Thursday, 27 May 2021

Stipe Miočić: "I Want the UFC Title Fight at Poljud" (VIDEO)

May 27, 2021 - Stipe Miočić revealed to Croatian Sports that he wouldn't mind having the UFC title fight at Poljud Stadium in Split. 

Legendary UFC fighter Stipe Miočić is not giving up on his career and hopes to return the UFC champion belt he lost against Francis Ngannou.

As UFC boss Dana White recently hinted, Miočić should soon be in the ring against the winner of the Francis Ngannou - Derrick Lewis fight. 

Gol.hr reports that Miočić recently interviewed with Croatian Sports, a Croatian media portal in the United States, and revealed that he should soon arrive in Croatia soon and wishes to fight at Poljud.

"Oh yeah, that would be amazing. I love that Croatian fan mentality, Croatia is a perfect country… I am for the fight in Croatia, at Poljud, let's do it," said Miočić for Croatian Sports.

Journalist Ante Kvartuč asked Miočić if he had watched his beloved Hajduk live. Recall, Miočić was at Poljud during his last visit to Croatia and often pointed out that he was a fan of the famous Split club.

"No, I'm more of a guy who follows the national team," Stipe said honestly.

Croatia has Cro Cop, bronze and silver at the football World Cup, Goran Ivanišević, Marin Čilić, water polo players, basketball players… What do they have to achieve such great success?

"It can't be explained; it's all up to the mentality. You get into something, and you don't go out without achieving something," explains Miočić.

Back in March, and for the second time in his career, Stipe Miočić lost the UFC heavyweight title. Stipe suffered a heavy defeat in the fight for the UFC title in a rematch against Francis Ngannou. The Cameroonian defeated Miočić with a brutal knockout at the beginning of the second round. 

UFC president Dana White recently said that Miočić would fight the winner of Ngannou vs. Derrick Lewis, a highly anticipated fight that should be held this August. Miočić said he is only waiting for the contract to make it real. 

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Friday, 7 May 2021

Highlights of the Week: 5 Big Events in Croatia from May 3-9, 2021

May 7, 2021 - TCN's regular retrospect of Highlights of the week, through the selection of TCN's reporter Ivor Kruljac. 

President Milanović loved by locals in Plaški. Firefighters quickly reacted to the fire in Zagreb recycle yard. Pula celebrated its liberation while Šibenik received new doses of coronavirus vaccines. Dinamo and Hajduk end their match in a tie. Overall another interesting week in Croatia, and here are more details on all highlights.

 Highlights of the week: President Milanović loved in Plaški county

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© Kristina Stedul Fabac/ PIXSELL

Croatian president Zoran Milanović visited Plaški county near Ogulin on Tuesday to visit the newly-build Firefighter's home and Plaški Culture Home. The locals welcomed president Milanović with ovations, and many use the opportunity to handshake and take a photo with the president. As Večernji List reports, Milanović took the visit as an opportunity to comment on the hate speech incident at Borovo Selo. He stated that the President of Serbian National Council Milorad Pupovac and Croatian Prime Minister „should use the police, but they don't, they are causing incidents.

Highlights of the Week: Pula celebrating its liberation in WW2

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© Srecko Niketic/ PIXSELL

Pula celebrated its annual liberation day and the Pula City Day, marked on May 5. In Tito's park, the traditional commemoration to the fallen WW2 soldiers of Tito's partisan army saw Tiziano Sošić (president of Pula City Council), Elena Puh Belci (vice mayor of Pula), Aleksandar Matić (chief of the City of Pula Office) and Fabrizio Radin (vice-county ruler of Istria county) paid their respects. Representatives of associations of anti-fascist fighters and anti-fascist of the city of Pula were present too. 

 Highlights of the Week: Dinamo and Hajduk end with an even score 1:1

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© Milan Sabic/ PIXSELL

Hajduk and Dinamo's eternal opponents played another game at Hajduk's home of Poljud Stadium in Split on Wednesday. The match was the 22nd round in Croatian First League, and fans couldn't wait for it as the game was postponed.

Hajduk opened the match well and had a chance to take the lead in the first 20 seconds. Kačaniklić received an excellent long ball and ran on the right side. He rushed into the penalty area and shot diagonally, but Livaković came out and closed his corner. Dinamo improved and took the lead in the 16th minute with a goal by Majer, and Livaja returned the favor in the 44th minute. Diamantakos hit the crossbar in the final minutes of the match but without success.

After three victories in the previous three clashes with Hajduk this season, Dinamo failed to achieve maximum performance and almost mathematically secured the title but entered the last four rounds with a seven-point advantage over Osijek. The fail happened despite Dinamo facing Hajduk with the strongest possible lineup.  

Highlights of the Week: Vaccination in Šibenik continues successfully

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© Hrvoje Jelavic/ PIXSELL

Larger quantities of vaccines came to Šibenik on Friday, allowing vaccination in Baldeki Sports Hall to go without problems for the second day in the row. The vaccination attracts a number of citizens, so the area got quite crowded.

Highlights of the Week: Recycling yard in Zagreb on fire, reasons unclear

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© Matija Habljak/ PIXSELL

Zagreb's recycling yard, located on Sarajevska Cesta in Novi Zagreb, was victimized by fire but quickly localized and put under control on Tuesday. The fire caught four containers, and 21 firefighters with six fire trucks rushed to the field. Police investigated the cause of the fire, but the reason is, for the moment, unknown. Firefighters managed to operate despite the lack of hydrants, and the thick white smoke was noticed by citizens who live in the buildings close to the yard, reported Večernji List. 

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Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Croatia's Eternal Derby: Hajduk and Dinamo Play 1:1 at Poljud

May 5, 2021 - Hajduk and Dinamo met in Croatia's Eternal Derby on Wednesday, playing 1:1 in the postponed match of the Croatian First League's 22nd round. 

Dinamo took the lead in the 16th minute with a goal by Majer, and Livaja equalized in the 44th minute. Diamantakos hit the crossbar in the final minutes of the match. 

Dinamo came to Poljud with the strongest possible lineup, hoping to secure the points needed to defend the Croatian championship title. On the other hand, Hajduk needed a victory to keep pace in the fight for Europe after a win against Rijeka last weekend.

Hajduk opened the match well and had a chance to take the lead in the first 20 seconds. Kačaniklić received an excellent long ball and ran on the right side. He rushed into the penalty area and shot diagonally, but Livaković came out and closed his corner.

Dinamo made a lot of mistakes in the opening, but the first cardinal mistake was made by Marco Fossati, who Dinamo quickly punished. The Hajduk player lost the ball near the goal line; Petković took advantage of his mistake and entered the penalty area. Petković found Majer, who hit the opposite corner with his head from the top of the box.

Additional pressure from Dinamo was expected after the lead but they left the ball to Hajduk and waited for counters. Hajduk played smart and controlled the match.

In the 33rd minute, Jurić nailed the penalty area, but Stefan Simić shot straight at Livaković. In the next attack, Ivanušec shot well from about 20 meters, but Kalinić defended even better.

Hajduk played better nearing halftime, and in the 41st minute, they had another great chance. Livaja masterfully played Jurić, but Livaković reacted superbly. 

Hajduk deservedly equalized a minute before the end of the first half after a big mistake by Dinamo's defense. Lauritsen reacted desperately, Theophile lost focus on Livaja, and Hajduk's best player scored for 1:1.

Ivanušec was subbed off at halftime for Kastrati, and Tramezzani played Diamantakos instead of Ljubičić.

The tempo of the second half was dull until the 61st minute when Petković shot high over the goal. Kastrati missed three minutes later.

Hajduk, who played well in the first hour, started to lose strength, which became more and more obvious as the match came to an end. However, Diamantakos hit the crossbar in the final minutes. 

After three victories in the previous three clashes with Hajduk this season, Dinamo failed to achieve maximum performance and almost mathematically secured the title but entered the last four rounds with a seven-point advantage over Osijek.

Hajduk has not inched much closer to third place, which certainly leads to Europe.

Source: Index.hr

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Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Marko Livaja Returns to Hajduk after 11 Years!

February 17, 2021 - Croatian striker Marko Livaja returns to his hometown club, Hajduk Split!

Marko Livaja returns to Poljud! The experienced 27-year-old striker returned to the Split club after 11 years and signed a contract with Hajduk until the end of the current season after terminating his contract with the Greek first league team AEK.

After many years, Marko will fulfill his great wish and boyhood dream to play an official match for Hajduk's first team. He made six appearances for Hajduk, but all in friendly matches.

In 2010, as a sixteen-year-old, he left Hajduk for Inter Milan, where he played 13 official matches and scored four goals.

In the meantime, he played for Swiss Lugano, Italian clubs Cesena, Atalanta, Empoli, Russian Rubin Kazan, Spanish Las Palmas, and Greek club AEK from Athens, for which he played for the past two seasons and collected 147 official appearances with 42 goals scored.

 

Livaja played for all the younger selections of the Croatia national team, while he made a total of four appearances for the first team.

"I am happy to be back home after so much time, and I am looking forward to new opportunities and challenges here. I am glad that I will try to achieve goals with my beloved club, and I hope for better results," said Marko after signing for Hajduk.

"Marko, welcome back to Hajduk, and we wish you good luck and success in the white jersey!" Hajduk concluded in its official announcement

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Monday, 1 February 2021

Love Declaration: Billboard Proposal In Split Captures Croatia's Heart

February 1, 2021 – A bold declaration of love that first captured hearts in the city of Split has now travelled all across Croatia, as one city resident requested the hand of his beloved in a billboard proposal

Dominating the skyline on the city's northern shores, Poljud is perhaps the best known - and most visually impressive – football stadium in Croatia. Holding near 35, 000 people and boasting sleekly curved roofs on opposite sides, you can't help but admire the relatively modern arena when it is in eyesight.

But, over recent days, the gaze of city residents has drawn by a competing spectacle nearby. In an unabashed declaration of love and intent, one Split resident has placed a billboard proposal within eyesight of the stadium and the local swimming pools. The petition for marriage has captured the hearts of any passing by.

Screenshot_142.pngHow local media outlet Dalmatinski Portal revealed the romantic request. Their story has since been picked up by national media and captured hearts all across Croatia © Dalmatinski Portal screenshot

Translated, the text of the billboard proposal reads:

"Baby
Here's where we met
Here's where you took my hand
Here's where I ask for your hand"

The billboard proposal was pictured and the romantic request revealed by local media outlet Dalmatinski Portal. Many Split residents had already seen the billboard proposal for themselves – it is prominently positioned near the crossroads where Osmih mediteranskih igara, Put Supavla and Ulica Zrinsko Frankopanska meet, in the area of the city which is also called Poljud. But, the story has since been picked up by national media in Croatia and has now raised hearts and smiles all across the country. And they say romance is dead!

No word has yet arrived as to whether the billboard proposal has been accepted. Perhaps the response might be issued in a more private manner? Or, if the recipient is as bold in expression as the proposer, perhaps keep your eyes peeled on the billboards of Split for a joyous 'yes'.

Wednesday, 16 December 2020

Hajduk and HNS Meet About New Poljud Pitch

December 16, 2020 - Hajduk and HNS met on Tuesday in Split to discuss installing a new Poljud pitch, which should begin in May next year.

An operational meeting was held on Tuesday at Poljud between representatives of HNK Hajduk, led by the President of the Management Board Lukša Jakobušić, and the Croatian Football Federation, led by the Executive Director Marijan Kustić. The topic of the meeting, which lasted a little less than an hour, was installing a new lawn on the main pitch of Poljud Stadium.

The following conclusions were reached:

"The common conclusion is that it is not possible to carry out the complete works for laying down a new pitch until January 30. The reason is the upcoming holidays, i.e., the impossibility to acquire and begin the construction process, preparatory works, installation, and putting the lawn into full operation in such a short time. The option to start work in January was considered. Still, the completion would be only at the beginning of March, which would prevent Hajduk from playing at least four championship matches in the month of the Club's 110th birthday, which includes the biggest Croatian derby at its stadium.

- It was agreed that due to logistical, technical, and time constraints, the replacement of the lawn would start in May, which gives enough time to enter the next season with a new pitch.

- HNS and Hajduk will sign an agreement on the installation of a hybrid lawn at the beginning of 2021. The city will give consent to Hajduk to change the pitch.

- An additional reason for setting up the pitch in May is the possibility to donate our current field to one of the second division teams in Dalmatia. According to the previous request, it was agreed in principle that the field would be donated to the Dalmatian second league club Croatia Zmijavci, and this is possible only after the end of our and their season," stated Hajduk on its official website

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Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Croatia will be Pride of People Again, Says Dalic Ahead of Portugal at Poljud

November 17, 2020 - Croatia national team coach Zlatko Dalic held a press conference before the final Nations League match this season when the 2018 World Cup finalists will host the 2016 European champions Portugal at Poljud in Split. 

Everyone must do their best

"In Portugal and in the first half in Sweden, we were not aggressive, combative, compact, we ran a little, and against such quality rivals you can't be at 80 percent, but everyone has to do their best. We were in trouble there. In Portugal, we didn't manage: they played their game, and we were weak. This game means a lot to us, we want to stay in League A, and I hope for an interesting and solid game."

We will be the pride of our people again

"I am aware that the results and our game are not good; no one has to tell me that. This is not the level of a year or two ago; this is our reality. This is the process of creating a new national team, and I stand behind it. I am sure that we will do everything to make it much better in March and at the Euros, to be competitive. I told the players that they must not stop believing in themselves and their quality and that one or two defeats cannot erase all the good from the past and that we will be at the level again, a national team that is the pride of our people. It doesn't look like that now, but it is the best that Croatia has now. We are fighting, we agree, and we are going to get a good result tomorrow to finish this year nicely."

A coach full of motivation and energy

"I am frustrated with the situation around me, but this is my job. I must not show dissatisfaction, and I have to get the most out of it because it was my dream to be the Croatia coach, and I am proud of it. I am full of motivation and energy to do something, and nothing will shake me. I'm a coach; I know the pressure is huge, but I'm not afraid of anything; I'm doing the best I can. I've done everything I imagined."

Let them show and prove themselves

"Pongračić dropped out today, we don't have seven or eight first-team players, and we have a lot of problems that we have to solve from hour to hour. I have an idea of ​​the lineup; Bradarić will go to the left flank; I want to give him a chance at his stadium because I think he is the future. Lovren is our only stopper so far, so we called Škorić, there is also Juranović. Everyone is in rhythm, everyone is playing, and they will get a chance, let them show and prove themselves. Neither Budimir nor Petković can last the whole game. We miss the last midfielder; without that, we have problems, and we will try to find a solution so that Modrić and Kovačić can be turned towards the attack. We always want to win."

Portugal is one of the best

"Portugal is a great team, it has quality players, and they want to win every game, just like us. We don't expect an easy job, Portugal is one of the best. They have young players like Felix and Jota, who fit in well with the older ones like Ronaldo and Pepe. They rightly hope for a great result again. We are second in the world, and we try to stay that way. We are going through a change of generations, so we are not at the level we were, but we will be there again, and we will be competitive with the best like Portugal, Spain, and France."

Cristiano Ronaldo

"The fact that Ronaldo came to play this game that is not the fight for first place spoke enough about his motivation and desire. He came to play against Croatia, he was not in previous matches, and he is a really great player. Like our Luka, he is doing his best at the age of 35."

Source: HNS

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Monday, 16 November 2020

Zlatko Dalic Calls Up Osijek Stopper for Portugal and More Croatia News Ahead of Poljud

November 16, 2020 - Croatia and Portugal meet in Split on Tuesday for their final Nations League match this season. A look at the latest Croatia news ahead of Poljud. 

After losing 2:1 to Sweden on Saturday evening in Solna, the Croatia national team traveled to Split, after which they held their first training in Omis on Sunday. The training included Dejan Lovren, who joined the Croatia squad in Stockholm after his yellow card suspension.

The Croatia players that recorded the most minutes against Sweden (Modrić, Vlašić, Perišić, Livaković, Kovačić, Brekalo, Barišić, Ćaleta-Car, Pongračić) took part in a regeneration training at the hotel. Uremović is currently out of the lineup after an injury he sustained during the Sweden match. 

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HNS

Although training in Omis was held without the presence of spectators due to the coronavirus pandemic, locals hung a large jersey with the last name of their fellow citizen, Ivan Perišić, and did their best to ensure that Croatia had everything they needed in the small coastal town.

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HNS

On Sunday evening, the Croatia national team medical service received the team's latest COVID-19 test results. Croatia was tested after arriving from Stockholm to Split, before the match against Portugal.

After a week of worrying results, we finally have some good news, as all members of the national team and members of the national team staff are negative for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Coach Zlatko Dalić can count on all remaining players in the national team.

Recall, Domagoj Vida tested positive in Istanbul on Wednesday, and Marcelo Brozović tested positive in Stockholm on Friday. In compliance with the epidemiological rules and UEFA's Return to Play protocol, the Turkish and Swedish epidemiological services decided that the isolation of other national team members was not necessary.

But even though everyone corona-free, Dalić still struggled to fill certain positions in the defense ahead of the crucial Portugal meeting on Tuesday. He has thus decided to call-up Osijek stopper Milo Škorić in the absence of Duja Ćaleta-Car (yellow cards) and Filip Uremović (injury).

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HNS

The Osijek captain will join Croatia during the day on Monday and is expected to play against Portugal in Split on Tuesday.

Škorić has three appearances for the Croatia national team, and interestingly, in all three Škorić appearances, Croatia won 2:1 (Mexico, Wales, and Georgia).

Source: HNS

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Monday, 9 November 2020

Nations League: Croatia and Portugal without Spectators in Split

November 9, 2020 - The national teams of Croatia and Portugal will meet at Poljud Stadium in Split on November 17 for their final Nations League match this season. 

Today, the National Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia extended the Decision on necessary epidemiological measures restricting assemblies and introducing other necessary measures and recommendations to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 through gatherings.

The decision of the headquarters includes the measure of holding sports competitions without the presence of spectators.

Following such a decision by the National Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia, the Croatian Football Federation informs the public that the Nations League match between Croatia and Portugal, scheduled for November 17 in Split, will be played without spectators. Also, the match between the youth national teams of Croatia and Lithuania in Pula will be played without fans.

The mentioned measure also refers to other competitions under the jurisdiction of HNS, which will be held without spectators until further notice.

Due to similar measures in Turkey and Sweden, the matches of the Croatia national team against Turkey (November 11) in Istanbul and Sweden (November 14) in Solna will be played without spectators.

Source: HNS

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Monday, 26 October 2020

Coach Zlatko Dalic Announces the Croatia Player List for Nations League in November

October 26, 2020 - National team coach Zlatko Dalic announces the Croatia player list for the upcoming Nations League matches in November, when the 2018 World Cup finalists will again have a tight schedule.

As in October, the national team will play three games during the upcoming gathering in November. Namely, Croatia will play a friendly match against Turkey on November 11 in Istanbul, followed by their two final matches in the Nations League - on November 14, they will play against Sweden (Solna / Stockholm), and three days later, they will host Portugal in Split.

Croatia currently sits in 3rd place in Nations League Group 3 with 3 points. Portugal and France are in first and second place with 10 points each. Croatia has only won one game in this Nations League campaign against Sweden earlier this month in Zagreb. 

Coach Dalic invited 23 players and eight call-ups, among which is Bordeaux midfielder Toma Basic for the first time.

"We will monitor the condition of all players in the next two weeks and react on time, depending on the situation. I wish all invited players to be healthy so that we can welcome the last matches of this year and finish the competition in the Nations League in a satisfactory position," said Dalic.

The national team will gather on November 9 in Istanbul, and the day after the match against Turkey, they will travel to Stockholm. Croatia will travel to Split immediately after the match against Sweden.

Goalkeepers: Dominik Livaković, Simon Sluga, Ivo Grbić

Defenders: Domagoj Vida, Dejan Lovren, Borna Barišić, Duje Ćaleta-Car, Dario Melnjak, Filip Uremović, Domagoj Bradarić

Midfielders: Luka Modrić, Mateo Kovačić, Marcelo Brozović, Milan Badelj, Marko Rog, Mario Pašalić, Nikola Vlašić

Attackers: Ivan Perišić, Andrej Kramarić, Josip Brekalo, Bruno Petković, Mislav Oršić, Ante Budimir

Callups: Ante Rebić, Tin Jedvaj, Lovre Kalinić, Mile Škorić, Josip Juranović, Toma Bašić, Antonio Mirko Čolak, Marin Pongračić

Source: HNS

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