualifications.

After a critical victory against Slovakia on Friday, Croatia came to Baku for their second crucial match in three days. Zlatko Dalic's side faced an Azerbaijan squad led by Croatian Nikola Jurcevic. Before the match on Monday, Croatia had so far played Azerbaijan three times, registering two wins and one draw with a goal difference of 8:1.

The game on Monday was also unique for another reason - captain Luka Modric celebrated his 34th birthday. 

Croatia came out playing the same attacking game coach Zlatko Dalic favored in the game against Slovakia - and by the third minute, it wasn’t hard to see that Croatia would be giving Azerbaijan’s defense no easy job. After a few attacks which resulted in no goals, the ref whistled to the penalty spot after a handball by an Azerbaijani defender. Luka stepped up to the challenge and scored for 0:1 Croatia in the 11th minute. 

Azerbaijan’s keeper was brilliant in the minutes that followed - blocking chances from Perisic, Rebic and Vlasic to keep the game 0:1. 

Azerbaijan had their first real chance in the 17th minute, forcing Livakovic to make a stellar save - though the ref called the player offside in the end. 

Nikola Vlasic, who opened the scoring spree against Slovakia, dangerously shot from outside the penalty box, which forced the keeper to make a difficult save. 

By the 26th minute, Croatia had 60 percent of the ball possession, with eight shots on goal.

Azerbaijan had an almost alarming counter-attack in the 32nd minute which was ultimately saved by Livakovic’s leg - and in the 37th minute, Azerbaijan hit over the goal. 

A dance around the defense by Ante Rebic found the foot of Nikola Vlasic in the 41st, who hit another stunner from outside the penalty area, though the game remained 0:1. 

A free-kick by Perisic in the 44th went just over the goal, and an offside goal by Azerbaijan ended the game 0:1 for Croatia at the half. 

Azerbaijan had their first corner of the game in the 54th minute, which was cleared by Croatia's defense. Croatia's kept the forceful attacking game from the first half at the start, though Azerbaijan's defense was making it more difficult for Perisic, Petkovic, Vlasic, and Rebic. Dalic's side needed a new burst of energy to carry them through the half. 

Azerbaijan picked up the pace considerably in the second half, giving Croatia's defense more work in the first 15 minutes of it than they had all of the first. Petkovic had a chance in the 61st minute that hit just shy of the goal, and Croatia continued hunting for their second goal. 

In the 66th minute, Croatia was lucky another Azerbaijan goal was called offside to keep the result in Croatia's favor; however, that didn't last long. In the 72nd minute, Tamkin Khalilza dribbled through Croatia's defense to equalize for Azerbaijan 1:1. 

Dalic brought young blood Brekalo on for Bartolec in the 76th minute in the hope of some momentum, though Azerbaijan kept on pressing. Orsic came on for Rebic in the 86th. Croatia's energy continued to dwindle.

Croatia had a corner in the 89th minute, though Vida hit over. Four minutes of extra time were added, though neither team was able to score. The game ended 1:1. 

Croatia's next Euro qualifier will be the decisive match against Hungary at Poljud stadium in Split on October 10, 2019.

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

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Zlatko Dalic: It Would be Nice to Celebrate Qualifying for Euro 2020 at Poljud

September 8, 2019 - Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic talks Trnava, staying humble, and the young talents leading the way through Croatia's Euro 2020 qualifications. 

Many Croatian football fans may still be wondering if that Croatia team we saw crush Slovakia 0:4 in Trnava was made of magic, or if we’re still dreaming. Sure, a team like Croatia should have had no problem winning that game, but when you take into consideration the players missing (Rakitic, Kovacic), that half of the starting lineup was a team of young reserves, and that it was perhaps the best game of football played under coach Zlatko Dalic, the shock seems a bit more warranted. 

Zlatko Dalic revealed his feelings in the aftermath for Jutarnji List.

“Everything's fine now. We played superbly, all 90 minutes, I said it was one of our best games since I have been the coach. I wouldn't single out any players because they were all great. We played decisively, aggressively, dominated, we were what Croatia should be,” Zlatko Dalic said on Saturday morning before heading to Baku. 

In public appearances before Trnava, Dalic announced a solid Croatia, however, during the week, some doubts were raised about how it would all end. Did Dalic believe this would be the result?

“This was intensified in the media, journalists emphasized the problems, but it wasn’t like that among us. I said the atmosphere was great, we were ready, and that I believed we would play the right game. We held a meeting together talking about where we are and what awaits us. Of course, the atmosphere is not like the World Cup, because the World Cup is something completely different, but the atmosphere in the team is great, and what Dejan Lovren said was not interpreted correctly, it was put in the wrong context.”

Recall, ahead of the game against Slovakia, Lovren revealed that the atmosphere in the team was poor, and far from the positivity that carried the team through Russia. 

Dalic said that he'd let these two games pass, then deal with Rakitic. What will the outcome be?

“They're not over yet. We have a game against Azerbaijan, and now we only have to think about that. No, it doesn't make sense to emphasize anything about Rakitic right now. That's what the media does.”

Ivan Perisic said that Croatia never played the way did against Slovakia in the World Cup, never for 90 minutes at that level of intensity.

“It is true that we kept a high pace for all 90 minutes, that we did not stop even when the result was very favorable. We could have scored far more goals. Slovakia is a good quality team, but they are not like Argentina or England, it wasn’t that kind of high profile match, or like some others in Russia, which had their peculiarities. The World Cup is something extraordinary, but Slovakia looked bad because we didn't let them play. We blocked them, they exploited themselves, they couldn't develop their game. The development of the match was based on our merit.”

What was the shock of being left without Tin Jedvaj on match day?

“When we were told that Tin Jedvaj had a more series injury, we didn't want to risk anything. It happened to us three times that one of our backs had to come out early in the game and that disrupted us. We played great in Elche twenty minutes into the game against Spain, then Sime Vrsaljko was injured and we fell dramatically. The same thing happened with Vrsaljako at Wembley, where we were also good at the start, and Borna Barisic leaving Budapest is the third case. These forced substitutions turned out to have a bad effect on the team, and we were defeated every time. I didn't want to gamble with Jedvaj, so it wouldn't happen again.”

Is Dalic satisfied with Bartolec?

“I did not like the option of putting Vida on the right back and Mitrovic as the stopper as it would not affect the team well. Let the stopper play stopper; the right back play right back. If one falls, another specialist comes in the position. Bartolec was trying to make an impression at first, but later he let loose, fit in, played as I asked. He is our gain and we can certainly rely on him in the future.”

Why were the attacking three Perisic - Petkovic - Rebic selected and Brekalo only introduced in the second half?

“I decided to play as we did at the World Cup, with Rebic and Perisic on . the wings, as they can give the most. Rebic was a midfielder at Eintracht, however, he plays there in the center, facing the opponent's goal and has plenty of space. In the national team it is different, he is closer to the net, in a dense space, and does not do so well. This was evident during the match in Budapest when he was imprisoned and could not reap the benefits. That's why I opted for such a variant.”

Petkovic was one of the best players in the match.

“We need a striker who can hold the ball, and he is the only one in that picture. He is a great player, he danced around his opponents, created chances, scored. We prepared with these tactics and Petkovic executed perfectly. In Petkovic, we have the type of striker we didn't have. I've said it could bring us a lot.”

In addition to qualifying for Euro, it will also be a huge benefit to form a new core of the national team for years to come. But maybe already for 2020.

“If we qualify for Euro, then rejuvenating the national team will make sense. But one thing is clear: they need new aces, hungry, ambitious young men. I said that right after Russia. Brekalo, Petkovic, Vlasic and some others are increasingly important to us.”

Could Croatia be very dangerous at Euro 2020?

“I could tell you something, but this is not the time for such stories. First, we need to collect 15 points, and then we will talk about ambitions for the Euro. We need to stay with our feet on the ground. We only have nine points; this is not enough to qualify.” 

How did Dalic conclude that 15 points would be enough? Isn’t Croatia going to need more?

“I looked at the final qualification tables in earlier cycles. In a six-team group, more points are needed, 21 or 22, but when there are five teams in the group, 15 points are always enough to pass. That is why I say that this is the limit we must reach.”

So, according to Dalic’s estimation, if Croatia defeats Azerbaijan and Hungary, they will celebrate qualifying for the Euros on October 10th in Split?

“That would be the best. According to our wishes. It doesn't matter how we get those points, just get them in the account, but we want them as soon as possible.”

It is not always easy for a mentality like Croatia’s to continue in a duel against the last-placed team in the table after a significant victory. Azerbaijan doesn’t have a single point, but we must remember what happened in 2015, when the two teams played 0-0.

“The focus must be completely on Azerbaijan; they are motivated, they have shown in Zagreb that they are good and we have no right to relax. This situation reminds me of the post-Argentina atmosphere, when I said we had to be humble. We need to stay firm on the ground. If we don't get Azerbaijan, we have done nothing.”

And who congratulated Dalic after the big win in Trnava apart from Mario Mandzukic?

“Rakltic also congratulated me; he sent a message. Not only Ivan, but also Corluka, Vrsaljko, and many others. Most of the messages I have not been able to read, my phone is full.”

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

Monday, 2 September 2019

Zlatko Dalic: No Rakitic for Upcoming Euro Qualifiers

September 2, 2019 - The Croatia football team gathers in Zagreb on Monday ahead of qualifying matches against Slovakia and Azerbaijan for the 2020 European Championships. Zlatko Dalic addressed the press before the upcoming games, reports Gol.hr.

“Two tough matches await us, two tough away games where we will try to get a good result, and a good result will require good concentration, quality and knowledge. We will have to put forth a lot of effort and energy to get back points,” said Dalic at the beginning and also revealed team changes.

“Yesterday I spoke with Ivan Rakitic who still has not resolved his status at his club, and we have concluded that he is not ready or focused on the national team, that he cannot give his maximum that we need and he will not join us. Instead, we called up Marko Rog,” Dalic said.

Could this mean Ivan is nearing his end on the national team?

''I have no need or time to think about Ivan Rakitic. We must now focus on those who are here, and I do not have any fear of going on without him. We have Vlasic and Brekalo, players who are coming, who are full of will and ambition,” Dalic added.

“Mateo Kovacic had a medical review this morning, so we will see what the situation is with him. We have these small problems, but I am optimistic. I believe in these players who are here, and I have no doubt that we will be of good quality,” explained the coach. 

What is the condition of the players, are they happy at their clubs?

''Some are happy, some are not. Some are still working on it. The problem is that a lot of our players have had indications, it is a long transition period, there are a lot of questions, and that takes away concentration and focus. We'll have some problems on that side, but it's a normal thing, it happens every day, and I won't cry and complain."

Luka Modric isn't in his best form, either.

"I always had the least problems with Modric, he always gave his best, he is the captain of the team, and I really don't have to think much about him."

The national team will train in Zagreb until Wednesday before traveling to Trnava where they will play the first of the two Group E matches on September 6.

After three games played in the qualifications thus far, Zlatko Dalic's side is third on the table with six points, the same amount as second-placed Slovakia. In first place is Hungary with nine points, though they have also played one game more.

After Slovakia, Croatia will visit Baku to play Azerbaijan on September 9.

For the remainder of the qualifications, Croatia will meet Hungary on October 10 at Poljud, Wales in Cardiff on October 13, and Slovakia in Rijeka on November 16.

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

Friday, 12 July 2019

Euro 2020 Qualifiers: Croatia to Play Slovakia in Rijeka, Georgia Friendly in Pula

Fans of the Croatia national football team will be able to catch them in Rijeka and Pula this November. 

On Thursday, the 15th session of the Executive Committee of the Croatian Football Federation was held in Zagreb, chaired by president Davor Šuker, announced HNS

At the meeting, the HNS Executive Committee decided where the last two home matches of the Croatia national team will be played this calendar year. Thus, Croatia will host the final qualifying match for Euro 2020 against Slovakia on November 16 at 20:45, at the stadium of HNK Rijeka - Rujevica. 

Three days later, Croatia will meet in a friendly against Georgia at the Aldo Drosina Stadium in Pula, the Federation announced. 

Furthermore, the Executive Committee adopted all the decisions needed for the First and Second Croatian Leagues in the competitive 2019/20 season.

Recall,  Hajduk, the City of Split, and HNS held a historic meeting at Poljud last month to discuss, among a laundry list of items, the Croatia national team’s arrival in Split for the first time since 2015, and just the third time in 20 years. 

The outcome of the meeting revealed that Croatia would play their Euro 2020 qualifier against Hungary at Poljud Stadium in Split on October 10, 2019, at 20:45. Hajduk will not participate in the organization of the match and will join once they see that the Federation is working to improve their relationship. 

Thus, fans of Croatian football will be able to catch the 2018 World Cup finalists in Split, Rijeka, and Pula this year.

Croatia currently stands in third place of Group E for the UEFA Euro qualifiers. With wins against Azerbaijan and Wales, and one loss to Hungary,  Croatia has 6 points and is behind Slovakia in second place which has a better goal differential. Hungary tops the group with three wins and 9 points. 

Croatia will play Slovakia away on September 6, followed by Azerbaijan away on September 9, 2019. 

The European Championship next year will be held in 12 cities in 12 European countries from 12 June to 12 July 2020.

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

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

It's Official: Euro 2020 Qualifier Between Croatia and Hungary in Split!

Jun 12, 2019 - The Executive Board of the Croatian Football Federation unanimously decided that the European qualifier to be played in Croatia this October between Croatia and Hungary would be played in Split, announced HNS.

After defeating Wales in Osijek, the 2018 World Cup finalists will play away against Slovakia and Azerbaijan in September before hosting Hungary at Poljud Stadium in Split on October 10. The game will begin at 20:45.

That decision was made unanimously by the HNS Executive Board and UEFA will report Split as the host for one of the crucial EURO 2020 qualifying rounds.

Recall, the Croatia national team had not played in Split since 2015 when a swastika was drawn onto the pitch during a Euro 2016 qualifier at Poljud against Italy. 

Hajduk, on the other hand, said they were not informed by HNS of the decision.

"We did not receive any official information on this news, we learned about it from the media."

Coach Zlatko Dalić has been very vocal about returning the national team to Split and was especially adamant last month after receiving the Split City Award for 2018 at the Croatian National Theater.

“For me, this is a huge acknowledgment that I am very proud of,” said Dalić and explained:

"I spent a part of youth in Split, in moments when I was building myself up as a person, Split supported me and I am grateful to Split. Thanks to the people in Hajduk, thank you to the people at the Technical School who helped me become a man of my own, with all the blemishes and virtues.”

When asked about the potential arrival of the national team to Poljud then, Dalić said: 

“The Croatia national team is a representative of all Croats. And I always say, I need to play in Dubrovnik, Osijek, Split, Vukovar. All over Croatia. Specifically speaking, I want to play in Split. 

I am doing everything I can, everything in my power to do this. More than I can say,” he concluded.

After Croatia became World Cup finalists last summer, the national team players from Split were not shy about voicing their opinion on the matter, either. You might remember that at the welcome celebration after the team returned from Russia, Filip Bradarić promised the crowd of thousands on the Riva stage that the national team would play at Poljud again this year. 

More soon...

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

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Euro 2020 Qualifiers: Croatia Defeats Wales 2:1 in Osijek

June 8, 2019 - Croatia and Wales met in Osijek on Saturday for their third qualification for the European Championship in 2020. 

Just over 17,000 fans came out to City Garden Stadium in Osijek to watch the Croatia and Wales qualification match for the 2020 European Championship. Croatia was without superstars Ivan Rakitić and Ante Rebić for the game. 

Croatia had their first real attack in the 8th minute, though Perišić shot over the goal. Croatia attacked well in the first 10 minutes of the game and managed to keep their play in Wales’ half. In the 10th minute, Wales had their first chance by Wilson, though Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livaković made an easy save. 

Croatia had another opportunity in the 13th minute from a corner, though Perišić shot over the goal again. 

After numerous attacks, Croatia finally got their chance in the 16th minute. Perišić crossed the ball into the box to Brekalo, though it hit the foot of Wales defender Lawrence for an own goal and 1:0 for Croatia! 

The game stopped for a 'cooling break' in the 23rd minute due to the Osijek heat - it was said to be around 30 degrees Celsius. 

After a perfect through-ball by Modrić in the 36th minute, Kramarić had a chance to score but hit just over the goal. 

Wales had a good chance in the 41st minute by Vaulks, though Livaković made a great save to keep Croatia in the lead. 

With no real dangerous attacks from Wales in the last 5 minutes, the game ended 1:0 for Croatia at the half. 

The second half started with a goal by Kovačić, though it was called offside. But it was not long for Croatia to get their second goal, which finally came for Ivan Perišić in the 47th minute. Croatia started to look like the World Cup finalists we know well. 

Wales continued without chances, though what could have been a dangerous free-kick from Bale went over the goal in the 55th minute. 

Croatia made their first sub in the 66th minute - Brekalo came out for Pašalić - and in the 75th minute, Kovačić came out for Badelj. 

In the 76th minute, Wales finally got their chance - Brooks scored with the help of a Vida deflection. It was 2:1 for Croatia. 

Croatia had another golden opportunity in the 91st minute thanks to Pašalić, but Kramarić missed in front of the goal. Five minutes of extra time was played.  

While Wales tried to press, it was Croatia to prevail, and the game ended 2:1 for Croatia!

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

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Euro 2020 Qualifiers: Croatia v. Wales at Osijek's City Garden Stadium Sold Out

May 25, 2019 - In June, Croatia continues their Euro 2020 qualifications with the highly anticipated match against Wales.

The Croatia national football team will host Wales in its third qualifying match for Euro 2020 on Saturday, June 8, starting at 15:00 at City Garden Stadium in Osijek.

The Croatian Football Federation published details regarding the sale of tickets for the duel on Wednesday, May 22.

Namely, tickets for the game against Wales were available from May 23 via online sales and would stay available at the pre-sale price until June 2 at 23:59. Spectators could also purchase tickets at the box office at City Garden Stadium from May 23 to May 26 during the pre-sale. Pre-sale ticket prices ranged from 80 kuna for the East stands, to 150 kuna for the West. Ticket prices were meant to increase from 120 to 200 kuna once the pre-sale ended. 

And if you didn’t grab tickets during the pre-sale, you’re out of luck.

Namely, HNS announced that in just two days, all available tickets via the internet and box office at City Garden Stadium had been sold, confirming just how significant the interest is to witness two international football giants take the pitch in Osijek. 

The Osijek football club is actively working on expanding the capacity of the stadium - and if this opportunity is successfully realized, the Croatian Football Federation will offer additional tickets on sale and timely inform the public.

And if you’re still unable to snag tickets in Osijek, on June 11, Croatia will meet Tunisia in a friendly in Varaždin at 20:45. Tickets for the match against Tunisia can still be purchased online. Ticket sales at the Varteks stadium go on sale on June 9, from 9 am to 6 pm. All revenue from ticket sales will be donated for humanitarian purposes.

Ticket prices:
West Stands - 150 kn 
East Stands - 100kn 
South Stands - 50 kn

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

Monday, 20 May 2019

Zlatko Dalić Announces Player List for Upcoming Games vs. Wales and Tunisia

HNS announced on May 20, 2019, that Croatia national team coach Zlatko Dalić revealed the list of players for the games against Wales and Tunisia in June and announced the continuation of qualifications for the European Championship in 2020. 

Zlatko Dalić emphasized on this occasion that the team is aware that they must target three points against Wales:

“The players are aware of the situation and know that we were not good enough against Azerbaijan and Hungary. After Hungary, it is clear that we have to target three points against Wales, and I'm sure the great fans will help us."

June has long been regarded as a problematic term for qualifying matches, as Dalić pointed out:

"This is a tough match that we will play in a difficult time. Experiences in June are not the most enjoyable, but we do not have a lot of choices, and we will certainly not justify this. I hope the players will be ready for the preparations, and I'm glad we have more than a week to prepare for the game."

Some of the players, like those who play in the German Bundesliga, will have a ten-day rest before the gathering and should be fully prepared for the qualifying match against a tough opponent.

“The players who ended club competitions received programs to get ready for the gathering, but I'm sure many of them will have a few days of rest before we get together. It is clear to me that they are exhausted and have given their maximum to the clubs, but the players know what awaits them against Wales and know they have to be in good form. We must not underestimate Wales. Each player has a special motive, and Bale is especially dangerous. However, we will find a solution and we will try to stop them," Dalić said.

Dalić also spoke about the new names on the list, Filip Benković and Dario Melnjak:

"Over the past few months we've examined the players and we see this as a chance to strengthen the team. Melnjak is the only Croatian left-back player who has played the standard for the last six months. We watched him play and spoke to people in Turkey, and everything we heard was positive. Benković played a good season at Celtic and recovered from injury. I believe that we have not made mistakes with the new players."

Dalić also listed four players who will travel to the U-21 European Championships in Italy and San Marino in June, and added Mijo Caktaš and Mile Škorić to join the Vatreni for the friendly against Tunisia:

"I spoke with the players, and we arranged a time when they would join the preparations. The young players of the team will leave with coach Gračan immediately after June 8th to prepare for the U-21 European Championship. For the friendly against Tunisia, Caktaš and Škorić will join us, who are on the call-up list.” 

You can find the full list of players below.

Goalkeepers: Lovre Kalinić, Dominik Livaković, Simon Sluga

Defenders: Domagoj Vida, Dejan Lovren, Tin Jedvaj, Borna Barišić, Duje Ćaleta-Car, Karlo Bartolec, Filip Benković, Dario Melnjak

Midfielders: Luka Modrić, Ivan Rakitić, Mateo Kovačić, Milan Badelj, Marcelo Brozović, Marko Rog, Mario Pašalić, Filip Bradarić

Attackers: Ivan Perišić, Andrej Kramarić, Ante Rebić, Nikola Vlašić, Josip Brekalo, Bruno Petković

Call ups: Mile Škorić, Mijo Caktaš, Josip Posavec

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

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