Friday, 15 April 2022

Four Croatian Footballers in Europa League Semi-finals

April 15. 2022 - The Europa League semi-finals will feature four Croatian footballers - Kristijan Jakić, Joško Gvardiol, Nikola Vlašić, and Borna Barišić. 

After the first match in Frankfurt ended 1-1, Eintracht surprised Barcelona by winning 3-2 at Camp Nou on Thursday, thus securing a spot in the Europa League semi-finals.

RB Leipzig, West Ham, and Glasgow Rangers also qualified among the four best teams.

Eintracht had the support of more than 25,000 fans at Camp Nou. Although Frankfurt was entitled to only 5,000 tickets, German fans procured tickets through all possible channels, so the atmosphere was as if the away side was playing in Frankfurt.

Barcelona was not off to a good start. In the third minute, Eric Garcia knocked down Jesper Lindstrom, and Portuguese referee Artur Soares Dias pointed to the penalty spot. Filip Kostić took the penalty for the lead. 

In the 10th minute, Barcelona failed to equalize with chances for both Pedri and Aubameyang. Barcelona put pressure but was unable to break Eintracht's defense. Eintracht, on the other hand, was full of confidence. Kostić found Rafael Borre in the 36th minute, who shot from more than 25 meters for 0-2. 

Barcelona could have reduced the lead in the second minute of the second half, but Aubameyang missed the goal. Eintracht had a great chance in the 58th minute, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen reacted great in goal. However, Ter Stegen couldn't do anything in the 67th minute when Kostić scored for an incredible 0-3 lead.

Barcelona scored from the offside position in the 84th minute, which did not count. Busquets, however, still reduced the score with a great goal from the edge of the penalty area in the 1st minute of stoppage time. Barcelona scored another goal in the 11th minute of stoppage time. Depay was certain from the penalty spot, but there was no time for more than that. Kristijan Jakić was excellent for Eintracht.

Eintracht will play against West Ham in the semifinals, which outclassed Lyon 3-0 after the London match ended 1-1.

Lyon was off to a great start, with chances in the 6th and 27th minutes. West Ham took the lead in the 38th minute. Pablo Fornals neatly controlled the ball after a short corner and knocked it on to Craig Dawson for the 0-1 lead. In the last moments of the first half, Declan Rice scored from the edge of the penalty area for 0-2. All doubts about the winner were resolved in the 48th minute when Jarrod Bowen scored for 0-3. Nikola Vlašić did not play for West Ham. 

RB Leipzig also reached the semi-finals after beating Atalanta 2-0 in Bergamo. The first game ended 1-1. 

Two years ago, RB Leipzig reached the semifinals of the Champions League, where they lost to PSG, and now they have reached the semifinals of the Europa League. Leipzig will play against Borna Barišić and the Rangers in the semifinals, who beat Braga 3-1. In the first match, the Portuguese club won 1-0 in front of their fans.

The match's hero was double scorer Christopher Nkunku (18, 87-penalty). Croatia national team player Joško Gvardiol played for the guests until the 79th minute, while Mario Pašalić played for Atalanta from the 88th minute.

With this victory, Leipzig extended their undefeated streak to 13 matches in all competitions, while Atalanta recorded four games without a win.


To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 31 August 2021

Nikola Vlašić Joins West Ham United, 4th Largest Transfer in Croatian Football History!

August 31, 2021 - It's official - Nikola Vlašić joins West Ham United in a transfer that is the 4th largest in Croatian football history! 

Nikola Vlašić is the new player of Premier League club West Ham United. The Croatian footballer has signed a six-year contract, and his current club, CSKA Moscow, should receive 30 million euros in fixed compensation.

"West Ham United are delighted to announce the signing of Croatia international attacker Nikola Vlašić.

The talented 23-year-old arrives on a five-year deal for an undisclosed fee from Russian Premier League club CSKA Moscow.

A teenage prodigy with Hajduk Split, Vlašić has already played more than 250 senior matches, scored 33 goals, and assisted 21 more for CSKA over the previous three seasons, and was named Russian Premier League Footballer of the Year in 2020.

A regular for Croatia, he has 26 senior caps and featured four times at the recent UEFA Euro 2020 finals, and will now continue his career at London Stadium after representing his country during the current international break.

The player has been extensively scouted, and the creative attacker will add top-class quality and experience to David Moyes’ squad.

“I am delighted to welcome Nikola to West Ham United,” said the manager. "I have been watching Nikola improve over recent seasons – he has got a good goals and assists record during that time. He is also a Croatia international with experience, and still being only 23, I feel there is more to come from him. 

“I was really impressed with how determined Nikola was to become a West Ham player. It’s that hunger and ambition that fits with what we are trying to build here at the Club,” reads the club's website


"Born in Split in October 1997, Vlašić started his career with Omladinac Vranjic at the age of eight before moving to the city’s leading club, Hajduk, at 12 in 2010.

A teenage sensation, he scored on his first-team debut in a UEFA Europa League qualifying tie with Irish side Dundalk in July 2014, aged just 16 years and nine months. By the season’s end, he had made 37 appearances and scored four goals, still well short of his 18th birthday.

Vlašić made his senior Croatia debut at 19 in May 2017, before establishing himself as a regular squad member the following year. He has since played 26 times in total, scoring six goals, including the opener in the Euro 2020 win over Scotland in June this year.

And he was still a teenager when he moved to the English Premier League side Everton in August 2017, having impressed Blues manager Ronald Koeman in a Europa League tie earlier that month. 

After a single season at Goodison Park, where he featured 19 times, Vlašić signed for CSKA Moscow, initially on loan, and has been a major success in Russia.

In 108 games for CSKA in all competitions, he has been directly involved in 54 goals, won three Russian Player of the Month trophies and the 2020 Russian Footballer of the Year award.

Now, he will bring his considerable attacking talents to London Stadium.

Everyone at West Ham United would like to wish Nikola every success for his career in Claret and Blue," the club continued. 

Nikola also confirmed the news on his Instagram profile today. 

"I am delighted with the signing for this great club and I can’t wait to wear the jersey and give my best in every training and every game."

Vlašić has already played in England. In the summer of 2017, he left Hajduk for Everton in the most expensive transfer in the club's history, for 11 million euros. However, he only played 19 games there, mostly from the bench, and thus moved to the most trophy-winning Russian club. There he profiled himself as one of the key levers of the team. He confirmed his status as one of the best players in the league and established himself in the starting lineup.

He is expected to earn 4 million euros a year in London. With a fixed compensation of 30 million euros, Vlašić is the fourth largest transfer in history when it comes to Croatian footballers. The first two places are held by Mateo Kovačić, who was sold to Chelsea for 45 million, and Real Madrid for 38 million euros. Modrić is third when Real Madrid paid 35 million euros for him from Tottenham.

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić also commented on the transfer before the national team gathering on Monday.

"Vlašić is on his way from London to Moscow. It seems it is final. I hope he solved the transfer. Nikola knows best what is good for him. I think he deserved an even better club than West Ham. He got that transfer and can expect big things. He will make bigger transfers in a couple of years," Dalić said. 


To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Friday, 28 May 2021

Nikola Vlašić Promises Spectacle against England at Wembley

May 28, 2021 - Nikola Vlašić talks about the excellent atmosphere on the Croatia national team and promises a spectacle against England at Wembley. 

After an extraordinary season in the CSKA Moscow shirt, where he profiled himself as one of the best players in the Russian league, Nikola Vlašić is full of motivation at the Croatia national team preparations, reports HNS.

Croatia will open their European Championship campaign against England on June 13 at Wembley, and Nikola Vlašić believes that coach Zlatko Dalić has numerous trump cards for such a tough meeting.


"It's always a motive to play for Croatia, but to play at Wembley against England ... it will be a spectacle; we all can't wait for that game. Many of our players played the best seasons in their careers, and if we transfer that to the national team, it can be a great situation. If we are organized as a team, we can expect a good result," he says.

An injury at the end of the season is not a problem for him, and spirits are high on the Croatia national team.

"There is no feeling of disagreement; we all talk to each other and hang out - I think the atmosphere is at an enviable level," said Vlašić, praising the qualities of his teammates.

The Croatia national team gathered on May 25 for Euro preparations in Rovinj. After the friendly against Armenia on June 1 in Velika Gorica, the national team will have a final check on June 6 against Belgium in Brussels, from where they will travel to the base camp in St. Andrews on June 8. 

The UEFA EURO 2020 will take place between June 11 and July 11, 2021. Croatia plays in Group D (London/Glasgow) with England (hosts), Scotland (hosts), and the Czech Republic.

Croatia opens its EURO campaign on Sunday, June 13, against England (15:00, London). On Friday, June 18, Croatia plays the Czech Republic in Glasgow, Scotland (18:00). Croatia's final group stage match is against Scotland on June 22 in Glasgow (21:00). 

The top two in each group plus the four best third-placed teams go through to the knockout phase. The round of 16 is scheduled from June 26 to 29. The quarterfinals are held on July 2 and 3, the semifinals on July 6 and 7. The final will be played on July 11 at Wembley Stadium in London. 

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE


Monday, 21 December 2020

Nikola Vlasic Named Footballer of the Year in Russia!

December 21, 2020 - Nikola Vlasic has been named the footballer of the year in Russia in the country's largest sports selection, divided into four categories. reports that the winner is decided by the votes of the 16 most prominent Russian coaches, 16 most distinguished sports directors and managers, 16 journalists of the most prestigious Russian sports portal, Sport Express, and readers of the same portal.

This is the greatest individual achievement for the Croatian footballer in his career so far. 

The last Croatian to receive a similar award in a European league is Darijo Srna, who was awarded by Ukraine in 2010 while playing for Shakhtar.

Vlasic defeated all players from the Russian league and all Russians who play abroad, who were also nominated in this election.

The Croatian midfielder was chosen as the best in the opinion of coaches, sports directors, journalists, and spectators, i.e., in all four categories. Vlasic won with 251 points, Alexei Miranchuk came in second with 113, and Roman Zobnin came in third with 106 points.

CSKA Moscow, Vlasic's club, isn't having the best year. After finishing fourth in the championship in the 2019-20 season, they had an awful Europa League campaign, finishing last in the group with Dinamo Zagreb, Wolfsberger, and Feyenoord. But maybe there is some hope, as they are going into the winter break as the second-best team in the standings. 

Despite poor results, Vlasic shined enough to win this prestigious Russian sports award.

At the moment, Vlasic is the fourth top scorer in the league with eight goals. The first in the standings are Džjuba and Azmoun, who have only three more goals. When it comes to assists, however, Vlasic is the first in the league with five. 

A big congrats to the former Hajduk Split player who has also become a standard in Croatia's starting 11 this year!

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

Friday, 6 September 2019

Euro 2020 Qualifiers: Croatia Crushes Slovakia in Trnava (0:4)

September 6, 2019 - Croatia and Slovakia met in Trnava on Friday night as part of the Euro 2020 qualifiers. Three thousand Croatia fans made the trip to Slovakia to cheer on the 2018 World Cup finalists. 

The Croatia national football team returned on Friday to kick off the next round of the Euro 2020 qualifications. There are five games scheduled over the next three months, each of which could be decisive for Croatia’s spot in the competition next summer. The first in the series was played on Friday in Slovakia, which is followed by a visit to Baku against Azerbaijan three days later.

Croatia had an opportunity to move to the top of the group with Hungary, though Slovakia had the same plan in mind. Recall, Slovakia opened the qualifiers with a win against Hungary and a loss to Wales, but thanks to a 5:1 victory in Azerbaijan, they had a better goal differential than Croatia going into Friday’s qualifier. 

The World Cup finalists had not proven their true worth during these qualifications, though their win against Wales in Osijek gave coach Zlatko Dalic a bit of ease this summer. On Friday, however, Croatia was left without Ivan Rakitic and Mateo Kovacic, and a back injury for Tin Jedvaj put Croatia’s defense into question even more.

Croatia went into Friday’s game without the superstar lineup of the World Cup - and the starting 11 featured only captain Luka Modric, Dejan Lovren, Domagoj Vida, Ivan Perisic, Marcelo Brozovic, and Ante Rebic from the silver-medalist squad. Dalic instead had to rely on Dinamo goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic in goal, Karlo Bartolec and Borna Barisic in the defense, and Nikola Vlasic and Bruno Petkovic in the attack. 

Croatia had their first real chance of the game in the 8th minute when Modric shot over the goal, which was followed by a Brozovic crossbar moments later. Livakovic saved Slovakia’s first chance at goal in the 11th minute. 

Croatia came out playing the attacking game Dalic said they would, and spent most of the first half pressuring Slovakia’s defense. However, Croatia’s biggest chance came in the 28th minute off a Modric corner when Vida missed directly in front of the goal. Croatia had three corners to Slovakia’s zero by then.

Petkovic dribbled through Slovakia’s defense in the 30th minute for a one-on-one chance with the keeper, though the goalie’s leg saved his weak shot. Just four minutes later, Perisic hit the crossbar - and in the 37th minute, Petkovic missed another chance from the penalty area. 

Opportunity after opportunity, Croatia was left without luck, that is, until the 45th minute when the young Nikola Vlasic nailed a goal in the far corner for 0:1 Croatia at the half.

The World Cup finalists kept their momentum in the second half, which shocked all spectators as a goal by Ivan Perisic increased the lead to 0:2 in the 46th minute! 

Slovakia had a chance in the 51st minute, which Livakovic had no problem saving. Petkovic had yet another chance a few minutes later but hit over the goal. An incredible play between Rebic and Perisic saw Brozovic miss. Croatia's attacking game showed no signs of slowing down, and by the 60th minute, they were running circles around Slovakia's defense. 

And then it finally happened for Dinamo star Bruno Petkovic in the 73rd minute, who danced around Slovakia's stopper to score for 0:3! 

Substitute Brekalo's fancy footwork almost increased the lead even more in the last 10 minutes of the game, and Pasalic hit just wide of the goal with five minutes to go. 

It was more than clear that Croatia wasn't done scoring yet, and a diving header by defender Dejan Lovren increased the lead to 0:4 in the 87th minute, which was the final score of the game.

The 'Vatreni' will play Azerbaijan next on Monday at 6 pm in Baku.

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

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Young Croatian Footballers Among Best in Champions and Europa League

Uefa chose the best young footballers for the Champions League and Europa League, under the conditions that players are less than 24 years old and have not made a significant footprint in Europe until now. Two young Croatian footballers have made the list!

Monday, 5 November 2018

Nikola Vlašić Named Best Player of CSKA Moscow for Second Consecutive Month

Nikola Vlašić has experienced a complete revival since he came to CSKA Moscow on loan from Everton this summer. Vlašić has played 13 games, scored five goals, and secured two assists so far. 

Monday, 23 October 2017

Dalić Announces Lineup for Upcoming World Cup Playoff Against Greece

Zlatko Dalić has published his first lineup of the Croatian national team as the new coach, immediately making changes to his predecessor Ante Čačić.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Former Hajduk Footballer Nikola Vlašić Scores First Goal for Everton (Video)

While Everton drew at home to Apollon Limassol last night in their Europa League group stage match, a memorable “first” was recorded for Croatia’s own Nikola Vlašić. 

Thursday, 31 August 2017

It's Official: Nikola Vlašić Signs for Everton, Hajduk Completes Record Transfer

Hajduk fans have heavy hearts tonight as Nikola Vlašić completes his transfer to Everton Football Club.

Page 1 of 2