Monday, 8 March 2021

HNL Round 24 Recap: Dinamo Tops Rijeka 2:0, Osijek and Gorica Draw

March 8, 2021 - The 24th round of the Croatian First League was held from March 5 to 7, 2021. In this round, Dinamo tops Rijeka 2:0, and Osijek and Gorica draw at City Garden Stadium. 

Istra 1961 v. Sibenik (3:2)

Istra and Sibenik opened the 24th round on Friday, March 5, 2021, in Pula. 

Sahiti put Sibenik in the lead with one minute to go in the first half (0:1). Grzan scored a penalty for Istra 10 minutes later to equalize, and Ivancic put Istra in the lead two minutes after that for 2:1. Hara gave Istra the 3:1 lead in the 63rd minute, and Sibenik's Bulat scored for 3:2 in the 75th minute for the final result. 


Istra is currently in last place with 17 points, while Sibenik is in 6th place with 26. 

Slaven Belupo v. Lokomotiva (0:0)

Belupo and Lokomotiva met in Koprivnica on Saturday, March 6, 2021. 

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


Belupo is currently in 7th place with 22 points, while Lokomotiva is in 9th with 20. 

Hajduk v. Varazdin (2:0)

Hajduk and Varazdin met on Saturday, March 6, 2021, at Poljud Stadium in Split. 

Colina opened the match with a goal for Hajduk in the 8th minute (1:0). An own goal by Memija just before the half made it 2:0. Hajduk's Fossati and Varazdin's Guera Djou were given their second yellows and sent off the pitch in a dramatic end to the match. 


Hajduk is currently in 4th place with 32 points, while Varazdin is in 8th with 22. 

Osijek v. Gorica (1:1)

Osijek and Gorica met on Sunday, March 7, 2021, at City Garden Stadium. 

While the first half went without goals, Dieye gave Gorica the 0:1 lead in the 55th minute. Osijek didn't equalize until the 88th minute when Bohar scored a penalty for 1:1.  


Osijek is currently in 2nd place with 52 points, while Gorica is in 3rd with 47. 

Dinamo v. Rijeka (2:0)

Dinamo and Rijeka closed out the 24th round on Sunday, March 7, 2021, at Maksimir Stadium.

Ivanusec scored Dinamo's first goal in the 27th minute for 1:0 at the half. Orsic increased Dinamo's lead in the 65th minute for 2:0, which was the final result. 


Dinamo is currently in 1st place with 54 points, while Rijeka dropped to 5th with 32. 

You can see the full HNL table HERE

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

Friday, 5 March 2021

Opera Singers to Help in Post-COVID Rehabilitation

ZAGREB, 5 March, 2021 - Several professional opera singers on Friday launched the "Breathe" campaign to help as of 8 March in the rehabilitation of people who have recovered from COVID-19 but still have difficulty breathing.

The initiative came from Croatian National Theatre (HNK) Zagreb singers Ljubomir Puškarić, Adela Golac Rilović, Ivana Lazar, Ivica Trubić, Tomislav Mužek, Luciano Batinić, Tvrtko Stipić and Ozren Bilušić, and HNK Osijek singers Martina Puškarić and Berislav Puškarić, Ljubomir Puškarić said on Friday, adding that singers from all of Croatia were joining the initiative.

Puškarić said a Facebook group was created for everyone who had experienced serious COVID-19 symptoms and had difficulty breathing even after recovering.

He said those joining the group would obtain information on breathing exercises used by opera singers and be able to work with instructors, all professional operas singers, based on one-on-one online consultations.

To begin with, each participant will get at least one session a week in agreement with an instructor. The therapy is planned to last six weeks. The idea comes from England and a survey has shown that the psychophysical condition of persons working with opera singers has improved.

Thursday, 4 March 2021

Croatia Futsal Team Tops Ukraine, One Step Closer to Euros

March 4, 2021 - The Croatia futsal team recorded its third victory in the European Championship qualifiers in an excellent match against Ukraine in Osijek on Wednesday.

After the successful opening of the European Championship qualification cycle in 2022, with victories against Albania and Denmark, Marinko Mavrović's Croatia welcomed the main competitor for first place, the national team of Ukraine.

The match in Osijek could not have started better for Croatia: in the second minute, Suton finished a quick action for the lead. However, Pedias scored in the ninth minute from a distance to equalize, and shortly before the half, Malyshko beat Luketin for the Ukraine lead (2:1).


Slobodan Kadic

That result stood on the scoreboard until the last five minutes of the game. Perić first assisted Jelovčić for 2:2, and then they switched roles - Jelovčić served Perić, who hit the back of the net for the Croatia victory (3:2).


Slobodan Kadic

"Well done to the boys; we kept a high rhythm and pressure; it was not easy to play against them," coach Mavrović told HNTV.

"We have a good atmosphere in the team. Everyone gave a lot to this victory. This victory brought us very close to the European Championships; we did what we wanted," added the coach after his third appearance on the Croatia bench and the third victory.

Croatia now leads the table with nine points, Ukraine and Denmark have three points each, but one match less, while Albania is at the bottom without points.

A spot at the 2022 European Championships in the Netherlands will be won by the winners of eight groups and the six best second-placed teams.

The two weakest second-placed national teams will fight for a spot as well. 

In the second match of Group 1, Denmark won in Albania 3:1.

Croatia will play against Ukraine again on Sunday, March 7, this time in Zaporizhia.

Futsal EURO Qualifiers, Group 1:
1. Croatia 9 (3)
2. Ukraine 3 (2)
3. Denmark 3 (2)
4. Albania 0 (3)

Source: HNS

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


Thursday, 4 March 2021

10 PHOTOS: Incredible Images of the Best Croatian Artistic Photography 2021

March 4, 2021 – Following a national competition, the Croatian Photo Association have chosen the best Croatian artistic photography of the year. 10 incredible images will now represent Croatia in the prestigious Biennial of the International Federation of Photographic Art in Paris.

Following a national competition, the Croatian Photo Association (Hrvatski Fotosavez) have chosen the best Croatian artistic photography of the year. 10 incredible images will now represent Croatia in the prestigious Biennial of the International Federation of Photographic Art (FIAP) in Paris.

The International Federation of Photographic Art (FIAP - Fédération Internationale de l'Art Photographique)

The International Federation of Photographic Art (FIAP - Fédération Internationale de l'Art Photographique) is an international organization of national associations of photography. More than 85 national associations are members, comprising nearly one million individual photographers.

FIAP was founded by M. Van de Wijer of Belgium in 1946. Its first congress took place in Bern, Switzerland in 1950. At this time, one of the national photographic associations represented was that of Yugoslavia. Following the federation's break up, each of its former republics now runs its own national photography association. Continuing a 70 year tradition, they still enter the prestigious International Federation of Photographic Art Biennial.

FIAP congresses have grown so large over the years, they are now seperated into different categories and held once every two years. Black and white and nature photography have their biennials one year, and the next year colour photography gets its biennial. The competition congress visits different countries each year. The 2021 FIAP Colour Biennial will be held in Paris, France.

The FIAP Colour Biennial competition and congress is split into two parts. The oldest, and arguably the most prestigious part of the competition, sees the best photography appearing in print and displayed individually upon the walls of the host venue. 10 examples of the best Croatian artistic photography of the year have been chosen by Hrvatski Fotosavez to represent Croatia in this section of the event.

A further 20 Croatian entries will appear in the congress's other section – projected photography. These entries are submitted digitally, rather than in print, to be shown in projection at the event.

Following a national competition, the Croatian Photo Association have chosen the best Croatian artistic photography of the year to represent Croatia in the prestigious congress and competition.

The Croatian Photo Association (Hrvatski Fotosavez)

The Croatian Photo Association (Hrvatski Fotosavez) is the legal successor of the Photographic Association of Croatia, founded on March 27, 1949 in Zagreb, and the historical successor of the Croatian Amateur Photographic Association, founded on June 11, 1939 in Zagreb. Its members are individual photography clubs and societies from all over Croatia. From their ranks, the best Croatian artistic photography of the year have been chosen.

Photography and cinema club 'Picok' from Đurđevac (Foto kino klub Picok, Đurđevac)

For the 2021 entries to the Colour Photography Biennial in Paris, special mention must be given to the remarkable achievements of one society of photographers from the town of Đurđevac. Of the 30 photographs selected to represent Croatia in this year's competition, no less than 8 of them came from members of this one photography society. In addition to Mato Zeman and Željko Car, who are interviewed below, works by Ivan Hećimović and Ivan Nemet were also selected. According to these results, Photography and cinema club 'Picok' from Đurđevac are the most successful association in this year's Croatian Photo Association competition. Coincidentally, the four Đurđevac photographers had a large joint exhibition of award-winning photographs in Đurđevac just last year. After the event, all 40 works exhibited were donated by the photographers to the city of Đurđevac. Bravo Picoki!

FIAP, Hrvatski Fotosavez and the 10 photographers chosen for 2021 FIAP Colour Biennial have kindly given Total Croatia News exclusive permission to reproduce this year's print entries. Here, we profile the best Croatian artistic photography of the year and meet the photographers.

The Best Croatian Artistic Photography 2021

Damir Rajle 'Sunshine Road'

Damir_RajleSunshine_Road_1.jpegCroatian artistic photography by Damir Rajle

My name is Damir Rajle. I am semi-professional photographer from Osijek. My primary profession is cartographer and land surveyor, mostly involved in digital orthophoto and topographic maps. My photograph 'Sunshine Road' is a wine road in Baranja. I am very often in that exact place. But, that day, the setting sun was directly ahead and so I tried a couple of shots. Suddenly, a boy came along, silhouetting himself against the sunlit road. The naturally hilly landscape of the vineyard adds to the composition.

Dušan Grbac 'Žuti'

Grbac_Dusanuti.jpgCroatian artistic photography by Dušan Grbac

My name is Dušan Grbac and I was born in 1960, in Rovinj. I started shooting and developing black and white photography in 1975. I developed the photographs on my own in a small, analogue darkroom at home. In 1982 I became a member of the Photo Club Rovinj and thereafter participated in a number of exhibitions. In 2002 I embraced digital photography. I actually work as an IT specialist. In my free time, I like to engage in photography and I've held dozens of lectures and workshops about photography. I'd really like to pass on to others everything I've learned about photography over the years. 'Žuti' (Yellow) was actually taken in January 2006 in the Italian town of Dobbiaco. The annual balloon show was held at a temperature of -16 °C! This made the sky crystal blue. I couldn't resist that tonal contrast, the colours... and 'voila'.

Mirjana Spajić Buturac 'Saturn'

Mirjana_Spajic_ButuracSaturn_1.jpgCroatian artistic photography by Mirjana Spajić Buturac

My name is Mirjana Spajić Buturac. I'm originally from Vinkovci, but I have been living in Zagreb for 20 years. I studied in Osijek and by profession, I am a professor of mathematics and informatics. I've been interested in photography since my student days. However, it was a colleague, Professor Vladimir Šimunić that truly awoke my passion for photography in me and in 2014 I certified as a photographer, enrolled in Fotoklub Zagreb and started participating in photography competitions. I took an online course at Udemy to perfected my use of Photoshop and photo processing. I work at the School of Crafts for Personal Services in Zagreb, which, among other things, has a photography major, and in addition to mathematics and computer science, I now also teach digital photography. I am so happy that photography has become a part of my job! 'Saturn' was taken in December 2020. It shows drops of olive oil in water. Under the influence of ultraviolet light and a fluorescent poster under the bowl of water, the oil droplets took on a three-dimensional effect. My seven-year-old son Leon noticed that the largest droplet had a dark ring, like Saturn. That's how the photo got its name.

Mato Zeman 'Spring Fields'

Mato_ZemanSpringFields_1.jpgCroatian artistic photography by Mato Zeman

My name is Mato Zeman and photography has been my hobby for long time. I live in Kloštar Podravski, a small village in Podravina, between the river Drava on the north and Bilogora mountain on the south. In my full0time job I worked in the 112 Emergency Centre in Koprivnica, but I've now been retired for 2 years. Photography is my hobby for a long time. I've participated in several international photo contests. In 2015, FIAP awarded me the honorary title FIAP Artist and three years later the title EFIAP (Excellence Fédération Internationale de l'Art Photographique). I am a member of the Photo and Cinema club 'Picok' in Đurđevac. I'm also a member of the local artistic association 'Kloštranska paleta' in my home village. Two of my works were selected for FIAP 2021 Biennial of Colour Photography in France and will represent my country. I am very proud of this. The one appearing in print 'Spring Fields' was taken at the fields of young corn on the slopes of Bilogora. The rows of corn are in a nice S line, the sky is partly cloudy with the sun shining through.

Nenad Martić 'Red, White and Blue 2'

Nenad_MartiRedwhiteandblue2.jpgCroatian artistic photography by Nenad Martić

My name is Nenad Martić. I was born in 1951 in Zagreb, where I graduated from the Department of Fine Arts at the Faculty of Education, University of Zagreb.I devoted most of my professional career to graphic design and illustration, beginning in the 1980s with the Start and Svijet magazines. The second half of my career was marked by the gradual introduction of a new artistic expression; digital photography. Free of assignment of specific commissions and deadlines, artistic photography became a passion. I dedicated myself to it for the last ten years. I take different kinds of photographs, but I most prefer street photography. It's a kind of documentary photography, focusing on the nuances of human gestures and street context, capturing and conveying the moment to those who are not there. 2014 was a turning point for me because I joined Photo Club Zagreb. Thereafter, I had three solo exhibitions, was included in over a hundred group ones and won several international and national awards and nominations. These included the Ferdinand Soprano Grand Prix and the Viktor Hreljanovic Award from Photo Club Rijeka in 2019, most successful author and the most successful Croatian author at the 39th Zagreb Salona in 2020 and I won the prestigious Tošo Dabac Award 2019 for outstanding contribution to photography in Croatia. My photo 'Red, White and Blue 2' was taken on the island of Lošinj. The model is my daughter. It is one of a series of photographs taken with red cloth.

Silvija Butković 'Together'

Silvija_ButkoviTOGETHER_1_1.jpgCroatian artistic photography by Silvija Butkovic

My name is Silvija Butkovic and I was born in 1964 in Osijek, Croatia. As a child, I lived on the island Lošinj. I returned to Slavonia when I entered University. I now live and work in Đakovo as manager of tourism an public relations at the State Stud Farm Đakovo (National Lipizzan Stud Farm Đakovo - Državna ergela Đakovo). Language and photography are my great loves. Lately, I've been making photo haigas, a Japanese combination of poetry and photography. The World Haiku Association recently awarded me the title Master of Haiga for my work. You can see some of it on their website Lošinj and the heart of the Slavonian plain are a constant inspiration. I also adore horses and I love watching them through the camera. I'm a member of 'Photo-cinema Club Djakovo', 'Photo-Club Rijeka' and 'Matica Hrvatska'

Željko Car 'Spring'

eljko_CarSpring_1.jpgCroatian artistic photography by Željko Car

My name is Željko Car. I'm a lawyer by profession. I first published photos in newspapers (I was a correspondent for several). Since 1984 I've participated in exhibitions in many countries around the world. I have more than 300 awards and diplomas, and I received the honorary title of EFIAP. Two of my photos were selected for the 2021 Biennial of Colour Photography in France - 'Spring' and 'Snow on the river bank'. Both photos were taken near Đurđevac, the city where I live. With 'Spring' I wanted to show the beauty and ambient values of the area where I live. It was actually taken in the spring of 2000.

Aleksandar Tomulić 'Valencia 5'

Aleksandar_TomuliValencia5_1.jpgCroatian artistic photography by Aleksandar Tomulić

My name is Aleksandar Tomulić and I'm from Rijeka. I'm a semi-professional photographer. My main profession is IT. I've been taking photos since I was a kid. I was born in 1967. I became more seriously involved in photography in 2004. It's the magic of capturing an unrepeatable moment that fascinates me, and the feel for light and composition. I prefer street photography and seaside motifs, and I like to experiment with abstract images. Since 2013 I've volunteered to give classes and workshops. I'd like to pass on what I've learned about photography. I've had 15 one-man shows, participated in over 500 group shows and received over 320 awards. The Croatian Photo Association have selected my work ten times to represent Croatia at FIAP Biennales. I'm a member of 'Fotoklub Color' and 'Fotoklub Pag.' My photo 'Valencia 5' was taken, of course, in Valencia in the City of Art and Science. I took the shot in 2018. That new part of Valencia is the concept of famous architect Santiago Calatrava.

Ante Jaša 'Knot in Passage'

Ante_JaaKnot_in_passage.jpgCroatian artistic photography by Ante Jaša

My name is Ante Jaša. I was born on 19th October 1951 in Kukljica-Zadar. From the earliest days of my childhood, I played with a 'box camera' we had at home. My grandfather bought it in New York. He could never have known this would lead to his grandson having solo photography exhibitions in out home town. In 1970, my photography and writing started to be published in dailies (newspapers), weeklies and journals. By 1999 I'd progressed to be on the editorial board of the feuilleton “Mareta” (Wave) in the paper “Narodni list” - Zadar. I've exhibited my works at 418 collective exhibitions on every continent and have received numerous awards. I'm a member of the photo clubs 'Zagreb', 'Zadar' and 'Kornat' Kukljica. Sea and stone are the main motifs of my work. There's an inherent tension between them which I'm exploring. By taking photographs of both traditional and modern ways of life on the islands near Zadar, I show their natural ambience, the sea as well as on the mainland around Zadar. My photo 'Knot in Passage' was actually taken in 2015. The photo shows the entrance to the Art Gallery in Zadar. In the courtyard of the entrance was a modern metal sculpture. I put the sculpture in the foreground. The entrance is wide open and a passerby can be seen on the street. The sculpture seems to be inviting people to enter the gallery.

Ivan Nemet 'Field Geometry'

Ivan_NemetFieldGeometry_1.jpgCroatian artistic photography by Ivan Nemet

My name is Ivan Nemet. I was born in Kloštar Podravski. I am retired and I spent my entire working life working on oil wells all over the world. Photography has been a hobby since my early days. I love all kinds of photos, but my favourite is landscape photography. Over the last few years, I’ve quite often been taking photos with a drone. Photographs from a bird's eye view are often interesting because they reveal compositions that cannot be seen from the ground. I've participated in various international photography exhibitions, one of them being this year's 29th Biennale in France. The Croatian jury selected two of my photos. They were both taken using a drone. The name of the first photo is 'Reed car'. It was made in the winter on the mountain Bilogora. The name of the other photo is 'Field Geometry'. The emphasis is on the lines created by the action. Both were made not far from where I live, in the continental part of Croatia, between the river Drava and the small mountain Bilogora. The name of this part of Croatia is Podravina.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

Read the Croatian Travel Update in your language - now available in 24 languages.

Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community.

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Croatian Cup Quarterfinals: Rijeka Knocks Out Osijek, Dinamo Tops Belupo

March 3, 2021 - The first two rounds of the Croatian Cup quarterfinals were held on Wednesday. Rijeka and Dinamo are the first two Croatian clubs to secure their spot in the semifinals. 

The current Croatian Cup titleholders celebrated 2:1 on the road against Osijek in the first quarterfinal match of this year's Croatian Cup.

Rijeka's Robert Murić scored the leading goal in the 7th minute for 1:0. Osijek equalized in the 14th minute thanks to captain Mile Škorić. In the 35th minute, Rijeka goalkeeper Nevistić saved Mierez's penalty. The winning goal for Rijeka was scored again by Murić from a penalty kick in the 71st minute.


Slobodan Kadic

In his first game on the Rijeka bench, Goran Tomić came to victory and took the defending champions to the semifinals.

This was the first time Nenad Bjelica's Osijek were defeated at City Garden Stadium. The match at City Garden Stadium was reffed by Mario Zebec. 

Dinamo and Slaven Belupo met in the second quarterfinal match at 5 pm at Maksimir, only three days after Dinamo won against Belupo 3:0 at the same stadium. 

Dinamo coach Zoran Mamić rested goalkeeper Dominik Livaković and defender Rasmus Lauritsen this match, instead giving a chance to Mario Gavranović, Marko Tolić, and Lirim Kastrati. 

While the first half ended 0:0, a Dinamo penalty scored by Bruno Petkovic in the 70th minute helped the Zagreb club turn the game around. Captain Arijan Ademi scored eight minutes later for 2:0, which was the final score of the game. 

Recall, Gorica v Hajduk and Oriolik v Istra 1961 will play their quarterfinal round matches on March 16 and 17, 2021. Hajduk secured the last quarterfinal spot on Tuesday after beating Zagreb 3:0 at Veslačka Street Stadium in Zagreb.

The semi-final matches are scheduled for March 31, and the final will be played on May 19, 2021. 

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

Monday, 1 March 2021

Osijek to Host European Shooting Championship this Spring

ZAGREB, 1, March 2021 - The 2021 European Championship in Shooting will take place in the eastern Croatian city of Osijek from 20 May to 6 June, and the Croatian Armed Forces will support local authorities in the organisation of the event.

Recently, Defence Minister Mario Banožić signed an agreement with the local authorities whereby the Croatian army undertakes to offer assistance in the preparation of the championship in the Pampas shooting complex.

Addressing the contract-signing ceremony, the director of the organising committee, Zroan Ćelić, said that about 1,500 athletes plus 500 persons in their teams would arrive in Osijek for this ESC contest.

The competing athletes come from 48 countries. During the 16-day-long championship, they will take part in 78 events.

Monday, 1 March 2021

HNL Round 23 Recap: Osijek Comes Back to Beat Varazdin 3:2, Hajduk Tops Rijeka Again

March 1, 2021 - The 23rd round of the Croatian First League was held from February 26 to 28, 2021. In this round, Osijek comes back to beat Varazdin, and Hajduk records another win at Rujevica against Rijeka. 

Varazdin v. Osijek (2:3)

Varazdin and Osijek opened the 23rd round on Friday, February 26, 2021, in Varazdin. 

Peco scored the first goal of the match in the 16th minute for 1:0 Varazdin, which Herrera increased to 2:0 five minutes later. Varazdin could not hold onto their lead for long, with an Osijek penalty in the 52nd minute (Mierez) bringing them back in the game. Santini equalized for Osijek in the 68th minute, and Mierez scored again for the 2:3 win 10 minutes later. 


Varazdin is currently in 7th place with 22 points, while Osijek is in 2nd with 51. 

Sibenik v. Lokomotiva (0:0)

Sibenik and Lokomotiva met on Saturday, February 27, 2021, in Sibenik. 

Neither team was able to score in the 0:0 draw. 


Sibenik is currently in 6th place with 26 points, while Lokomotiva is in 9th with 19. 

Rijeka v. Hajduk (0:1)

The thrilling Adriatic Derby between Rijeka and Hajduk was played on Saturday, February 27, 2021, at Rujevica Stadium. 

The only goal of the match came in the 72nd minute when Umut scored thanks to Livaja's debut assist for 0:1 Hajduk. Rijeka was awarded a penalty in the final seconds of the match (96'), but Andrijasevic shot at goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic for the critical Hajduk win. Rijeka's coach Simon Rožman resigned after the match, and the club should announce a new coach soon. 


Rijeka is currently in 4th place with 32 points, while Hajduk is in 5th place with 29. 

Gorica v. Istra 1961 (2:1)

Gorica and Istra met on Sunday, February 28, 2021, in Velika Gorica. 

Istra's Bande scored the first goal of the match in the 25th minute, which was the score at the half. Lovric equalized for 1:1 in the 50th minute, and Mudrinski gave Gorica the lead in the 73rd minute for the 2:1 final result. 


Gorica is currently in 3rd place with 46 points, while Istra is in 10th place with 14. 

Dinamo v. Slaven Belupo (3:0)

Dinamo and Slaven Belupo closed out the 23rd round on Sunday, February 28, 2021, at Maksimir Stadium. 

The first half went without goals after a VAR decision called Lauritsen's goal offside in the 37th minute. Gvardiol scored Dinamo's first goal in the 60th minute, followed by Tolic four minutes later for 2:0. Gavranovic made it 3:0 in the 90th minute. 


Dinamo is currently in 1st place with 51 points, while Belupo is in 8th with 21. 

You can see the full HNL table HERE.  

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

Sunday, 28 February 2021

Croatian Graduate Perspective: The View from Rebeka in Osijek

February 28, 2021 – A very positive and optimistic view in the Croatian Graduate Perspective series comes from Rebeka in Osijek. "In Slavonia, where I come from, the number of those leaving has greatly increased in the last couple of years. So maybe if we invest more in our own communities to improve opportunities there, especially rural ones, we could give our young people a chance for growth and prosperity here," says Rebeka. This is her story.

With many young people emigrating from Croatia, what keeps those who decided to stay (at least for now)?

The emigration of young people from Croatia in search of better business opportunities and living standards, unfortunately, is a well-known story. Each of us young people in Croatia knows at least a few people from their environment who, at one point, said that enough was enough and decided to seek happiness somewhere abroad.

According to official Eurostat data, from 2015 to 2019, Croatia's population decreased by 4.26 inhabitants per 1,000 citizens only thanks to emigration. Therefore, the Croatian emigration rate is the second-worst in the European Union (after Lithuania).

These data indicate that economic prosperity influences population decisions to emigrate. Besides, due to the exodus of the young and working population, there is an additional reduction in GDP per capita that closes the cycle of poverty and decline in Croatia.

However, there are many who are aware of the poor position of young people in Croatia but still do not want to give up and decide to stay in Croatia. We're wondering what do those young people, recent graduates, think about this whole situation and what are their reasons for staying in Croatia.

We continue our series with Rebeka from Osijek in eastern Croatia.

First of all, please introduce yourself. What are you studying/what did you study? Do you have a job currently? 

Hello! My name is Rebeka, and I am currently studying for my master's degree in Social Work at the University of Zagreb. I have several student jobs, where I work occasionally. One of them, where I work most of the time, is a shelter for children and adults, domestic violence victims.

What is it like being a student/recent graduate in Croatia during this coronavirus time?

Well, I plan to graduate in July or September, depending on the coronavirus situation, which includes my plans for this summer. I know some of my colleagues who graduated in 2020 still haven't found jobs. So, to be honest, although I'm looking forward to graduating and finally start to work in my profession, it's going to be challenging, especially at this time. But I believe that if you try hard enough and are persistent and patient, something will eventually come up.


Osijek / Hrvoje Dumančić

What are your experiences searching for a job in your profession in Croatia?

As a student, you can't really work as a social worker. So, I don't have experience with this yet. 

What do you think of the Croatian Government's efforts to provide opportunities for graduates?

It is important to educate students about their abilities after they complete their studies. Knowing that graduates will play a significant role in economic recovery, I think that greater support of the Croatian Government should be given to recent graduates who will now enter the labor market due to coronavirus, where there are fewer job opportunities and increased competition.

Many young people your age decide to emigrate from Croatia to find a better job opportunity and/or life standard. What do you think about it?

As a result of our economy's situation, I think that young people lack safety and stability here in Croatia, and those two are essential components of one's life. Also, young intellectuals are looking to expand their knowledge and experiences further and find a variety of possibilities for improvements, whether in professional or personal life. In the end, I think everyone chooses what they consider the best option for themselves in that given moment.


Rebeka in Kopački Rit Nature Park

In your opinion, what would encourage young people to stay in Croatia?

It is excellent that the EU's current emigration dynamic gives us opportunities for free flow in Europe, but on the other hand, our hometowns and communities are left empty. For example, in Slavonia, where I come from, the number of those leaving has greatly increased in the last couple of years. So, in my opinion, maybe if we invest more in our own communities to improve opportunities there, especially rural ones, we could give our young people a chance for growth and prosperity here.

Have you ever considered moving out of Croatia and why?

I would be lying if I said I haven't. Although I would love to stay here in Croatia for now, I also try to be open to life and new experiences to see what the future will bring. 

As a recent graduate, what is your impression of the education system in Croatia? What do you think is good about it and what could be better?

I think that our educational system develops a highly skilled workforce that can compete globally. Since primary school, we learn very extensively about various subjects. In my opinion, we should increase optional subjects and reduce compulsory subjects. Great emphasis is also placed on memorizing facts that should be diminished, and we should engage more problem-solving tasks and increase the ability to learn in practice.

Based on your own experience, can you say that everything is possible in Croatia if you work hard, work on yourself, are educated and ambitious?

I haven't had a bad experience with this one, so I believe yes! Of course, I think that politics is largely involved, but that's another story.

If you could change only one thing in Croatia, what would it be, and why do you think it's important?

Awareness of the beauty we have in front of our eyes, and to learn to cherish it.


As a young Croatian, what are you most proud of in Croatia?

A lot of things! We have so much natural richness in the country – beautiful national parks, mountains, fields, sea, fantastic food and warm people, and by far the best fans when it comes to sports. We are an exceptional nation, always quarreling and arguing. Everyone is against everyone, but when a crisis occurs, we are all there together, united, and always ready to help.

Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future of Croatia, and will it be a better or worse place for your children?

I would say that I am an optimist, and I like to look at things realistically, as they are, with a dose of optimism. Many things are out of my control, but I know that what is in my power is that I can give my best to become a great social worker one day and, what is more important, a great human being.

And as Viktor Frankl once said, we are those who were being questioned by life – daily and hourly. At every given moment, we have the power to make decisions that will lead us to a better future for ourselves and our children. I think that every time has its good and bad things. We just need to find the good ones to focus on because bad things will always happen – it is just a matter of our perspective.


Osijek / Hrvoje Dumančić

Are you a student or recent graduate who would like to contribute your voice and experiences to this series? If yes, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject "Graduate."

To read more from the Croatian Graduate Perspective series, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 22 February 2021

HNL Round 22 Recap: Osijek Tops Rijeka 2:0 at City Garden

February 22, 2021 - The 22nd round of the Croatian First League was held from February 19 to 21, 2021. In this round, Osijek tops Rijeka 2:0 at City Garden Stadium. 

Slaven Belupo v. Sibenik (2:2)

Belupo and Sibenik opened the 22nd round on Friday, February 19, 2021, in Koprivnica. 

Ampem scored for the Sibenik lead in the 21st minute for 0:1, which Juric increased to 0:2 in the 39th minute. 

Knoll and Ilicic came back with goals for Belupo in the final minutes of the first half to equalize 2:2, which was the final result.


Belupo is currently in 8th place with 21 points, while Sibenik is in 6th with 25. 

Istra 1961 v. Varazdin (0:1)

Istra and Varazdin met on Saturday, February 20, 2021, in Pula. 

The first half went without goals as Istra's Loncar missed a penalty in the 32nd minute. The only goal of the match came in the 88th minute when Varazdin's Senic scored for 0:1, which was the final result. 


Istra is currently in last place with 14 points, while Varazdin is in 7th with 22. 

Lokomotiva v. Gorica (0:3)

Lokomotiva and Gorica met on Saturday, February 20, 2021, in Zagreb. 

Steenvoorden opened Gorica's scoring spree with an early goal in the 10th minute, which was the score going into the half. Dieye increased Gorica's lead to 0:2 in the 74th minute, and Mitrovic made it 0:3 less than 10 minutes later for 0:3. 


Lokomotiva is currently in 9th place with 18 points, while Gorica is in 3rd with 43. 

Osijek v. Rijeka (2:0)

Osijek and Rijeka closed out the 22nd round on Sunday, February 21, 2021, at City Garden Stadium. 

Osijek's Mierez scored the first goal of the match in the 25th minute for 1:0 at the half. Mierez increased Osijek's lead to 2:0 in the 69th minute, which was the final result. 


Osijek is currently in 2nd place with 48 points, while Rijeka is in 4th with 32. 

The eternal derby between Hajduk and Dinamo at Poljud was postponed as 12 Hajduk players are infected with COVID-19. The match will be played in the first possible free term, and the decision on the date will be made later. You can read more about the decision on

You can see the full HNL table HERE

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

Monday, 15 February 2021

HNL Round 21 Recap: Dinamo Tops Osijek, Corona Rips through Hajduk

 February 15, 2021 - The 21st round of the Croatian First League was held from February 12 to 14, 2021.  This round features the battle for first place, in which Dinamo tops Osijek, while COVID-19 rips through Hajduk, forcing the postponement of Hajduk v Slaven Belupo at Poljud.

Varazdin v. Lokomotiva (0:1)

Varazdin and Lokomotiva opened the 21st round on Friday, February 12, 2021, in Varazdin. 

The only goal of the match came thanks to a penalty in the 29th minute, which Pivaric scored for 0:1. Lokomotiva's Leksic was sent off in the 2nd minute of added time at the end of the match. 


Varazdin is currently in 8th place with 19 points, while Lokomotiva is in 9th with 18 points. 

Gorica v. Sibenik (1:0)

Gorica and Sibenik met in Velika Gorica on Saturday, February 13, 2021. 

While the first half went without goals, Babec scored for Gorica to make it 1:0 in the 71st minute, which was the final score of the match. 


Gorica is currently in 3rd place with 39 points, while Sibenik is in 6th with 24. 

Dinamo v. Osijek (1:0)

Dinamo and Osijek met for the highly anticipated derby on Saturday, February 13, 2021, at Maksimir Stadium. 

Yet another low-scoring match, the only goal came in the 15th minute thanks to Orsic, which give Dinamo the 1:0 victory. Ristovski received a red card in the 77th minute, forcing Dinamo to play with a man down for the remainder of the match. 


Dinamo is currently in 1st place with 48 points, while Osijek is in 2nd with 45. 

Rijeka v. Istra 1961 (1:1)

Rijeka and Istra closed out the 21st round at Rujevica Stadium on Sunday, February 14, 2021. 

Grzan gave Istra the early lead in the 6th minute, but only two minutes later, Rijeka's Muric came back to equalize for 1:1, which was the final score of the match. 


Rijeka is currently in 4th place with 31 points, while Istra is in last place with 14 points. 

Hajduk was ravaged by COVID-19, which forced the postponement of their match against Slaven Belupo at Poljud on Sunday. The biggest derby against Dinamo on February 21 is under question as well. 

The Split club announced that it would ask for the match to be postponed because as many as 20 of the 33 members who traveled to Osijek and Rijeka have been infected. Namely, 12 players and eight staff members are COVID-19 positive. 

Split epidemiologists will send samples to Zagreb on Monday to find out if it is a new strain of coronavirus, or the UK variant. 

You can see the full HNL table HERE

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

Page 9 of 44