Monday, 28 February 2022

HNL Round 25 Recap: Osijek Tops Dinamo, Rijeka Beats Hajduk at Poljud

February 28, 2022 - The 25th round of the Croatian First League was played from February 25 to 27, 2022. This round saw two of Croatia's biggest derbies - between Hajduk and Rijeka, and Osijek and Dinamo. Here's our HNL round 25 recap. 

Slaven Belupo v. Hr. Dragovoljac (1:0)

Slaven Belupo and Dragovoljac opened the 25th round in Koprivnica on February 25, 2022, in front of 753 fans. 

The only goal of the match came in the 64th minute from a Brkovic penalty. 

 

Belupo is currently in 6th place with 29 points, while Dragovoljac is in last place with 10. 

Lokomotiva v. Gorica (2:0)

Lokomotiva and Gorica met on Saturday, February 26, 2022, in Zagreb in front of 319 fans.

Kulenovic scored Lokomotiva's first goal for 1:0 in the 18th minute. Pivaric missed a penalty in the 60th minute, though Dabro increased Lokomotiva's lead to 2:0 in the 72nd minute, which was the final score. 

 

Lokomotiva is currently in 5th place with 32 points, while Gorica is in 7th place with 29. 

Hajduk v. Rijeka (1:3)

Hajduk and Rijeka met in the Adriatic Derby at Poljud on Saturday, February 26, 2022, in front of 11,453 fans. 

Drmic put Rijeka in the lead in the 17th minute, before Vuckic made it 0:2 for Rijeka in the 33rd. Livaja put Hajduk on the board in the 69th minute for 1:2, though Kresic secured Rijeka's 1:3 victory in the 86th minute.

 

Hajduk is currently in 4th place with 47 points and a game in hand, while Rijeka is in 3rd with 49. 

Sibenik v. Istra 1961 (2:1)

Sibenik and Istra met in Sibenik on Sunday, February 27, 2022, in front of 776 fans. 

Drena Beljo scored moments before the halftime whistle for 0:1 Istra. Marin equalized in the 53rd for 1:1, before Delic scored for 2:1 and the Sibenik win in the 63rd minute. 

 

Sibenik is currently in 8th place with 26 points, while Istra is in 9th place with 22. 

Osijek v. Dinamo (1:0)

Osijek and Dinamo closed out the 25th round with the highly anticipated match for first place on Sunday, February 27, 2022, in front of 6,676 fans. 

The only goal of the match came in the 77th minute thanks to Osijek's Mance. 

 

Osijek has now jumped to first place with 52 points, while Dinamo is in 2nd with 50 and a game in hand. 

You can see the HNL standings HERE

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

Tuesday, 22 February 2022

Transfermarkt: Marko Livaja World's 2nd Best Striker in 2022 Due to Impressive Goal Average

February 22, 2022 - Marko Livaja is the second-best goal scorer in the world this year, according to the popular Transfermarkt website. 

After a hat-trick in the 24th round of the First HNL between Hr. Dragovoljac and Hajduk played at Kranjčevićeva stadium (0:3), Marko Livaja reached the 21st goal of this season in the Croatian football championship, reports Gol.hr

With these goals, Livaja became the most efficient Hajduk player in a single season since Croatian independence. 

Livaja has scored at least one goal this season against each of the First League clubs. He has scored four goals against Istra 1961, three goals each against Slaven Belupo, Hr. Dragovoljac, and Gorica, twice against Šibenik, Rijeka and Lokomotiva, and once against Dinamo and Osijek. In addition to 21 championship goals, he recorded five assists.

These are impressive statistics during his year back at Hajduk. In 43 official appearances in all competitions, he scored 32 goals and added 16 assists!

Transfermarkt has also taken notice. 

Namely, since the beginning of 2022, Livaja has scored eight goals in four league matches, making him the second-best goal scorer in the world, according to the popular website Transfermarkt website. 

If we look at the ratio of goals and appearances since the beginning of this year, only Robert Lewandowski scored more Championship goals than Hajduk's best player and Croatia national team member.

The Polish striker recorded nine goals in six games in the German Bundesliga, which means that he scores every 60 minutes on average, while Livaja scored eight goals in four rounds of the First HNL.

However, Livaja needs 15 minutes less to score, finding the back of the net on average every 45 minutes!

For the record, this data only applies to the first leagues of world football.

Furthermore, Livaja is 11th in the standings for the European Golden Boot!

Ranking of the best strikers in the world in 2022

Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) - 6 appearances / 9 goals
Marko Livaja (Hajduk) - 4 appearances / 8 goals
Franck Etouga (Asante) - 7 appearances / 8 goals
Bartholomew Ogbeche (Hyderbad) - 8 appearances / 8 goals
Akram Afif (Al-Sadd) - 5 appearances / 7 goals

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

Monday, 21 February 2022

HNL Round 24 Recap: Dinamo and Lokomotiva Draw, Title Fight Even Tighter

February 21, 2022 - The 24th round of the Croatian First League was held from February 18 to 20, 2022. This round saw a Livaja hattrick for the Hajduk win, a last-minute goal for Osijek over Istra, and a 0:0 draw a Maksimir to shake up the top of the standings. Here is our HNL round 24 recap. 

Gorica v. Slaven Belupo (0:3)

Gorica and Slaven Belupo opened the 24th round on Friday, February 18, 2022, in Velika Gorica in front of 285 fans. 

Caimacov scored an early first goal of the match for 0:1 Belupo in the 2nd minute. Zvonarek increased Belupo's lead to 0:2 in the 10th minute. A Jovicic red card forced Gorica to play with a man down from the 56th minute, after which Marina scored a penalty for 0:3, the final score. 

 

Gorica is currently in 6th place with 29 points, while Belupo is in 7th with 26. 

Hr Dragovoljac v. Hajduk (0:3)

Dragovoljac and Hajduk met on Saturday, February 19, 2022, in Zagreb in front of 1,650 fans. 

Hajduk was awarded a penalty in the 32nd minute, which Marko Livaja scored for 0:1. Livaja was solid on another Hajduk penalty in the 74th minute for 0:2, before a Biuk assist found Livaja for the final 0:3 in the 79th minute. 

 

Dragovoljac is currently in the last place with 10 points, while Hajduk is in 3rd with 47 and a game in hand. 

Istra 1961 v. Osijek (2:3)

Istra and Osijek met on Saturday, February 19, 2022, in Pula in front of 762 fans. 

A Caktas goal put Osijek ahead in the 27th minute for 0:1. Zaper made it 0:2 13 minutes later. Then, Beljo scored for 1:2 in the 57th minute before Galilea equalized in the 84th minute. Finally, Mance scored in the 6th minute of stoppage time for the 2:3 Osijek win. 

 

Istra is currently in 9th place with 22 points, while Osijek is in 2nd with 49. 

Rijeka v. Sibenik (4:2)

Rijeka and Sibenik met on Sunday, February 20, 2022, at Rujevica Stadium in front of 3,084 fans. 

Selahi scored for 1:0 Rijeka in the 16th minute. VAR called Sibenik's goal offside in the 23rd minute. Vuckic made it 2:0 for Rijeka in the 34th. Muric and Vuckic made it 4:0 by the 66th minute, before Sibenik scored two goals in the 70th and 84th for the final 4:2. 

 

Rijeka is currently in 4th place with 46 points, while Sibenik is in 8th with 23. 

Dinamo v. Lokomotiva (0:0)

Dinamo and Lokomotiva closed out the 24th round on Sunday at Maksimir in front of 1,886 fans. 

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

 

Dinamo is currently in first place with 50 points and a game in hand, while Lokomotiva is in 5th place with 29 points. 

You can see the HNL standings HERE

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

Monday, 14 February 2022

HNL Round 23 Recap: Last-minute Dinamo Win, Hajduk 111th Birthday Victory, Osijek Tops Rijeka 1:0

February 14, 2022 - The 23rd round of the Croatian First League was held from February 11 to 13, 2022. This round saw Dinamo defeat Gorica in the final minute, while Hajduk's 111th birthday victory pushed them into 3rd place ahead of Rijeka. Here's our HNL round 23 recap. 

Šibenik v. Hr. Dragovoljac (0:5)

The 23rd round opened on Friday, February 11, 2022, between Sibenik and Dragovoljac in Sibenik and was perhaps the most shocking game of the round. 

The last-placed Dragovolac scored three goals in the first half thanks to Karrica (19'), Bristric (22'), and Majstorovic (45+3'). Galesic opened the second half with an early goal to make it 0:4 in the 49th minute before Frigan scored for 0:5 in the 75th. 

 

Sibenik is currently in 7th place with 23 points, while Dragovoljac is in 10th with 10.

Lokomotiva v. Istra 1961 (1:1)

Lokomotiva and Istra met on Saturday, February 12, 2022, in Zagreb.

While the first half went without goals, Lokomotiva'ss Salihu was booked for a double yellow at the end of the first half, forcing Lokomotiva to play with a man down for the remainder of the match. Drena Beljo put Istra in the lead in the 54th minute for 0:1, though Kulenovic equalized for 1:1 in the 80th minute.

 

Lokomotiva is currently in 6th place with 28 points, while Istra is in 9th with 22. 

Dinamo v. Gorica (2:1)

On Saturday, February 12, 2022, Dinamo and Gorica met at Maksimir stadium. 

While the first half went without goals, Ademi put Dinamo ahead in the 55th minute for 1:0. Kalik equalized less than 10 minutes later for 1:1. Finally, Orsic gave Dinamo the victory with a last-minute goal in the 89th for 2:1. 

 

Dinamo is currently in first place with 49 points and a game in hand, while Gorica is in 5th place with 29 points. 

Hajduk v. Slaven Belupo (3:1)

Hajduk and Belupo met on Sunday, February 13, 2022, at Poljud stadium. It was also Hajduk's 111th birthday. 

Nikola Kalinic made his re-debut for Hajduk on Sunday and played a part in the first goal, which Sahiti scored for 1:0 in the 13th minute. Grgic increased Hajduk's lead to 2:0 in the 26th. Zapata gave Belupo some hope in the 52nd minute with a goal for 2:1, but a double yellow for Bosec 10 minutes later had Belupo playing with a man down for the rest of the match. Livaja scored a penalty in the 71st for the final 3:1. 

 

Hajduk is currently in 3rd place with 44 points and a game in hand, while Belupo is in 8th with 23. 

Osijek v. Rijeka (1:0)

Osijek and Rijeka closed out the 23rd round with a derby on Sunday, February 13, 2022. 

The first half went without goals, and an own goal by Cestic decided the winner in the 85th minute. Rijeka's Abass was booked for his second yellow in the 3rd minute of stoppage time. 

 

Osijek is currently in 2nd place with 46 points, while Rijeka dropped to 4th with 43. 

You can see the full HNL standings HERE.

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

Wednesday, 9 February 2022

UEFA Youth League Playoff: Atletico Madrid Tops Hajduk Juniors on Penalties at Poljud

February 9, 2022 - The Hajduk juniors team met Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Youth League playoff round at Poljud Stadium in Split on Wednesday. 

In the first two rounds, Hajduk eliminated Tetovo club Shkendija and the Belarusian champions Minsk. They achieved three wins and a draw, with a goal difference of 9:2.

Atletico reached the playoffs as the second-placed team in Group B. Coached by Fernando Torres, Atletico recorded 10 points - three wins, one draw, and two defeats. Porto was behind Atletico in third, while the group winner was Liverpool with 11 points.

Only one game is played in the playoff round, there is no overtime, and in the event of a draw, penalties are taken. The capacity of Poljud stadium was limited on Wednesday due to epidemiological measures (40%). 8,761 fans were in attendance. Hajduk was the host of the match because they were the Croatian champion. 

Lineups

Hajduk: Silić, Letaj, Capan, Čuić, Brkljača, Hrgović, Pukštas, Prpić, Krolo, Bradarić, Ljubičić 

Atletico: Iturbe, Diez, Navarro, Kamara, Kostis, Curras, Gismera, Corral, Barrios, El Jebari, Martin

Recap

We saw a very even first half with one attempt on goal for Hajduk compared to Atletico's two. However, a highlight of the first half came for Hajduk in the final minute when a free kick was awarded outside the box.  Capan sent the ball into the box which Cuic headed into the crossbar. With chaos in front of the Atletico keeper from the rebound, Hajduk ultimately sent the ball over the goal line, which the ref called back for an offensive foul. 

The match ended 0:0 going into halftime. 

Atletico came our far more aggressive to start the second half, with two corners in the 56th and 58th minutes. 

Hajduk made its first substitutions in the 61st minute - Lazar came on for Krolo, and Vrcic for Cuic. Less than 10 minutes later, Vladusic replaced Brkljaca. 

Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the second half, either, bringing the match to penalties.

Penalties

Ljubicic went up first for Hajduk and hit the post. 

Curras scored Atletico's first penalty 0:1.

Hrgovic scored Hajduk's next penalty - 1:1.

Atletico missed their second penalty to keep it 1:1! 

Vrcic scored for 2:1. 

Atletico made their next one for 2:2.

Capan missed to keep it 2:2. 

Atletico took the lead again thanks to Martin for 2:3. 

Hajduk missed their last penalty for Atletico to move ahead in the Youth League. 

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

Monday, 7 February 2022

HNL Round 22 Recap: Race for Top Remains Tight as Dinamo, Rijeka, Osijek, Hajduk Record Victories

February 7, 2022 - The 22nd round of the Croatian First League was held from February 4 to 6, 2022. This round saw wins for Dinamo, Rijeka, Osijek, and Hajduk, keeping the race for the top tight into the spring season. Here's our HNL round 22 recap. 

Slaven Belupo v. Šibenik (1:1)

Slaven Belupo and Šibenik opened the 22nd round on Friday, February 4, 2022, in Koprivnica. 

Marin put Šibenik in the lead in the first minute of the game for 0:1. Belupo's Grgic equalized 16 minutes later for 1:1, which was the final score. 

 

Belupo is currently in 8th place with 23 points, while Šibenik is just ahead in 7th place with 23 points. 

Gorica v. Hajduk (0:4)

Gorica and Hajduk met in Velika Gorica on Saturday, February 5, 2022, in front of 1,600 fans.

Hajduk debutant Ferro scored from a header on his first touch of the game for an early Hajduk lead in the 3rd minute. Livaja scored a penalty to make it 0:2 in the 39th minute. Livaja assisted Mlakar's goal in the 58th minute for 0:3, before Livaja scored again in the 82nd minute for the final 0:4. 

 

Gorica is currently in 5th place with 29 points, while Hajduk sits in 4th with 41 (and a game in hand).

Rijeka v. Lokomotiva (3:2)

Rijeka and Lokomotiva played the second match on Saturday at Rujevica stadium in front of 2,855 fans. 

Muric scored two goals for Rijeka in the 25th and 39th minutes for 2:0 at the half. Dabro made it 2:1 with a goal in the 58th minute, before Vuckic increased Rijeka's lead to 3:1 two minutes later. Kulenovic gave Lokomotiva some hope with 10 minutes to go for 3:2, though that remained the final score. 

 

Rijeka is currently in 3rd place with 43 points, while Lokomotiva is in 6th place with 27 points. 

Hr. Dragovoljac v. Osijek (1:3) 

Dragovoljac and Osijek met in Zagreb on Sunday, February 6, 2022. 

Karrica put Dragovoljac in the lead in the 8th minute, though that was their only goal of the match. Kleinheisler equalized for Osijek in the 29th minute for 1:1 at the half. Bohar put Osijek in the lead in the 54th minute, and Caktas scored for the final 1:3 in the 81st. 

 

Dragovoljac is currently in the last place with 7 points, while Osijek is in 2nd with 43. 

Istra 1961 v. Dinamo (1:2)

Istra and Dinamo closed out the 22nd round on Sunday in Pula. 

Orsic put Dinamo in the lead in the 30th minute before Miskovic equalized for 1:1 at the half. Orsic scored a penalty in the 55th minute for 1:2. Istra played with a man down from the 64th when Caseres was booked for his second yellow. 

 

Istra is currently in 9th place with 21 points, while Dinamo leads the standings with 46 points in first place (and a game in hand). 

You can see the HNL standings HERE.

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

Monday, 7 February 2022

Nikola Kalinić Returns to Poljud: Former Croatia Striker Rejoins Hajduk from Serie A

February 7, 2022 - It was all but confirmed by Hajduk until late Sunday night - Nikola Kalinić is coming home! 

"HNK Hajduk can confirm with great satisfaction that our first team will be stronger in the continuation of the season thanks to Nikola Kalinić, who is returning to Poljud after more than 12 years and taking over his number 9! Nikola arrives at Hajduk at the age of 34 as a free agent after terminating his contract with Hellas Verona," writes Hajduk to announce the news

Kalinić is a child of Hajduk, passed all age categories of the Academy, and became one of its most recognizable products in the recent history of the Club. He played a total of 79 official matches for the Hajduk first team and scored 44 goals. In the 2007/2008 season, he scored 17 goals and scored 15 times the following season. He left Poljud in 2009 in a then-record transfer to English club Blackburn. In his impressive career, he played for Ukrainian club Dnipro, then for the Italian Serie A clubs Fiorentina, AC Milan, and Roma, and for La Liga giant Atletico Madrid. He scored over 170 goals in official matches and recorded over 50 assists for his teammates in his career.

"We all know very well what kind of accomplished football player he is; he played for some of the world's biggest clubs in the strongest leagues at the highest level of football quality. From the first moment of the negotiations, we saw his determination and interest in returning and his desire to be part of our project to create a strong Hajduk. Nikola is now returning to his club, full of motivation to help us in the fight for trophies. That says enough about what kind of person he is because he chose to return to his football home despite more generous offers and the opportunity to stay in Italy. His appearance, personality and, in the end, the most important thing, which is football quality, will bring a lot to our team. Not only in terms of football but also in terms of role models, leaders, and people who will help the whole team rise to a higher level of football," said Hajduk sports director Mindaugas Nikoličius.

Nikola could not be happier to wear the white jersey again. 

"Returning to Hajduk is a special moment in my life. I signed contracts with many clubs, big clubs, played for them, but Hajduk is the greatest for all of us who grew up here, and we are emotionally attached to it. This is where I grew up, the place where I gained my football affirmation; in the end, this is where I was born, and this is where my people are. So I will do my best to keep this moment, to cheer up everyone who breathes for Hajduk and keep this moment and the current emotion around the club as long as possible," said Kalinić. 

The official presentation of Nikola Kalinić will be at a press conference on Tuesday at noon.

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

 

Monday, 31 January 2022

HNL Round 21 Recap: Belupo Shocks Osijek, Dinamo Tops Rijeka, Hajduk Wins in Šibenik

January 31, 2022 - The 21st round of the Croatian First League was held from January 28 to 30, 2022. The Croatian First League thus returned from a long winter break, with the first part of the season ending on December 19, 2021. Here is our HNL round 21 recap. 

Istria 1961 v. Gorica (2:1)

Istra and Gorica opened the 21st round and the second part of the season on Friday, January 28, 2022, in front of 262 fans. 

Jovicic put Gorica in the early lead for 0:1 in the 6th minute. Perkovic scored the equalizer to open the second half for 1:1 in the 58th minute. Drena Beljo put Istra in the lead in the 74th minute and ultimately gave them the 2:1 win. 

 

Istra is currently in 9th place with 21 points, while Gorica is in 5th with 29. 

Osijek v. Slaven Belupo (1:2)

Osijek and Belupo met at City Garden Stadium on Saturday, January 29, 2022, in front of 2,072 fans. 

While the first half went without goals, Belupo's Zvonarek put them ahead in the 49th minute for 0:1. Bozic scored for 0:2 Belupo in the 68th. Former Hajduk player Caktas scored in his Osijek debut for 1:2 in the 74th minute, the final score. 

 

Osijek is currently in 3rd place with 40 points, while Belupo is in 8th with 22. 

Šibenik v. Hajduk (1:3) 

Šibenik and Hajduk met on Saturday, January 29, 2022, at Šubićevac stadium in front of 1,156 fans. 

Hajduk took the lead thanks to a Livaja penalty in the 15th minute. Curic equalized 10 minutes later for 1:1, before a second Hajduk penalty was awarded before the half - Livaja nailed it for 1:2. Hajduk's final goal was a screamer from Krovinovic, who scored in the 68th minute for 1:3. 

 

Šibenik is currently in 7th place with 22 points, while Hajduk is in 4th with 38 points (and one game in hand). 

Lokomotiva v. Hr. Dragovoljac (2:1)

Lokomotiva and Dragovoljac met in Zagreb on Sunday, January 30, 2022. 

Hozda put Dragovoljac in the lead in the 22nd minute for 0:1, before Dabro equalized before the half for 1:1. Ibrahim opened the second half with a quick goal in the 46th minute for the final 2:1. Dragovoljac's Basic was sent off in the 87th minute for a double yellow. 

 

Lokomotiva is currently in 6th place with 27 points, while Dragovoljac is in 10th place with 7. 

Dinamo v. Rijeka (2:0)

Dinamo and Rijeka closed out the 21st round on Sunday, January 30, 2022, at Maksimmir Stadium. 

Sutalo scored for the Dinamo lead in the 22nd minute (1:0). Orsic made it 2:0 in the 42nd minute, the final score. 

 

Dinamo is currently in 1st place with 43 points (and a game in hand), while Rijeka is in 3rd with 40. 

You can see the HNL standings HERE

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

 

Wednesday, 5 January 2022

Spring Season Prep: Hajduk and Ajax to Play Friendly Match in Portugal

January 5, 2022 - Hajduk and Ajax will open their spring season preparations in Portugal with a friendly match at Estádio Algarve in Faro.

Hajduk will open their spring season preparations in Portugal with a friendly match against Ajax, which will take place at Estádio Algarve in Faro, reports the Split club.

Hajduk arrives in Portugal for the main preparations on January 8, and one day later (January 9), coach Valdas Dambrauskas will lead the team to their first exam against the most trophy-winning Dutch club, which currently occupies second place in the Dutch championship and will play in the Champions League round of 16. 

Hajduk and Ajax last met in the Champions League quarterfinal in 1995. The first match at Poljud ended 0:0, and Ajax won the return match in the Netherlands 3:0 and ultimately won the Champions League.

Coach Valdas Dambrauskas and his assistants gathered the team at Poljud on Monday to begin preparations for the continuation of the season. 

The following 33 players attended the first gathering at Poljud:

Danijel Subasic, Nikola Katic, David Colina, Josip Vukovic, Kristian Dimitrov, Marco Fossati, Alexander Kacaniklic, Stefan Simic, Samuel Eduok, Marko Brkljaca, Mario Cuic, Ivan Calusic, Dario Melnjak, Dimitrios Diamantakos, Josip Elez, Jani Atanasov, Filip Krovinovic , Luka Škaričić, Gergo Lovrencsics, Jan Mlakar, Ivan Dolček, Toni Silić, Ivan Perić, Josip Posavec, Emir Sahiti, Marin Ljubičić, Lovre Kalinić, Rokas Puktšas, Filip Čuić, Ivan Krolo, Franjo Lazar, Šimun Hrgović, Ivan Čubelić. Marko Livaja and Stipe Biuk will join later.

Hajduk's pre-season training will end in Portugal on January 23.

The players were addressed by coach Dambrauskas, sports director Mindaugas Nikoličius, and president Lukša Jakobušić to open the preparations. 

"In the past period, we had several players positive for coronavirus. A Covid protocol at the club must be followed, but I must point out that the situation is under control. The most important thing is to make progress, and we know what we need to do. This is a crucial moment for the second part of the season. We have to do a good job because we will not be able to do that in March and April. When you look at the performance in the last seven games since I’ve been on the bench, we’ve progressed in mentality, in the relationships between players on and off the field, in tactical terms and style of play. But we still have a lot of work to do," said coach Valdas Dambrauskas.

"We will be in Split for a short time, six days, and then we will go to a training camp in Portugal where we will prepare for 15 days. We will play a few friendly matches there, and very soon, we will officially sign an agreement with Ajax for a friendly match on January 9 in the Algarve. Then we play against Servette on January 13 and two games with Slavia Prague on January 22. After that, we will probably play another game against Servette and Slavia. It was supposed to be Celtic, but they are not coming to Portugal due to the corona situation," added the sports director Mindaugas Nikoličius.

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

Tuesday, 21 December 2021

Team Captains Name Marko Livaja Best Footballer in Croatian First League

December 21, 2021 - Marko Livaja is officially the best footballer in the Croatian First League (HNL)!  

In a selection chosen by the Croatian Frist League captains, the Hajduk striker received 20 more points than Josip Drmić from Rijeka.

1. Marko Livaja - 76 points
2. Josip Drmić - 56 points
3. Bruno Petković - 50 points
4. Arijan Ademi - 30 points
5. Petar Bočkaj, Luka Ivanušec, Ivica Ivušić, Marin Jakoliš, Ramon Mierez - all 10 points each

"This is also one big motive for me. I want to thank the captains who voted for me, my teammates because without them, this award would certainly not have taken place, then the president, the director, and everyone at the Club. I hope that we will all continue on this path and that next year will be even more successful. We still have room for improvement, our preparations will be good, and I believe that we will be even better in the continuation of the championship. Finally, I want to dedicate the award to my family, who is always by my side," Livaja said after being awarded the trophy.

The award was presented to Marko in the Hajduk Salon at Poljud by Silvijo Škrlec, a journalist from Tportal, and the initiator of this traditional election, which has been held for 19 years.

The Hajduk striker is the first from the Split club to win the best player award since 2003, while Arijan Ademi won the title last season. In the past, names like Niko Kranjčar and Marija Mandžukić also had this honor.

The importance of Marko Livaja for Hajduk is much greater than the 17 goals and seven assists he has recorded in just 22 games this season. In the history of the HNL, several players created an advantage on their own - Luka Modrić and Niko Kranjčar did it with their play, Eduardo da Silva with a brutal goal-scoring performance. However, no one has ever put all the segments together like Hajduk's Livaja. 

Source: Hajduk.hr

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

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