Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Marko Livaja Named Best HT First League Player, Luka Modrić Best Croatian Footballer Overall

June 15, 2022 - The Croatian Association 'Nogometni Sindikat' announced the awards for the past football season, in which the best HT First League player, coach, young player, and team of the season were voted on by First League players and coaches. The best Croatian footballer overall was again awarded to Croatia captain Luka Modrić. 

For the tenth time, Nogometni Sindikat organized the Football Trophy Award, in which the best players of the past season are chosen by the players and the professional staff of Croatian Football League clubs. Due to the epidemiological situation, no awards ceremony was organized this year, but the laureates were announced via social networks.

The best player of the HT First League for the 2021/2022 season, voted on by the players and coaches in the First League, is HNK Hajduk Split player Marko Livaja. Note that Livaja finished the season as the league's top scorer with 28 goals in 34 appearances, and added seven assists. With his fantastic performances, he led Hajduk to win the Croatian Cup, and in the never more tense ending to the season, Hajduk finished in second place.

The captain of the Croatia national team, Luka Modrić, was chosen as the best Croatian football player last season. At the age of 36, he was one of Real Madrid's biggest assets on the way to a new Champions League title (fifth overall) and the Spanish championship. This is Luka's jubilee tenth award in this selection. Ivan Perišić (Inter) and Marko Livaja (HNK Hajduk) were also in the running. 

The best young player is Lokomotiva winger Lukas Kacavenda. Stipe Biuk (HNK Hajduk) and Dion Drena Beljo (NK Istra 1961 / NK Osijek) were also in the running. The goalkeeper of the current champion Dinamo, Dominik Livaković, was chosen as the best goalkeeper in the HNL. He won this title last season as well.

The former Rijeka coach, Goran Tomić, was named the best coach. He led his team to the Cup final and fourth place in the Championship. Rijeka last season was characterized by attacking football, and a slight drop in form in the second half of the season kept them away from the title race. Valdas Dambrauskas (HNK Hajduk) and Silvijo Čabraja (NK Lokomotiva) were also in the running. 

The best 11 players of the HT First League were also announced: 

Goalkeeper: Dominik Livaković (GNK Dinamo Zagreb)

Defenders: Stefan Ristovski (GNK Dinamo Zagreb), Josip Sutalo (GNK Dinamo Zagreb), Josip Elez (HNK Hajduk Split), Petar Bockaj (NK Osijek / GNK Dinamo Zagreb)

Midfielders: Arijan Ademi (GNK Dinamo Zagreb), Filip Krovinovic (HNK Hajduk Split), Domagoj Pavicic (HNK Rijeka)

Forwards: Josip Drmic (HNK Rijeka), Mislav Orsic (GNK Dinamo Zagreb), Marko Livaja (HNK Hajduk Split).

Rujevica in Rijeka was declared the best stadium. 

ŽNK Split player Aida Hadžić was chosen as the best female footballer.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated sports section

Sunday, 22 May 2022

Hajduk's Marko Livaja Named Top Scorer of 2021/22 HT First League

May 22, 2022 - Hajduk striker Marko Livaja is the top scorer of the 2021/22 HT First League competition season.

Hajduk's #10 scored a total of 28 goals in 34 championship appearances. The Croatian striker also added seven assists to his performance. Marko found himself in Hajduk's starting lineup 33 times, came off the bench once, and played the entire game 27 times. He played 2987 minutes in the championship this season.

He scored at least one goal against each of the teams competing in the HT First League. He scored six times against Istra 1961, five times against Rijeka, four times against Hrvatski Dragovoljac, three times against Gorica and Lokomotiva, twice against Dinamo, Šibenik and Slaven Belupo, and once against Osijek.

2022-05-22-15-34-3990-.jpeg

Recently, Marko Livaja entered the history of the Club, breaking the record from the 1934/1935 season, when the legendary Leo Lemešić scored 26 championship goals in one season. Lemešić is the second-top scorer in the history of the club behind Frane Matošić.

"Marko, congratulations once again on your outstanding achievements this season!" said Hajduk on their official website.

The top scorer in the HNL launched his professional career at Inter and continued in Atalanta, FC Rubin Kazan, Empoli, Las Palmas, AEK, and now Hajduk. His 26th goal against Istra in the 35th round was also the 100th goal of his career. 

Hajduk finished the 2021/22 HT First League in second place with 72 points. While they fell short of the title this year, they still have a chance to win a trophy this season in the Croatian Cup final against Rijeka on Thursday, May 26. Hajduk and Rijeka will meet at Poljud at 19:00. The last Croatian Cup title Hajduk won was in 2013. They lost to Dinamo in their last Cup final in 2018. 

Dinamo won the Croatian Cup last season, while Rijeka was the winner in the two seasons prior. 

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Sunday, 15 May 2022

Marko Livaja Breaks 87-Year-Old Hajduk Record with 27 Goals in Single Season!

May 15, 2022 - Marko Livaja has broken an 87-year-old Hajduk record, scoring 27 goals in a single season after two goals from the penalty spot against Istra last night. 

Hajduk's #10 Marko Livaja wrote Hajduk history in Saturday's match against Istra 1961, becoming Hajduk's top scorer in one season with 27 goals! 

Until the match against Istria, he was tied with legendary striker Zlatko Vujović in second place with 25 goals. However, after putting two goals in the back of Istra's net, he broke Leo Lemešić's record from the 1934/35 season with 26 goals scored. Lemešić is the second-top scorer in the history of the club behind Frane Matošić.

Marko scored goals against all clubs in the Croatian First League this season. Namely, in the 2021/22 Croatian Championship, he scored six goals against Istra 1961, five goals against Rijeka, four goals against Hrvatski Dragovoljac, three goals against Gorica and Lokomotiva, two goals against Šibenik and Slaven Belupo, and one goal against both Osijek and Dinamo to seal his title at the top scorer in the league.

It is also clear that with 27 goals, Marko Livaja will win the HNL Golden Boot after Josip Drmić no longer has a chance to catch the Hajduk striker due to a two-match ban. Recall, Drmić was fined 5,000 kuna and a two-match ban for hitting Stefan Simić in last Sunday's Adriatic derby between Rijeka and Hajduk. Drmić is thus in second place with 21 goals, while Dion Drena Beljo, Mislav Oršić, and Marko Dabro (who left Lokomotiva for China a month and a half ago) follow. Drmić will be free for the next two weekends, but he can play in the Cup final between Rijeka and Hajduk at Poljud on May 26.

"Numerous well-deserved hymns have been written about the achievements, statistics, records, moves, and games of Hajduk's #10s. His contribution will surely remain inscribed in the club's history alongside the greatest greats. Not only on the pitch but also off it" concluded Hajduk in a statement

The best player in the HNL started scoring at Inter and continued in Atalanta, FC Rubin Kazan, Empoli, Las Palmas, AEK, and now Hajduk. His 26th goal in Saturday's game was also the 100th goal of his career. 

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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

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Wednesday, 9 February 2022

Return of Perišić to Poljud? Hajduk Fans Say ''It's Time''

Februay 9, 2022 - With his contract due to expire in June, the euphoria of the fans, and the complicity of returnees Marko Livaja and the recently introduced Nikola Kalinić, there are plenty of reasons to believe in the return of Perišić to Poljud. The petition, created by Hajduk fans and supported by Livaja himself, is already underway with the slogan #PerišićVrimeJe (Perišić, it's time).

It is impossible to deny the influence and insistence of the Hajduk Split fans, especially when one recalls their great effort to retain their star player, Marko Livaja, under the motto: ''Livaja, ostaje u Hajduku'' (Livaja, stay at Hajduk). Said and done, the idol born in Split decided in the end to stay and today he has contributed 17 goals in 20 league games so that Hajduk finds itself fighting for the title, 5 points behind leaders Dinamo Zagreb and 2 points behind Osijek and Rijeka, with one game less than both.

The Dalmatian club presented yesterday at the Poljud its brand new signing, striker Nikola Kalinić, who arrived from Hellas Verona after a prolific career that includes top clubs such as Atlético de Madrid, AC Milan, and Fiorentina. Hajduk surprised everyone on Sunday night when they posted an emotional video on their social media that appealed to nostalgia and memories, as well as the connection between Split and Verona, which in the end revealed the agreement reached for Kalinić's return to Poljud.

During Kalinić's presentation, the player revealed in the press conference that both Edin Džeko and Ivan Perišić called him the night before, but did not reveal the details of the conversations but added that he told his teammate from the national team that ''everything was on him.'', reports Net.hr. Hajduk fans, quick as no other, began to speculate on the return of Perišić, even more so considering that the winger ends his contract with Inter Milan in June this year, and will go on to become a free agent. At the moment, nothing is certain regarding a possible renewal with the Italian team, as well as offers from other clubs, which invites one to dream of the return of Perišić to Poljud.

Speculation has now turned into a petition, and even Hajduk fans already have a slogan to kick off the motion: #PerišićVrimeJe (Perišić, it's time). It should be remembered that the intentions of signing the 33-year-old winger from Omiš are not new, since the motto was coined last year after the long-awaited renewal of Marko Livaja. But hope in Hajduk fans has increased considering Perišić's contract situation, and even more so after Livaja himself joined the petition in a video that has now gone viral on social media.

At the moment, with nothing certain about his future, Perišić is focused on his current team, with whom he beat Roma 2-0 yesterday for the Coppa Italia, in a match in which he played 85 minutes. The Croatian player has the full confidence of his coach, Simone Inzaghi, and is an undisputed starter in his formation. Ivan's commitment and concentration are necessary for the remainder of the season. The 'neroazzurri' will visit Napoli on Saturday in a decisive match that could help them secure the top spot in Serie A, as they are coming off losing to arch-rivals AC Milan and the Napolitan team is currently second with just one point behind. Also, next Wednesday they will face powerful Liverpool at home in the return of the UEFA Champions League, for the round of 16.

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

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Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Marko Livaja Most Viewed Player on Transfermarkt

December 8, 2021 - After leading Hajduk to a 2:0 victory against Dinamo during the 'Eternal Derby' in the 18th round of the Croatian First League, scoring a goal and an assist in his first Maksimir derby, Marko Livaja brought his status as a football icon among Hajduk fans to new heights.

Hajduk received a spontaneous welcome reception in Split after the match in Zagreb on Sunday, and Livaja was notably the hero of the Split club. But the celebration did not stop there, and in the spirit of the Hajduk-Dinamo rivalry, many songs were sung by the fans, some of which are considered hate speech and derogatory, reports Gol.hr.

A video has thus surfaced of Marko Livaja and 2018 World Cup finalist Danijel Subašić joining in on the singing at a local nightclub, which has now resulted in an investigation by the disciplinary judge of the Croatian First League for inappropriate behavior and violating the Code of Conduct for football employees, HNS said.

Just how much pomp has reigned around Marko Livaja in the aftermath of the Eternal Derby is perhaps best illustrated by the following data. From December 6 to the morning of December 7, Marko Livaja was the most viewed footballer on the popular website for football values, Transfermarkt.

Behind Livaja in second place was Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior, the 21-year-old Brazilian who also plays in excellent form, while behind the two were the world's most famous footballers, Cristiano Ronaldo and recent Golden Ball winner Lionel Messi.

It's safe to say that Livaja's brilliant performance at Maksimir, as well the controversy around the anti-Dinamo songs, contributed to why so many searched for his name online. 

Hajduk's #10 has scored 16 goals in 20 appearances this season and has four assists. According to Transfermarkt, Livaja is worth 3.5 million euros.

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

Monday, 13 September 2021

HNL Round 8 Recap: Livaja Hattrick for Hajduk, Wins for Dinamo and Rijeka

September 13, 2021 - The 8th round of the Croatian First League was played from September 10 to 12, 2021. This saw a Marko Livaja hattrick for the Hajduk win, while Dinamo and Rijeka celebrated victories at home. Here is our HNL round 8 recap. 

Gorica v. Hr. Dragovoljac (1:1)

Gorica and Dragovoljac opened the 8th round on Friday,  September 10, 2021, in Velika Gorica. 

While the first half went without goals, Gorica's Stojanovski scored the first goal of the match which was ruled offside by VAR in the 56th minute. Lovrić missed a penalty for Gorica 7 minutes later, but Babec scored a minute after that for the 1:0 Gorica lead. Strkalj equalized in the 74th minute for the final 1:1. 

 

Gorica is currently in 5th place with 15 points, while Dragovoljac is in the last place with 4. 

Dinamo v. Šibenik (2:0)

Dinamo and Šibenik met at Maksimir Stadium on Saturday, September 11, 2021. 

It was another match with a scoreless first half. Lauritsen scored for the Dinamo lead in the 68th minute, which Ivanušec increased to 2:0 10 minutes later. 

 

Dinamo is currently in 1st place with 16 points (and one game less), while Šibenik is in 7th with 7. 

Rijeka v. Slaven Belupo (2:1)

Rijeka and Slaven Belupo met at Rujevica Stadium on Saturday, September 11, 2021. 

After a 0:0 first half, Hadzic put Belupo in the lead in the 63rd minute. However, that didn't last long, as Drmić equalized for 1:1 in the 78th minute before scoring his second goal in the 85th minute for 2:1. 

 

Rijeka is currently in 3rd place with 16 points (and one game less), while Belupo is in 9th place with 5 points. 

Istra 1961 v. Hajduk (1:3)

Istra and Hajduk met in Pula on Sunday, September 12, 2021. 

The lack of goals in the first half was redeemed by Marko Livaja, who put Hajduk up 0:1 thanks to a penalty in the 51st minute. A second penalty was awarded to Hajduk 6 minutes later, which Livaja scored for 0:2. Livaja's hattrick came in the 74th minute for the 0:3 lead. Drena got one goal for Istra in the 87th minute for a final score of 1:3. 

 

Istra is currently in 8th place with 6 points (and one game less), while Hajduk is in 2nd with 16. 

Lokomotiva v. Osijek (1:1)

Lokomotiva and Osijek closed out the 8th round on Sunday, September 12, 2021. 

The match's first goal was scored in the 70th minute, thanks to Dabro for the Lokomotiva lead. A double-yellow for Fiolić forced Osijek to play with a man down from the 75th minute. Topcagic was able to equalize in the 3rd minute of added time for the final 1:1 draw. 

 

Lokomotiva is currently in 6th place with 11 points (and one game less), while Osijek is in 4th with 14. 

You can see the full HNL table HERE

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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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