Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Ronaldo is Coming to Poljud: Nations League Match Between Croatia and Portugal in Split!

September 1, 2020 - The Executive Board of the Croatian Football Federation has decided that the Nations League match between Croatia and Portugal will be played in Split.

The last round match of the Nations League Group C between Croatia and Portugal will be played on November 17 at Poljud Stadium in Split, announced HNS.

The 2018 World Cup finalists thus return to Split after a spectacular match against Hungary in the European qualifications for EURO 2020, which was played on October 10 last year.

HNS Executive Director Marijan Kustic and Executive Board member Ile Topuzovic held a meeting today with representatives of the City of Split, led by Mayor Andro Krstulovic-Opara, who gave their consent for the match in Split.

We remind you that in Group C of the Nations League, Croatia will compete against Portugal, France and Sweden. After the September opening in Porto and Paris, Croatia will host Sweden and France in October in Zagreb, while in November they will play against Sweden and then finish the group competition in Split against Portugal.

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Friday, 28 August 2020

City of Split and HNS to Discuss Organization of Croatia v. Portugal Match at Poljud

August 28, 2020 - After the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) expressed interest in bringing the Croatia national team back to Split, City of Split has agreed to discuss hosting the national team of Portugal on November 17 at Poljud. 

Slobodna Dalmacija reports that following the example of last year's model and the sellout match between Croatia and Hungary, HNS is looking to bring the Croatia national team back to Split. 

On Thursday, the mayor of Split, Andro Krstulovic Opara, responded to the urgency sent by the executive director Marijan Kustic on behalf of HNS, asking for an answer by noon on Thursday.

Kustic received an answer:

"The City of Split accepts your initiative to hold a meeting to discuss the possible organization of the Croatia - Portugal match on November 17, 2020, in Split at Poljud Stadium, in the presence of spectators," responded Opara.

Recall, UEFA announced its intention to return spectators to stadiums by September 24, although not at full capacity. Nevertheless, it would be a step towards normalization.

If all goes to plan, Cristiano Ronaldo's national team, which is still the current European champion, will come to Split in the last round of Group 3 as part of the A-League of this UEFA competition. Apart from Croatia and Portugal, Sweden and France are also in that group.

The famous Hajduk stadium would thus host the Croatia national team for the 14th time. However, just like last year, Hajduk should not participate in the organization of the match, as HNS has yet to meet the club's demands. 

Croatia kicks off their Nations League campaign on September 5 in Porto against Portugal.  Three days later, they will play in St. Denis against France. The first home game in this competition will be played on October 11 against Sweden, which should, for now, be played at Maksimir.

Three days later, France should play at the same stadium, and before the potential spectacle at Poljud, Dalic's team will visit Sweden. That match will be played on November 14, three days before Croatia meets Portugal.

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Thursday, 27 August 2020

Modric and Rakitic Drop Out of Croatia Squad Ahead of Portugal and France Matches

August 27, 2020 -  Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic will miss the opening of the Nations League, which awaits the Croatia national team in early September. Coach Zlatko Dalic has invited Antonio Colak, Ante Budimir and Milo Skoric in their place.

HNS announced that in agreement with coach Dalic, the September gathering of the Croatia national team will be missed by captain Luka Modric and vice-captain Ivan Rakitic, while Wolfsburg stopper Marin Pongracic dropped out of the lineup due to illness.

Coach Dalic will replace these three players by activating three call-ups - attackers Antonio Colak and Ante Budimir and stopper Milo Skoric.

Osijek captain and stopper Skoric (29) has already made three appearances for Croatia. He made his debut on May 28, 2017, in a 2-1 win over Mexico in a friendly match. He made his last appearance on November 19 last year against Georgia, also in a friendly match when Croatia celebrated 2-1. Rijeka striker Colak (26) and Mallorca striker Budimir (29) have not yet made their debut for the strongest Croatia squad.

In addition, coach Dalic gave two additional days off to Ivan Perisic and Marcelo Brozovic, who played in the finals of the Champions League and Europa League, respectively. They will join the national team on Wednesday, September 2.

Recall that the national team gathers on August 31 in Zagreb, which is followed by two initial exams in the new edition of the Nations League. Namely, on September 5, Croatia will play in Porto against Portugal, and three days later, the World Cup finalists will play in St. Denis in a rematch against the 2018 World Champions, France. 

The first home game in this competition will be played on October 11 against Sweden, and that game should, for now, be played at Maksimir. Three days later, France should play at the same stadium.

Croatia will play against Sweden away on November 14, three days before Portugal visits Croatia, potentially at Poljud Stadium in Split.

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Monday, 17 August 2020

Zlatko Dalic Announces Croatia List for September Games Against Portugal, France

August 17, 2020 - The coach of the Croatia national team, Zlatko Dalic, has published a list of 23 players he is counting on for the upcoming Croatia matches against Portugal and France.

HNS announced that after a break of almost 10 months caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Croatia national football team would gather in Zagreb again on August 31, with two appearances at the opening of the new edition of the Nations League in September.

The 2018 World Cup runners-up will play in Porto on September 5, where the European champions Portugal await them, and three days later in Paris (St. Denis), at the Stade de France, they will once again face France in the rematch of the 2018 FIFA World Cup final.

Dalic invited 23 players for this international round, with six reserves and two new names on the list - goalkeeper Ivo Grbic and defender Marin Pongracic.

"Although the circumstances are not great given the coronavirus epidemic, it is certain that we are all very much looking forward to reuniting after such a long break. The term is not ideal because many players will practically come from their breaks to reunite, but we are all in the same situation on that issue. It is important for the players to rest as well as possible, because they have a tough competition season ahead of them, at the end of which the EURO is waiting for us, and that is our primary goal," said coach Dalic.

"Our opponents can't be harder - suffice it to say that in three days we will play away against European and world champions. We respect Portugal and France to the maximum, but we have a lot of trump cards and we will certainly try to break the negative tradition we have against both teams. We will see in what condition the players will come to the gathering and we will act accordingly, because although the result in the Nations League is important to us, our priority is the health of players and preparation for World Cup qualifiers and then EURO 2020," concludes coach Dalic.

You can see the full list of players below.

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

Saturday, 27 June 2020

UEFA Nations League Schedule Confirmed: Croatia National Team Returns in September

June 27, 2020 - The Croatia national team will return this September for their first game in 10 months. 

UEFA announced the exact schedule for the Nations League competition on Friday. HRT reports that the Croatia national team, who will play in group A3, will open the competition with a visit to the defending champions Portugal on September 5 at 20:45. It will be the first game for the 'Vatreni' after a 10-month break.

Zlatko Dalic's team will be tested for the second time in this competition on September 8 against the 2018 World Champions, France, also played away. In the third round, Croatia will meet Sweden at home on October 11 (at 18:00), and three days later, they will play against France again, but at home (20:45).

In the fifth round, on November 14, Croatia will play against Sweden (20:45), and the competition will end on November 17 at home, where they will meet Portugal (20:45).

The winner of the first edition of the Nations League was Portugal. The winner of the UEFA competition wins 7.5 million euro, and each participant in League A will receive 1.5 million euro, while in the lower leagues (groups B, C and D) the prize pool is slightly lower. The total prize pool has increased from 76.25 million to 81.5 million euro because there are now 16 teams in the A league, not just 12.

You can find the full match schedule in the elite class of the Nations League below. 

Group 1
Round 1 - September 4
Italy - Bosnia and Herzegovina
Netherlands - Poland
Round 2 - September 7
Bosnia and Herzegovina - Poland
Netherlands - Italy
Round 3 - October 11
Bosnia and Herzegovina - Netherlands
Poland - Italy
4 Round - October 14
Italy - Netherlands
Poland - Bosnia and Herzegovina
Round 5 - November 15
Italy - Poland
Netherlands - Bosnia and Herzegovina
Round 6 - November 18
Bosnia and Herzegovina - Italy
Poland - Netherlands
Group 2
Round 1 - September 5:
Iceland - England
Denmark - Belgium
Round 2 - September 8:
Belgium - Iceland
Denmark - England
Round 3 - October 11
England - Belgium
Iceland - Denmark
Round 4 - October 14
England - Denmark
Iceland - Belgium
Round 5 - November 15
Belgium - England
Denmark - Iceland
Round 6 - November 18
Belgium - Denmark
England - Iceland
Group 3
Round 1 - September 5
Portugal - CROATIA
Sweden - France
Round 2 - September 8
France - CROATIA
Sweden - Portugal
Round 3 - October 11
CROATIA - Sweden
France - Portugal
Round 4 - October 14
CROATIA - France
Portugal - Sweden
Round 5 - November 14
Portugal - France
Sweden - CROATIA
Round 6 - November 17
CROATIA - Portugal
France - Sweden

Group 4
Round 1 - September 3
Germany - Spain
Ukraine - Switzerland
Round 2 - September 6
Spain - Ukraine
Switzerland - Germany
Round 3 -
Spain - Switzerland
Ukraine - Germany
Round 4 -
Germany - Switzerland
Ukraine - Spain
Round 5 -
Germany - Ukraine
Switzerland - Spain
Round 6 -
Spain - Germany
Switzerland - Ukraine
NOTE: The group winners will play in the final tournament

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

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

UEFA Nations League: Croatia in Elite League A With...

March 3, 2020 -  The UEFA Nations League draw was held in Amsterdam on Tuesday. Croatia will play in Group 4 against Sweden, France and Portugal.

Following the football excitement that awaits us at Euro 2020 this summer, we can also look forward to the new edition of the Nations League awaits in early September. The matches will be played in September, October and November this year. 

Croatia will play in the elite League A against Sweden, France, and Portugal. 

The first-ranked team from the group will play in the Nations League final tournament, and the last-placed team falls out of the strongest class.

The Nations League starts at the beginning of September this year (September 3-5) and the remaining dates September 6-8, October 8-10, 11-13, and November 12-14, 15-17 this year.

Croatia will play against the current world and European champions. It is interesting to note that the national team will play friendly matches against both teams ahead of the Euros. The 'Vatreni' has never defeated France or Portugal in history.

Sweden is 17th in the FIFA rankings and no easy game, but it is clear that France and Portugal will be the biggest rivals in the fight for first place leading to the Final Four.

Recall, Portugal won the first edition of the Nations League in 2019.

"We got probably the strongest group that could have been. But it's very nice, we will play against the European and world champions," Zlatko Dalic said, adding:

"We knew we were expecting tough opponents, as the whole group was like that. This will be good preparation for what awaits us later, which is Qatar qualifications. I think the competition is tough, that's what suits us and that's what we want."

League A

Group 1: Poland, BiH, Italy, Netherlands

Group 2: Iceland, Denmark, Belgium, England

Group 3: CROATIA, Sweden, France, Portugal

Group 4: Germany, Spain, Ukraine, Switzerland

League B

Group 1: Romania, Northern Ireland, Norway, Austria

Group 2: Israel, Slovakia, Scotland, Czech Republic

Group 3: Hungary, Turkey, Serbia, Russia

Group 4: Bulgaria, Ireland, Finland, Wales

League C

Group 1: Azerbaijan, Luxembourg, Cyprus, Montenegro

Group 2: Armenia, Estonia, Northern Macedonia, Georgia

Group 3: Moldova, Slovenia, Kosovo, Greece

Group 4: Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Belarus, Albania

League D

Group 1: Malta, Andorra, Latvia, Faroe Islands

Group 2: San Marino, Liechtenstein, Gibraltar

More soon...

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

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Croatia Falls to England at Wembley, Drops Out of Elite Nations League

November 18, 2018 - An unfortunate result at Wembley for Croatia as they failed to win against England in the final round of the Nations League group stage. 

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

UEFA Nations League: Maksimir Totally Sold Out Ahead of Croatia v. Spain

There are no longer any tickets available for the highly anticipated UEFA Nations League match between Croatia and Spain on Thursday at Maksimir stadium in Zagreb. 

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Spanish Coach Luis Enrique: "An Unfriendly Atmosphere Awaits Us in Zagreb"

Spain’s manager Luis Enrique said on Thursday that his team would be welcomed in Zagreb to an unfriendly atmosphere and that the upcoming Nations League game has no connection to the one played in September when Spain beat Croatia 6:0.

Friday, 2 November 2018

UEFA Nations League: Croatia Lineup for Spain and England Includes Young Stars

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić has published the lineup of the Croatia national football team for the upcoming games against Spain and England in the UEFA Nations League. 

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