Monday, 9 August 2021

HNL Round 4 Recap: Hajduk Beats Gorica, Dinamo and Rijeka Games Postponed

August 9, 2021 - The 4th round of the Croatian First League was held on August 7 and 8, 2021. This round saw Hajduk beat Gorica in their first away victory in Velika Gorica, while Dinamo and Rijeka postponed their 4th round matches due to European commitments. Here's our HNL round 4 recap. 

Slaven Belupo v. Šibenik (1:1)

Belupo and Šibenik opened the 4th round on Saturday, August 7, 2021, in Koprivnica. 

Jakoliš scored for the Šibenik lead in the 33rd minute for 0:1 at the half. Belupo's Monjac equalized for 1:1 in the 88th to end the match in a draw. 

 

Belupo is currently in 6th place with 5 points, while Šibenik is in 9th with one point. Both teams have played 4 games so far. 

Gorica v. Hajduk (1:3)

Gorica and Hajduk met in Velika Gorica on Saturday, August 7, 2021, in front of 1,576 spectators. 

Mlakar scored for the Hajduk lead in the 33rd minute, before Vuković made it 0:2 right before the half. Lovrić came back to give Gorica a goal in the 56th minute for 1:2, but Livaja secured Hajduk's victory in the final minutes for 1:3. 

 

Gorica is currently in 5th place with 6 points, while Hajduk is in 3rd with 7. Both teams have played 4 games so far. 

Hr. Dragovoljac v. Osijek (1:2)

Dragovoljac and Osijek closed out the 4th round on Sunday, August 8, 2021, at NŠC Stjepan Spajić Stadium in Zagreb. 

Mance put Osijek in the lead with an early goal in the 13th minute. Majstorovic equalized for Dragovoljac thanks to a penalty in the 55th minute for 1:1. Nejasmic put Osijek back in the lead in the 75th minute for 1:2, which was the final score of the match. 

 

Dragovoljac is currently in the last place with 0 points, while Osijek is in 1st with 10. Both teams have played 4 games so far. 

**Dinamo and Rijeka postponed their 4th round HNL matches, however, they won't be able to do the same for much longer. Namely, postponement is allowed thanks to Article 4 of the Croatian Football Federation's competition propositions. In the play-off qualifying round, they will no longer be entitled to postponing their HNL games. 

"The propositions of the competition say that each club has the right to postpone one game of the First HNL while playing qualifiers for European competitions, and another match later if it is a participant in the group stage. Due to the tight schedule, Dinamo and Rijeka asked to postpone the 4th round of the domestic championship and they got it," said Josip Brezni, the competition commissioner.

You can see the full HNL table HERE.

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Monday, 2 August 2021

HNL Round 3 Recap: Dinamo and Rijeka End 3:3, Hajduk Wins, Osijek and Belupo Draw

August 2, 2021 - The 3rd round of the Croatian First League was held from July 30 to August 1, 2021. Here's our HNL round 3 recap. 

Lokomotiva v. Hr. Dragovoljac (3:2)

Lokomotiva and Hr. Dragovojlac opened the 3rd round of the Croatian First League on Friday, July 20, 2021, in Zagreb. 

While Dragovoljac initially took the lead for 0:1 in the 14th minute, an own goal by Valentić equalized for Lokomotiva in the 40th for 1:1 at the half. Milicevic scored for the Lokomotiva lead in the 53rd minute for 2:1, and Kacavenda made it 3:1 in the 80th. Bagadur came back with a goal for Dragovoljac at 3:2 in the 87th minute, which was the final score of the match. 

 

Lokomotiva is currently in 3rd place with 7 points, while Dragovoljac is in last with 0. 

Istra 1961 v. Gorica (1:2)

Istra and Gorica met in Pula on Saturday, July 31, 2021. 

Lovric scored for the Gorica lead in the 19th minute for 0:1 at the half. After their second goal was called back thanks to VAR, Dieye scored for 0:2 in the 67th minute. Bande scored one goal for Istra in the 4th minute of added time for the final score of 1:2. 

 

Istra is currently in 8th place with 3 points, while Gorica is in 4th with 6. 

Hajduk v. Šibenik (1:0)

Hajduk and Šibenik met at Poljud Stadium on Sunday, August 1, 2021. 

After being knocked out of the new UEFA Europa Conference League, Hajduk redeemed themselves with their first league win thanks to an Eduok goal in the 27th minute for 1:0, which was the final score of the match. 

 

Hajduk is currently in 7th place with 4 points,  while Šibenik is in 9th with 0. 

Osijek v. Slaven Belupo (0:0)

Osijek and Belupo met at City Garden Stadium on Sunday, August 1, 2021. 

Neither team was able to score, and the match finished 0:0.

Osijek is currently in 2nd place with 7 points, while Belupo is in 6th with 4. 

Dinamo v. Rijeka (3:3)

Dinamo and Rijeka closed out the 3rd round at Maksimir Stadium on Sunday, August 2, 2021. 

Peric opened with an early goal for the Dinamo lead in the 9th minute, though Abass equalized for Rijeka to make it 1:1 in the 23rd minute. Majer put Dinamo back in the lead with a goal 10 minutes later for 2:1. Rijeka surprised with two goals to end the half thanks to Abass in the 38th and Drmic in the 43rd to make it 2:3 for Rijeka at the half. Orsic equalized for Dinamo in the 59th minute for the final score of 3:3. 

 

Dinamo is currently in 5th place with 4 points, while Rijeka is in 1st with 7. 

You can see the full HNL table HERE

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Friday, 30 July 2021

Europa Conference League Qualifiers: Hajduk Eliminated, Rijeka and Osijek Move to 3rd Round

July 30, 2021 - The return match of the UEFA Europa Conference League qualifiers 2nd round was played on Thursday. Hajduk has thus been eliminated from the new competition, while Rijeka and Osijek move forward to the 3rd round.

Hajduk finished their European journey this season in the 2nd qualifying round of the Conference League, as Kazakhstani club Tobol beat them 4:1 in extra time and thus made up for the two-goal deficit from the first game in Split. 

It was 0-0 until the 56th minute until Tobol scored three goals in 11 minutes. Dušan Jovančić scored the leading goal for the home team, and then Igor Sergejev was accurate in the 61st and 67th minute for 3:0. Emir Sahiti brought hope to Hajduk, who reduced it to 3:1 in the fourth minute of the added time and thus took the game into extra time. Ashkat Tagibergen scored in the 118th minute for the final 4:1 and advanced Tobol into the 3rd qualifying round. 

Hajduk arrived in Kostanaj with a two-goal advantage thanks to Marin Ljubičić a week ago at Poljud.

Rijeka defeated Maltese club Gzira United 1:0 (1:0) in the return match of the 2nd qualifying round of the Conference League. As a result, a total of 3:0 secured them a place in the 3rd qualifying round to meet Scottish club Hibernian.

Rijeka scored the winning goal in the 27th minute when Josip Drmić sent the ball into the net after a cross from Ivan Tomečak.

Rijeka completely controlled the game at Rujevica as they bought a two-goal advantage (2:0) from the first game in Malta a week ago.

Osijek defeated Polish club Pogon 1:0 (1:0) at City Garden in the return match of the Conference League's 2nd qualifying round, which was enough for them to qualify for the 3rd qualifying round where they will meet Bulgarian club CSKA from Sofia.

Osijek scored in the 44th minute thanks to Hungarian Laszlo Kleinheisler, who was assisted by Slovenian Damjan Bohar.

The result of the first match played in Poland was 0:0. 

Source: HRT

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Monday, 26 July 2021

HNL Round 2 Recap: Osijek Better than Hajduk at Poljud, 4:0 Win for Dinamo

July 26, 2021 - The 2nd round of the Croatian First League was played from July 23 to 25, 2021. A look at our HNL round 2 recap. 

Hr. Dragovoljac v. Dinamo Zagreb (0:4)

Dragovoljac and Dinamo opened the 2nd round of the Croatian First League on Friday, July 23, 2021, in Zagreb. 

Dinamo's scoring spree started already in the 19th minute when Majer put them in the lead for 0:1. Sutalo increased Dinamo's lead to 0:2 before the half. 

Gavranović made it 0:3 early in the second half with a goal in the 48th minute, and Majer scored his second goal of the match for 0:4 five minutes later, which was the final score of the match. 

 

Dragovoljac is currently in the last place with 0 points, while Dinamo is in 4th with 3 points. 

Slaven Belupo v. Lokomotiva (1:2)

Belupo and Lokomotiva met in Koprivnica on Saturday, July 24, 2021. 

Cokaj scored for 0:1 Lokomotiva in the 22nd minute to put them ahead at the half. Krstanović equalized for 1:1 in the 66th thanks to a penalty, but Pivarić put Lokomotiva back in the lead in the 80th minute for the win. 

 

Belupo is currently in 5th place with 3 points, while Lokomotiva is in 3rd with 4. 

Gorica v. Šibenik (3:1)

Gorica and Šibenik met in Velika Gorica on Saturday, July 26, 2021. 

Babec opened the game with a goal for Gorica in the 26th minute for 1:0 at the half. Dieye increased Gorica's lead to 2:0 in the 67th minute, after which an own goal by Bilić made it 3:0 for Gorica two minutes later! Bilić redeemed himself with a goal for Šibenik in the 87th minute, and the match ended 3:1. 

 

Gorica is currently in 7th place with 3 points, while Šibenik is in 9th with 0. 

Rijeka v. Istra 1961 (2:0)

Rijeka and Istra met at Rujevica on Sunday, July 25, 2021. 

While the first half went without goals, Rijeka's Drmić made it 1:0 in the 78th minute, before scoring again in the 82nd minute for the final score of 2:0. Pavičić missed a penalty in the 6th minute of added time. 

 

Rijeka is currently in 2nd place with 6 points, while Istra is in 6th with 3 points. 

Hajduk v. Osijek (1:2)

Hajduk and Osijek closed out the 2nd round at Poljud on Sunday, July 25, 2021. 

While the first half ended 0:0, Hajduk's Livaja was the first to score with a goal in the 63rd minute for 1:0 Osijek's Jurčević equalized 3 minutes later. Pilj scored for the Osijek win in the 87th minute - 1:2. 

 

Hajduk is currently in 8th place with 1 point, while Osijek is in 1st with 6 points. 

You can see the full HNL table HERE

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Thursday, 22 July 2021

Europa Conference League: Wins for Rijeka and Hajduk, Draw for Osijek in 2nd Qualifying Round

July 22, 2021 - The first matches of the UEFA Europa Conference League 2nd qualifying round were played on Thursday, featuring Croatian clubs Rijeka, Hajduk, and Osijek. Rijeka and Hajduk both opened the new league with a win, while Osijek drew 0:0 in Poland. 

Gzira United v. Rijeka (0:2)

Rijeka opened the 2nd qualifying round tonight for Croatian clubs against Gzira United in Malta. 

Gzira became known to the Croatian public a few years ago when they came back from a 0:2 Hajduk lead in the first match and celebrated 1:3 at Poljud in the return, sensationally knocking out the Split club in the first round of the Europa League qualifiers.

While the first half went without goals, Denis Busnja put Rijeka in the lead in the 57th minute and Prince Ampem increased it to 2:0 in the 77th minute for the Rijeka win. Lepinijca received a second yellow in the 87th minute and was sent off. 

Hajduk v. Tobol

Hajduk and Tobol met at Poljud at 9 pm in front of over 11,000 spectators as fans returned to stadiums across the country. Tobol currently leads in the Kazakh championship after 19 rounds. They recorded 12 wins, six draws, and one defeat in the league. They have won the last three games, two of which were in the Kazakh Cup.

Hajduk, however, was the much better team in the first half, and a goal by wonderkid Marin Ljubicic put them in the lead in the 21st minute! Hajduk did not slow down in the second half, and another goal by Ljubicic increased Hajduk's lead to 2:0 in the 53rd. Hajduk continued to attack and was unlucky on a few occasions not to get another goal. The match ended 2:0 for Hajduk. 

Osijek v. Pogoń Szczecin

Osijek played away in Poland against Pogoń Szczecin, also from 9 pm. Pogon finished 3rd in the Polish championship last season. Croatian championship runners-up Osijek, however, opened the new season with a 3:0 win against Sibenik, cementing their talent from the start. 

While Osijek had chances in the first half, especially Mierez, the match was 0:0 at halftime. Neither team was able to score in the second half and the match ended 0:0. 

All teams will play the return match one week from today (July 29). 

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Monday, 19 July 2021

HNL Round 1 Recap: Dinamo Opens Season with Shocking Loss, Wins for Osijek and Rijeka

July 19, 2021 - The 2021/22 Croatian First League (HNL) season opened last weekend with the first round of games played from July 16 to 18, 2021. A look at our HNL round 1 recap. 

Dinamo v. Slaven Belupo (0:2)

Dinamo and Slaven Belupo opened the new season at Maksimir Stadium on Friday, July 16, 2021. 

While the first half went without goals, the reigning Croatian champions were shocked thanks to goals by Krstanovicc and Bogojevic in the 50th and 84th minutes for 0:2. 

This victory was only Belupo's second in its 37 visits to Maksimir. The last time they won was a little less than 17 years ago. 

 

Dinamo is currently in 8th place with 0 points, while Belupo is in 4th with 3. 

Osijek v. Šibenik (3:0)

Osijek and Šibenik met at City Garden Stadium on Friday, July 16, 2021. 

The first half went without goals, which Mierez made up for with Osijek's first goal in the 63rd minute. Bohar scored in the 90th and 95th for 3:0 Osijek.  

 

Osijek is currently in first place with 3 points, while Šibenik is in 10th with 0. 

Lokomotiva v. Hajduk (2:2)

Lokomotiva and Hajduk met in Zagreb on Saturday, July 17, 2021. 

Hajduk took the lead in the 30th minute thanks to Mlakar, though Soldo equalized for Lokomotiva for 1:1 3 minutes before the half. Dabro opened the second half with a goal for the 2:1 Lokomotiva lead in the 47th minute, but Mlakar equalized for 2:2 less than 10 minutes later.

 

Lokomotiva is currently in 6th place with 1 point, while Hajduk is in 5th place with 1 point. 

Rijeka v. Gorica (2:0)

Rijeka and Gorica met at Rujevica on Saturday, July 17, 2021. 

Muric put Rijeka in the lead in the 20th minute for 1:0 at the half. Lepinijca increased Rijeka's lead to 2:0 in the 55th minute, which was the final score of the match.

 

Rijeka is currently in 3rd place with 3 points, while Gorica is in 9th with 0. 

Istra 1961 v. Hr. Dragovoljac (3:1)

Istra and Dragovoljac closed out the first round on Sunday, July 18, 2021. 

Bande scored two goals for Istra in the first half for 2:0 (10', 17'). Matic made it 3:0 at the half. Veljaca scored for Dragovoljac for 3:1, which was the final score of the match. 

 

Istra is currently in 2nd place with 3 points, while Dragovoljac is in 7th with 0. 

You can see the full HNL table

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To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Friday, 16 July 2021

2021/22 HNL Season Begins Today, Fans Return to Stands with Covid Certificates

July 16, 2021 - The 2021/22 HNL season officially begins today, bringing football and fans back to Croatian stadiums. 

The new HNL season starts today! After the Croatia national team competed in the Euros, club football is back to kick off the 31st season of the HNL (Croatian First League), reports HRT.

Fans are returning to the stands with COVID certificates, and there are many new coaches. The title is defended by Dinamo, and the main competitors for the title will be Osijek, Hajduk, and Rijeka. Instead of Varaždin, Hrvatski Dragovoljac returned to the First League.

Dinamo and Slaven Belupo open the championship at Maksimir today from 18.55, and Osijek and Šibenik will play from 21.00.

Dinamo opened the new season with European appearances against Valur. Before the new European challenges against Cypriot club Omonia in the 2nd qualifying round, the Blues welcome Slaven Belupo in the opening match of the new HNL season. Damir Krznar is facing new challenges on the Dinamo bench after he was responsible for Dinamo's biggest European victory against Tottenham last season. Dinamo, with some new faces in the locker room, is hoping to defend the title again. Their attack was strengthened by Duje Čop, many players returned from loan, and it is questionable whether exit transfers will be made by the national team members Livaković, Petković, or Oršić.

Slaven Belupo has a new coach - Dean Klafurić, and the attack is led by the experienced Ivan Krstanović. The club has so far been strengthened by Vinko Soldo, Mario Marina, Lovro Zvonarek, Nedim Hadžić, and Mateo Monjac.

After last season's second place, Osijek went on the offensive in the summer transfer window to strengthen the team in order to compete more strongly for the title. Nenad Bjelica brought Šimo Gržan and, most importantly, locked down the top scorer of the league, Ramon Mierez, with a contract. In an exchange with Hajduk, Darko Nejašmić arrived, and Josip Vuković moved to Poljud. If Kleinheisler, Bočkaj, and Škorić remain, the Osijek club will be very uncomfortable this season.

Šibenik has a new coach Mario Rosas, and the club has been strengthened by Stefan Perić, Camilo Mesa, and three Dinamo players on loan - Julardžija, Marin, and Jurić.

The remaining matches of the first round of the new season continue on Saturday and Sunday, between Lokomotiva and Hajduk, and Rijeka and Gorica. The round will end on Sunday between Istria and Hrvatski Dragovoljac.

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Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Croatian Clubs in Europa Conference League: Osijek, Rijeka, Hajduk Learn Opponents

June 16, 2021 - A look at the Croatian clubs in Europa Conference League next month. 

After Dinamo found out who they will play in the first and second qualifying rounds of the Champions League (Valur, Omonia), Croatia's remaining three best-placed representatives participated in the draw for the new UEFA competition - the Conference League, reports Jutarnji List. Croatia does not have a single representative in the Europa League this season, but that is why it has three clubs in the Conference League - Osijek, Rijeka, and Hajduk. 

Croatian runner-up Osijek will play against Polish club Pogon Szczecin, where former Hajduk goalkeeper Dante Stipic currently plays. The first match is on July 22 at the Florian Krygier Municipal Stadium, and they return seven days later in Osijek.

Hajduk will play against Kazakhstani club Tobol. The first match will be played on July 22 at Poljud, and the return match is scheduled for July 29 in Kostanaj.

In the second qualifying round of the Conference League, Rijeka will play against the winner of the match between Santa Julia from Andorra and the Maltese club Gzira, which the Croatian football public knows very well for sensationally expelling Hajduk from the Europa League two years ago. The first match is scheduled for July 22 when Rijeka will play away, and the return is scheduled for seven days later.

In case Croatian champion Dinamo suffers a defeat against Valur at the start of the Champions League qualifiers and moves to the Conference League, they would play in the 2nd qualifying round against the loser of the match between Norwegian Bodo/Glimt and the Polish club Legia.

The draw

Rijeka was in group 4 with Viktoria Plzen, CSKA Sofia, and the better between Domžale (Slovenia) - Swift Hesper (Luxembourg), Glentoran (Northern Ireland) - The New Saints (Wales).

Rijeka's possible rivals were thus the winners between Sant Julià (Andorra) - Gzira United (Malta), Honka Espoo (Finland) - NSÍ Runavík (Faroe Islands), Struga (Macedonia) / Liepāja (Latvia), Europa FC (Gibraltar) - Kauno Žalgiris (Lithuania) and Dynamo Brest (Belarus).

Osijek was in Group 7 with Austria Vienna, Ljubljana's Olimpija, Basel, and Feyenoord. Osijek could thus draw the winners of Dečić (Montenegro) - Drita (Kosovo), Racing FC Union Lëtzebuerg (Luxembourg) - Breidablik (Iceland), La Fiorita San Marino) - Birkirkara (Malta), Sfintul Gheorghe (Moldova) - Partizani (Albania), and the most dangerous of all the above clubs Pogoń Szczecin (Poland).

Hajduk was in Group 9 with Vojvodina, Aberdeen, Copenhagen, and Rosenborg, and unlike Rijeka and Osijek, the Split club could already find out who they will play as four teams are known in their group. Hajduk could have thus faced the winner between FH Hafnarfjördur (Iceland) / Sligo Rovers (Ireland), or Tobol Kostanay (Kazakhstan), BK Häcken (Sweden), Torpedo-Belaz Zhodino (Belarus), Panevezys (Lithuania).

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Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Hajduk Preparations for 2021/22 Season Kick Off at Poljud (VIDEO)

June 15, 2021 - Hajduk preparations for the 2021/22 season kicked off Monday at Poljud with new coach Jens Gustafsson. 

In the Hajduk Salon at Poljud, coach Jens Gustafsson and his assistants gathered the Hajduk A-team players at the beginning of preparations for the new season. The Management Board President Lukša Jakobušić and the sports director Mindaugas Nikoličius spoke to the players along with the head coach before the very beginning of the preparations, announced Hajduk.hr.

The first gathering was attended by 30 players:

Kristian Dimitrov, Alexander Kačaniklić, Stefan Simić, Marko Livaja, Dimitrios Diamantakos, Marin Jakoliš, Josip Elez, Jani AtanasovJairo, Dino Skorup, Stanko Jurić, Luka Škaričić, Stipe Biuk, Karlo Sentić, Ivan Dolček, Toni Silić, David Čolina, Ivan Perić, Mario Vušković, Josip Posavec, Emir Sahiti, Ivan Ćubelić, Marin Ljubičić, Tonio Teklić, Mark Bushaj, Mario Čuić, Tino Blaž Lauš, Madžid Šošić, Ivan Čalušić, Ivan Šarić

 

Samuel Eduok will join the team on Tuesday, and the arrival of Lumbard Dell is expected later.

Hajduk had their first training on the Poljud auxiliary field, since work is underway on the main pitch to change the lawn.

"Today we start with light training, and then throughout the week, we continue with two training sessions a day, until the weekend when we play the first preparatory match in Dubrovnik. First of all, we will dedicate ourselves to working on physical fitness, and then to our style of play, that is, the style we want to play. I feel comfortable at the start of the preparations, we are all very ambitious, I feel a good balance between different personalities in my staff, and I hope that together we will improve Hajduk. We will fight and compete as long as we can and better, we have a long way to go and everyone will demand the maximum from everyone," said coach Jens Gustafsson.

"There are a lot of new, young players, who with their games through the Academy have shown that they deserve to be here with us. They will definitely need a little time to grasp everything, and we seniors will allow them everything to adjust as quickly as possible. I think we all had a good rest together and now we have to dedicate ourselves to our goals, which is to try to enter the groups of the Conference League, if we are able to achieve that, and to better prepare for the championship where we also have high ambitions," added Marko Livaja.

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Thursday, 10 June 2021

#Perišićuvrimeje: After Livaja, Another Hajduk Fan Campaign Launches to Bring Back Perišić

June 10, 2021 - Another Hajduk fan campaign has launched after the successful signing of Marko Livaja. Perišić, it's time! 

After the incredible fan energy that went into Marko Livaja staying at Hajduk for another three years, fans of the Split club are embarking on a new campaign, reports Gol.hr.

The Hajduk Zagreb Society of Friends has launched an initiative on its Facebook page to bring back Ivan Perišić to Hajduk.

"After Livaja, it's time for a new action: #Perišićuvrimeje (#Perišićitstime). Inter has financial problems, and we have a great desire for Perišić to return and, just like Livaja did this year, to play for the Hajduk senior team finally.

You won the Champions League; you were the champion of Germany with both Borussia Dortmund and Bayern; you recently conquered Italy by winning the Scudetto with Inter. Where are you going?

Get rid of the contract with Inter, arrange an amicable termination and return home. The whole of Dalmatia is waiting for you, and we on the continent, there are a lot of us, thank God," DPH Zagreb said.  

Perišić has a contract with Inter for another year, until June 30, 2022, but as Hajduk fans claim, the Nerazzurri have financial difficulties. After all, coach Antonio Conte recently turned them down just after winning the title because he was not on the same wavelength as the club's leaders regarding sports policy, i.e., transfers. The Chinese owners have announced cost-cutting and debt relief, and Conte wanted an extra step forward and new reinforcements to make Inter as competitive as possible in the Champions League.

Recently, Perišić was in Split with Livaja at the Hajduk juniors match when they celebrated the title. He did not make any statements, but the very arrival at the junior game ignited the imagination of the fans so that they could watch them both at Poljud in the upcoming season.

How things will develop, we will see in the coming weeks. Until a few months ago, it seemed impossible for Livaja to return to Hajduk at this stage of his career and look at what happened! 

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