Monday, 18 July 2022

SuperSport HNL Round 1: Dinamo, Rijeka, Osijek, Hajduk Open New Season with Wins

July 18, 2022 - The new Croatian football season opened on July 15 after a month of preparations. A look at the SuperSport HNL round 1 results. 

Dinamo v. Lokomotiva (3:2)

Dinamo and Lokomotiva opened the first round on Friday, July 15, at Maksimir Stadium in front of 4,320 fans. 

Kulenovic and Ibrahim put Lokomotiva ahead by two goals by the 22nd minute, though it didn't last long. Dinamo subbed on Drmic, who scored two goals in the next 10 minutes for 2:2 at the half. Maric was shown a red card in the 78th minute, forcing Lokomotiva to play with a man down for the remainder of the match. Menalo scored in the 91st minute for the final 3:2 Dinamo. 

 

Dinamo is currently in 2nd place with 3 points, while Lokomotiva is in 6th with 0. 

Osijek v. Gorica (2:1)

Osijek and Gorica met on Saturday, July 16, at City Garden Stadium in front of 3,590 fans. 

While the first half went without goals, Beljo scored for 1:0 Osijek in the 62nd minute. A Loncar own goal made it 1:1 four minutes later. Beljo put Osijek back in the lead for 2:1 with a penalty in the 74th minute. Lokomotiva's Julardzija was shown a red card in the 86th minute.

 

Osijek is currently in 3rd place with 3 points, while Gorica is in 7th with 0. 

Sibenik v. Rijeka (0:1)

Sibenik and Rijeka met in Sibenik on Saturday, July 16, in front of 1,678 fans. 

The first half went without goals, and the match's only goal came in the 74th minute when Obregon scored for 0:1. 

 

Sibenik is currently in 8th place with 0 points, while Rijeka is in 4th with 3. 

Varazdin v. Slaven Belupo (0:1)

Varazdin and Slaven Belupo met in Varazdin on Sunday, July 17. 

The match's only goal came in the 49th minute when Kocijan scored for 0:1 Belupo. 

 

Varazdin is currently in 9th place with 0 points, while Belupo is in 5th with 3. 

Istra 1961 v. Hajduk (0:2)

Istra and Hajduk closed out the first round in Pula on Sunday, July 17. 

Interestingly, it was announced before the match that the VAR system was out of order because there was no electricity in the VAR room, meaning the match would go on without using VAR. 

Melnjak scored Hajduk's first goal for 0:1 in the 43rd minute. Livaja increased Hajduk's lead to 0:2 off a header in the 60th minute. 

 

Istra is currently in last place with 0 points, while Hajduk is in first place with 3 points. 

*Rijeka and Hajduk will not play in the 2nd round next weekend as Rijeka asked that the match be postponed due to Conference League obligations. 

You can see the standings HERE.

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

Wednesday, 6 July 2022

Alen Halilović Signs with Rijeka in Effort to Revive Football Career

July 6, 2022 - The youngest-ever debutant for the Croatia national team and once considered the most promising young talent in Europe is looking to revive his career. Alen Halilović returns to Croatia as a new member of Rijeka. 

Alen Halilović is a new player of HNK Rijeka, the club announced on Wednesday. Halilović underwent a medical examination this morning and signed the contract afterward, reports Rijeka

After playing in the second division of English football for two years, first for Birmingham and then for Reading, who did not offer him a new contract, Halilović decided to return to Croatia to revive his football career.

At only 17 years old, he made a career transfer by moving from Dinamo to Barcelona, though things didn't quite go to plan. The Catalan club sold him to German club HSV, who in turn sent him on loan to Las Palmas. In the summer of 2018, he signed for another European giant, Milan.

Unfortunately, he didn't manage to find his way there either. He went from loan to loan again, first to Standard Liege and then to Heerenveen, but in October 2020, the Italians decided to end their cooperation with the Croatian footballer. 

"I have been in contact with Rijeka for a long time. I wanted to return to Croatia this season. I am satisfied and happy to be here in Rijeka. We talked and talked for a long time and I know the club well and that's why I decided to take that step," said Alen Halilović, who wore the Barcelona shirt in 2014.

Upon his arrival, Alen had the opportunity to tour the camp and see for himself the excellent working conditions in Rijeka, and the football challenges soon began.

"I followed HNL last season, more than ever, it was very interesting and that's an even bigger motivation for me. A good team is coming together this season, there is a good atmosphere and I insisted that I come as early as possible and that we start working as soon as possible," said Alen Halilović.

You can watch his video interview below: 

 

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

Saturday, 2 July 2022

Two Cruise Ships with Nearly 4,000 Passengers Dock in Rijeka

ZAGREB, 2 July 2022 - Two cruise ships, Mein Schiff 5 and Marella Explorer 2, docked in the northern Croatian Adriatic port city of Rijeka on Saturday morning with nearly 4,000 passengers aboard.

Both vessels, organised by the TUI tour operator, were on a seven-day cruise in the Adriatic. Their programme included a sightseeing tour of Rijeka and bus trips to Istria, Opatija, Kastav, Gorski Kotar, Zagreb and other destinations.

The passengers boarded the Marella Explorer 2 in Dubrovnik and the Mein Schiff 5 in Trieste.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 1 July 2022

Croatian Football Transfer News: Lovre Kalinić Extends with Hajduk, Mitrović Returns to Rijeka

July 1, 2022 - The latest Croatian football transfer news for Dinamo, Hajduk, and Rijeka ahead of the new HNL season. 

Dinamo

The talented midfielder Marko Brkljača, one of the greatest young talents in the world, is a new Dinamo player. 

Marko was born in 2004 in Zadar and started his career as a child at club NK Velebit Benkovac. After that, he joined the ranks of Hajduk, where, in addition to his football development, he played in the Youth Champions League last season as a junior team member. Brkljača is continuously a member of the younger age groups of the Croatia national team.

In The Guardian's 'Next Generation,' Marko was included in the list of TOP 60 young football talents in the world in 2021. 

"My first impressions are excellent; I am delighted about coming to Dinamo. Now it's all up to me. I need to prove myself in football terms. I desire to win my place, assert myself and show what I know and why I came. I want to play in the HNL and Europe in the future. Dinamo has excellent quality. I think everything will be as it should be in the new season, by which I mean that the club will be the champion of Croatia again and will be successful in European competitions.

I look forward to everything that lies ahead. I am sure that I can progress and contribute to Dinamo. I want to take this opportunity to thank Hajduk for the football knowledge and experience I have gained there in recent years," said Marko upon his arrival at the Zagreb club.

Hajduk

Hajduk announced on Friday that captain Lovre Kalinić would remain at the Split club for the next three years. On Thursday, Lovre terminated his contract with the English Premier League side Aston Villa by mutual consent and signed a contract with Hajduk until the summer of 2025.

The current captain started his goalkeeping career at Poljud, where he arrived at the age of nine and passed all the younger age categories of the Academy. So far, he has played 191 official matches for Hajduk. He made his debut in 2011 in an away victory against Slaven Belupo. In his last appearance, he led Hajduk to the SuperSport Croatian Football Cup title in a 3:1 victory against Rijeka at Poljud.

Lovre is also the club record holder with 775 minutes without conceding a goal in HNL matches. This record was set by Hajduk's goalkeeper in 2015 when he did not concede a goal for eight games in a row. He also made 19 official appearances for the Croatia A national team. 

"I can never refuse Hajduk. I came back here at a demanding moment in my career, the club gave me a chance to revive myself as a goalkeeper, and I did not want to miss this opportunity to sign for Hajduk. My only wish was to stay there and that eventually came true," said Kalinić. 

Rijeka 

Matej Mitrović has returned to Rijeka. On Friday, Matej underwent a medical examination, signed a new contract, and should join his teammates for training in Kranjska Gora this afternoon. 

"It's nice to return to Rijeka after so many years. A good club, nice city, great fans, and I'm satisfied," said Matej Mitrović upon his arrival in Rijeka.

After two seasons in the Cibalija jersey, Mitrović arrived in Rijeka in September 2013. He made his debut in the Croatian Cup round of 16 match against Zmaj (11:0) on October 9 of the same year. After that, he made his debut in the HNL, wearing the Rijeka jersey for the first time in the victory against Zadar (October 19, 2013), but everyone will point out the match against Hajduk on April 6, 2014, as the most crucial game that directed his path. Namely, Dario Knežević had to leave the pitch due to an injury at halftime, and Mitrović got the chance.

"As every year, we want to compete for the top of the table. I want to fit into the team as soon as possible. I invite fans to support us this season, as in previous years. Only Rijeka!" concluded Mitrović.

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

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Portuguese Ceramic Tiles Exhibition Opens In Rijeka

ZAGREB, 30 June 2022 - An exhibition called "Azulejo - the Art of Portuguese Ceramic Tiles" was opened at the Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral in Rijeka on Wednesday.

The exhibition was organised in cooperation with the Zagreb Museum of Arts and Crafts and the support of the Croatian Foreign Ministry, which donated the exhibits to the Zagreb museum in 2015.

The exhibition shows products of Lisbon workshops from the first half of the 18th century on 11 display boards containing compositions of blue-white, glazed and painted ceramic tiles which have become a distinctive symbol of Portuguese culture and tradition.

Portuguese Ambassador to Croatia Maria Paula Vieira Leal Da Silva attended the opening.

The exhibition can be seen until 6 September.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 28 June 2022

Croatia Flight Cancelations in July from Eurowings, Austrian, Lufthansa, and easyJet

June 28, 2022 - The latest flight news as Croatia flight cancelations in July from Eurowings, Austrian, Lufthansa, and easyJet have been announced. 

Eurowings, Lufthansa, and Austrian Airlines have canceled a total of 55 return flights to Croatian airports announced in July this year, all to ensure regular operations due to a lack of staff within the airlines and at the airports to which they operate, reports Croatian Aviation

The three mentioned Lufthansa Group carriers canceled 55 return flights to Zagreb, Rijeka, Pula, Zadar, Split, and Dubrovnik.

Lufthansa has reduced the number of flights on only one route to Croatia, between Zagreb and Munich, so in July, it will operate 6 instead of 7 times a week on this route, for a total of 28 return flights.

Low-cost airline Eurowings reduces traffic on 10 international routes to six Croatian airports:

Cologne - Rijeka, instead of 13, announced 9 flights (canceled 4),

Cologne - Zadar, instead of 13, announced 9 flights (canceled 4),

Cologne - Zagreb, instead of 26, 14 flights announced (12 canceled),

Cologne - Dubrovnik, suspended line, last flight performed on June 12,

Dusseldorf - Rijeka, instead of 14, 11 flights announced (3 canceled),

Dusseldorf - Zagreb, instead of 13, 9 flights announced (4 canceled),

Stuttgart - Pula, instead of 7, 6 flights announced (1 canceled),

Stuttgart - Rijeka, instead of 9, 6 flights announced (3 canceled),

Stuttgart - Split, instead of 41, 38 flights announced (3 canceled),

Stuttgart - Zagreb, instead of 23, announced 14 flights (canceled 9),

In July, Austrian Airlines continues to operate daily to Adriatic airports, Zadar, Split, and Dubrovnik, but significantly reduces the number of flights to Zagreb airport. 

Instead of 53 scheduled return flights in July, Austrian has canceled 9 and now plans 44 flights on this route for July.

The Lufthansa Group is no exception among carriers. Companies and airports were not ready for high demand this summer, resulting in a shortage of workforce in all segments of air transport, from a lack of flight and cabin staff to the crew at airports (check-in, loading, and unloading of luggage, general reception and departure of passengers and aircraft). There are also standard problems with the workforce in air traffic control, which is why aircraft in the summer months rarely take off (and land) according to the planned flight schedule.

Given that the number of monthly flights by the Lufthansa Group to Croatian airports is relatively large, 55 canceled flights to Croatia in July is not a huge number, especially if this will relieve the pressure on the previously mentioned stakeholders and enable some normalization of air traffic in the peak season. 

Furthermore, Croatian Aviation reports that British low-cost airline easyJet canceled 15 return flights previously announced to three Croatian airports - Pula, Rijeka, and Split. The airline also cites major operational problems at airports in London (Gatwick) and Paris (Charles de Gaulle).

On the route from London (Gatwick) to Pula, easyJet offered 27 return flights in July until Sunday, but three flights were canceled, and 24 are now available for booking.

There were supposed to be 13 return flights between Paris and Pula in July, but easyJet canceled four return flights, and only nine are now available.

easyJet has the largest number of summer flights to Split Airport, to which only six flights are currently canceled. Namely, between Gatwick and Split, 95 return flights are planned in July (previously 99), while between Paris and Split, 38 return flights are now available (previously 40).

easyJet continuously cancels flights on the new route between Rijeka and London, originally announced twice a week. The airline also cut the weekly operations in July and canceled announced flights on Tuesdays, leaving only flights on Saturdays on sale. For now, only flights on July 5 and 12 have been canceled, but the carrier has not yet revised the flight schedule for the second half of July, so further reductions may happen. 

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Croatian Football League Transfer News: Dinamo, Hajduk, Rijeka, Osijek, and More

June 22, 2022 - A look at the latest Croatian Football League transfer news ahead of the 2022/23 season. 

The summer transfer season is heating up as Croatian clubs look to enhance their squads ahead of the 2022/23 season. A look at who Dinamo, Hajduk, Rijeka, Osijek, and Šibenik have brought in so far. 

Dinamo

Boško Šutalo is a new Dinamo player, arriving as a reinforcement in the stopper position. It is increasingly likely that current Dinamo player Josip Šutalo will leave the club.

Boško Šutalo comes from Atalanta, and Dinamo allegedly paid 3 million euros for the transfer. The 22-year-old Croat thus becomes one of the most expensive reinforcements in Dinamo's history. 

Šutalo was born in Metković, played for Neretva and Split, and in 2018 went to Osijek. He was transferred to Serie A, signed for Atalanta, and played on loan last season.

"I am very happy to come to Dinamo. Dinamo is the most successful Croatian club that achieves significant success every season in Croatian competitions and Europe," Šutalo said.

"I will do my best in the Dinamo jersey in every game. I will fight for the club. I hope we will have great support from the fans in everything ahead of us this season, and I am sure that great moments await us," concluded Šutalo, who has signed a four-year contract with Dinamo. 

Hajduk

Toni Borevković is a new Hajduk player. On Sunday, the 25-year-old stopper underwent medical examinations in Zagreb and joined Hajduk's preparations in Bad Waltersdorf, Austria. Borevković joins Hajduk on a one-year loan with the right to buy his contract from the Portuguese first division club Vitoria de Guimaraes. He will wear the number 5 for Hajduk.

Borevković was born on June 18, 1997, in Slavonski Brod and began his football career at Marsonia. In 2012, he transferred to Dinamo, where he played until 2016, followed by Rudeš, where he played notably for the next three seasons and collected over sixty official appearances.

He transferred to the Portuguese city of Rio Ave in 2018 and recorded over 80 official appearances in three seasons. In the last season, he joined the ranks of Vitoria de Guimaraes, for which he played 24 games.

"My ambitions coincide with Hajduk. I came here to fight for the title. I followed Hajduk and the First HNL last season; I am glad that we won the trophy and were a little short of taking the second. I believe we can make that happen in the new season. I come ready for the preparations. I will immediately join the training, and I can only tell the fans that I will do my best in every training session and game," said Toni after signing for Hajduk.

Rijeka

Mario Vrančić is a new Rijeka player. Last season, Vrančić played for Stoke City in the Championship. Mario is an offensive midfielder and arrived in Rijeka on a one-year loan with the possibility of buying his contract.

Behind Vrančić is an impressive career in which he played for Mainz, Paderborn, Darmstadt, Norwich City, and Stoke City. However, Rijeka is a new station, a new opportunity to prove himself, and a great challenge. Vrančić has already played with Josip Drmić, Antonio Čolak, and Roman Bezjak in his career.

"I am very happy to be a new player of Rijeka. This is a new challenge for me. I chose Rijeka because I have a very good feeling," said Mario. 

Mateo Pavlović also signed with Rijeka on Wednesday. Pavlović arrived in Rijeka from French club Amiens and joined the first team. 

"I am happy and excited to be in Rijeka. The main reason for my arrival was that I felt that the people in the club wanted me, they showed great will and desire and that was decisive. I can't wait to wear the jersey and prove myself on the pitch," said Mateo Pavlović.

Mateo has played for Zagreb, Werder, Ferencvaros, Angers and Amiens.

Osijek

Damjan Bohar is no longer a player of Osijek. An agreement was reached on his transfer to Polish first league club Zaglebie Lubin, from which the occasional Slovenia national team player joined Osijek less than two years ago. Bohar mutually terminated his contract, and he should spend at least two seasons in Poland. 

Although he arrived in Međimurje for Osijek preparations, Mirlind Daku will go on loan again from Osijek. Daku joined Slovenian first division team Mura, where he also spent the spring half-season. 

Šibenik

Duje Čop arrived in Šibenik and agreed on a one-year loan from Dinamo after it expired in Celje, Slovenia.

This will be the 11th club in Čop's senior career, and he returns to Dalmatia after 10 years, where he left RNK Split in 2012. The 32-year-old striker has already joined Šibenik's team in the preparations in Slovenia with their new coach Damir Čanadi.

"The former Vatreni, as well as the former top scorer and player of the HNL, is coming on a one-year loan from Dinamo. We wish him a lot of luck and goals in the orange jersey," reads a short post on Šibenik's Facebook profile about the transfer. 

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

Monday, 20 June 2022

Rijeka Appoints Fausto Budicin as New Coach

June 20, 2022 - Former Istra 1961 coach Fausto Budicin will lead Rijeka in the upcoming season, the club announced on Monday. 

Croatian First League football club Rijeka announced on Monday that Fausto Budicin (41) has been appointed the new coach, replacing Goran Tomić, while Dragan Tadić (49) will be the technical director, who will also be in charge of the professional staff.

Both Budicin and Tadić are former players of Rijeka. Budicin wore the jersey of the Rujevica club from 2005 to 2011, while Tadić was a member of Rijeka from 2003 to 2007.

"Thank you to President Damir Mišković and the entire Administration for the trust they have shown us. We are looking forward to the new challenge and we believe that we will justify their trust with the results on the pitch," Budicin said.

In his coaching career so far, Budicin led Orijent 1919 in the 2019/20 season and reached the qualifications for a spot in the First HNL. From August 2020 to February 2021, he was on the bench of Istra 1961.

Budicin replaces Goran Tomić on the Rijeka bench, who amicably terminated his contract with the club after the end of last season, in which the club finished fourth place in the Croatian Championship and reached the Cup final where they lost to Hajduk 1:3. 

At the end of last season, Tadić led Hr. Dragovoljac. 

Rijeka also recently signed Mario Vrančić. Last season, Vrančić played for Stoke City in the Championship. Mario plays as an offensive midfielder and arrived in Rijeka on a one-year loan with the possibility of buying his contract.

Behind Vrančić is an impressive career in which he wore the jerseys of Mainz, Paderborn, Darmstadt, Norwich City, and Stoke City. Rijeka is a new station, a new opportunity to prove himself, and a great challenge. Vrančić played with Josip Drmić, Antonio Čolak, and Roman Bezjak in his career.

"I am very happy to be a new player of Rijeka. This is a new challenge for me, I chose Rijeka because I have a very good feeling," said Mario Vrančić.

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

 

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Croatian Clubs Learn First Champions League and Conference League Opponents

June 15, 2022 - Croatian clubs have learned their opponents in the upcoming Champions League and Conference League season. A look at what Dinamo, Hajduk, Osijek, and Rijeka have in store. 

In the second qualifying round of the Champions League, Croatian football champion Dinamo will play against the winner of the first qualifying round between North Macedonian club Shkupi and Lincoln Red Imps from Gibraltar. The draw was held in Nyon on Wednesday. 

Dinamo will host the first match, which will take place on July 19 or 20. The return match will be played on July 26 or 27. Dinamo thus avoided the Swiss champion Zurich and Slovan from Bratislava.

Dinamo will be the leader through all preliminary rounds. If they are successful in the second qualifying round, they are automatically guaranteed to play in the Conference League group stage, while entering the Champions League play-offs guarantees them the Europa League group stage. 

Later in the day, Osijek and Rijeka found out their rivals in the second qualifying round of the Conference League, while Hajduk will join the competition in the third qualifying round.

Osijek will play against Kyzylzhar from Kazakhstan, while Rijeka will play against the Swedish Djurgarden in the 2nd qualifying round of the Conference League.

The first matches will be played on Thursday, July 21, and the return matches one week later, on July 28.

This means that Osijek will play the first game in Kazakhstan, and play the return match at City Garden a week later, while Rijeka will play the first game at Rujevica.

The Kazakh championship is underway, and Osijek's rival is currently in 11th place. The Swedish Championship is also underway and Djurgarden is currently in fourth place.

Hajduk Split will start the competition in the 3rd qualifying round and learn their opponent only in July. Hajduk gathered for their first preseason training today. 

Coach Valdas Dambrauskas answered questions from numerous media representatives who came to see Hajduk at the training session held at Poljud Stadium.

"We did a good job last season, but we have to prepare for the future. Yes, we play for trophies, we play to make people happy and to have reasons to celebrate, but from today we have to talk about the next games, training, and meetings. What we have done is a part of the past. It is important for the club, but it remains in the past. We need to focus on the new season and new challenges and prepare to be in the best position to win," said Dambrauskas 

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

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

29 Weekly LOT Croatia Flights from Poland this Summer!

June 14, 2022 - The latest flight news to Croatia as 29 weekly LOT Croatia flights from Poland will run this summer. 

LOT Polish Airlines has finalized its summer flight schedule to Croatia by announcing a new, third route to Rijeka and increasing weekly operations between Zagreb and Warsaw, reports Croatian Aviation

The Star Alliance Group group member will operate 9 international routes from Poland to 5 Croatian airports at the peak of the summer season, namely to Rijeka, Zadar, Split, Dubrovnik, and Zagreb.

The largest number of weekly operations has been announced between Warsaw and Zagreb, where the airline's aircraft will operate 13 times a week, twice a day every day except Monday. Thus, LOT in Zagreb returned to almost the same number of flights as before the pandemic.

LOT already operates to Rijeka from Warsaw, once a week, and at the beginning of July, there are two more lines, from Zielona Góra (Sundays) and Rzeszów (Tuesdays).

Two lines have been announced to Zadar. From Warsaw once a week (on Saturdays) and from Rzeszów, also on Saturdays, from June 18.

On the line between Warsaw and Split, LOT will operate three times a week this summer, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Sundays, and Boeing 737-800 aircraft have also been announced on this line.

LOT will connect Warsaw and Dubrovnik on a daily basis, and will additionally operate on the line between Dubrovnik and Krakow (every Saturday). 

“Last year, we transported over 33,000 Poles to Croatia, and we hope for a much better result this year. I also hope that Croats will visit Poland in greater numbers," said the carrier’s CEO, Rafał Milczarski for Ex Yu Aviation at the beginning of June. 

"Croatia is becoming more and more popular among our passengers each year and is becoming of interest for travelers outside of Warsaw as well. As we continue to increase our offer, both Zagreb and Croatia as a whole are becoming popular for short weekend breaks as well," he added.

“Our performance in Croatia is the result of consistent work by our team as well as the growing popularity of Croatia in Poland and the increasing number of Poles who want to come to Croatia within two hours," said LOT Board Member for Commercial Affairs, Michal Fijoł.  

Overall, 29 weekly flights is a smaller number of operations compared to the 2019 summer flight schedule.

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

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