Wednesday, 23 March 2022

10 Most Valuable Croatian First League Players Ranked

March 23, 2022 - Who are the most valuable Croatian First League players? A closer look during one of the most interesting HNL seasons. 

The Croatian First League (HNL) is more interesting than ever this season. Four clubs are in a tight race for the title of Croatian champion, and all top teams are full of quality.

Dinamo is by far the most valuable team in the HNL, and according to the estimates of the reputable Transfermarkt, is worth around 97.45 million euros. In second place is Hajduk Split, worth 40.95 million euros, followed by Osijek in third worth 35 million, and Rijeka in fourth worth 27 million euros.

When looking at the players individually, Dinamo dominates again, which is to be expected, considering that the club has been successfully representing Croatia in European competitions for several seasons.

However, only two footballers, the young Josip Šutalo and Martin Baturina, have increased in value compared to the last Transfermarkt update. 

The list of the 10 most expensive Croatian First League players starts with Luka Ivanušec, valued at 12.5 million euros, which is a drop of one million compared to previous data. In second place is his teammate Mislav Oršić, worth 11 million euros. In the top five are three more Dinamo players - Dominik Livaković, Arijan Ademi, and Bruno Petković.

The Croatian First League's top scorer and according to many the best player of this season, Marko Livaja, achieved the highest market value in his career and is now worth 6.5 million euros, which is enough for sixth place on the list of the most expensive players in the HNL.

In seventh place is the new Osijek reinforcement Kristijan Lovrić, who shares the spot with Dinamo defenders Josip Šutalo and Rasmus Lauritsen.

The tenth spot is shared by Bartol Franjić and the young winger of Hajduk Stipe Biuk, with an estimated value of 4.5 million euros.

It is interesting that Rijeka's most valuable player, Robert Murić, is only in 16th place.

Source: HRT

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

Monday, 21 March 2022

HNL Round 28 Recap: Gorica Shocks Rijeka, Hajduk Outclasses Lokomotiva, Routine Wins for Dinamo and Osijek

March 21, 2022 - The 28th round of the Croatian First League was played from March 18 to 20, 2022. This round saw Rijeka complicate their race for the title as Gorica won 1:0, while Hajduk, Dinamo, and Osijek recorded wins to keep the top of the standings tight. Here is our HNL round 28 recap. 

Hr. Dragovoljac v. Istra 1961 (0:0)

Dragovoljac and Istra opened the 28th round on Friday, March 18, 2022, in Zagreb in front of 200 fans. 

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


Dragovoljac is currently in the last place with 14 points, while Istra is in 9th with 25. 

Gorica v. Rijeka (1:0)

Gorica and Rijeka met in Velika Gorica on Saturday, March 19, 2022. 

The first half went without goals, and Da Cruz was booked for his second yellow in the 60th minute, forcing Gorica to play with a man down for the remainder of the match. However, a Cestic own goal put Gorica in the lead in the 73rd minute and gave them the ultimate win. 


Gorica is currently in 6th place with 36 points, while Rijeka is in 4th with 52. 

Hajduk v. Lokomotiva (4:0)

Hajduk and Lokomotiva met in the second match on Saturday, March 19, at Poljud Stadium in Split. 

Nikola Kalinić scored Hajduk's first goal in the 22nd minute for 1:0. Grgić scored the second though it was recalled due to VAR. Krovinović made it 2:0 for Hajduk just before the halftime whistle. Melnjak scored for 3:0 in the 54th minute and Sahiti for the final 4:0 eight minutes later. 


Hajduk is currently in 3rd place with 52 points and a game in hand, while Lokomotiva is in 5th with 36. 

Slaven Belupo v. Dinamo (0:1)

Slaven Belupo and Dinamo met in Koprivnica on Sunday, March 20, 2022.. 

Petović scored from an offside position in the 9th minute which VAR called back. Oršić scored the winning goal in the 20th minute for 0:1. 


Belupo is currently in 7th place with 30 points, while Dinamo is in 1st with 57 and a game in hand. 

Šibenik v. Osijek (0:3)

Šibenik and Osijek closed out the 28th round on Sunday, March 20, 2022, in Šibenik. 

While the first half went without goals, Lovrić scored for 0:1 Osijek, followed by a Marin own goal for 0:2, and a Topcagic goal for 0:3. 


Šibenik is currently in 8th place with 26 points, while Osijek is in 2nd with 57. 

You can see the HNL standings HERE

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

Monday, 14 March 2022

Vintage Computers and Consoles Displayed in Dubrovnik, Courtesy of Peek & Poke Computer Museum

March 14th, 2022 - Fans of retro technology have the opportunity to try out old computers and consoles in Dubrovnik until the end of the month

Last Saturday, Rijeka’s Peek&Poke Computer Museum opened a visiting exhibition in Dubrovnik, more precisely at the Youth Center, where all those interested can discover about twenty vintage computers, gaming consoles, calculators and mechanical calculators.

The opening of the exhibition attracted curious people of all generations who were delighted by the display, writes Novi list. The exhibition will remain open until March 27th.

’We’re thankful for the invitation of the Dubrovnik Association of Technical Culture, who invited us to Dubrovnik and helped organise the exhibition. We’re glad to have the opportunity to exhibit what is only a small part of our museum collection in Dubrovnik. We will certainly continue our cooperation with our Dubrovnik colleagues’, said Josip Knežević from Peek & Poke after the exhibition opening.

Until the end of the month, lovers of retro technology in Dubrovnik will have the opportunity to try out the Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Amiga, Schneider, along with the consoles Atari, Nintendo, Playstation, and others.

Secretary of the Association for Technical Culture Tomo Sjekavica said his personal favourites were the Spectrum and the Commodore.

‘I’m especially glad that for the second time in Dubrovnik we were able to open the visiting exhibition of the Rijeka Computer Museum Peek&Poke, where you can see old computers and calculators dating from the 1930s onwards. As a computer expert and programmer myself, I’m very glad that we’re collaborating with the Peek&Poke Museum from Rijeka and I believe that there will be more opportunities in the future for some new joint projects’, said Sjekavica.

The Peek & Poke Museum in Rijeka is known as the only Croatian museum of vintage computers. Established in 2007, it has been attracting both locals and tourists from all over the world ever since.

The museum offers an overview of the technical development of computers and the computer industry from its beginnings to the present day, with a part of the museum used for various educational programmes.

Among the exhibited computer ‘pioneers’, there are exhibits from all five continents and an enviable collection of calculators to discover, including a pocket calculator made in Croatia and known all around the world as Digitron.

Monday, 14 March 2022

HNL Round 27 Recap: Hajduk-Dinamo Ends 0:0, Last-Placed Dragovoljac Tops Rijeka

March 14, 2022 - The 27th round of the Croatian First League was held from March 11 to 13, 2022. This round featured the highly anticipated 'Eternal Derby' between Hajduk and Dinamo, while Osijek and Rijeka both complicated their fight for the title. Here is our HNL round 27 recap. 

Šibenik v. Lokomotiva (1:4)

Sibenik and Lokomotiva opened the 27th round on Friday, March 11, 2022, in Sibenik in front of 405 fans. 

Grezda put Sibenik in the lead with a goal in the 14th minute for 1:0. Kacavenda equalized for 1:1 in the 65th minute before Soldo put Lokomotiva in the lead two minutes later. Sibenik's Peric received his second yellow less than 5 minutes later, forcing Sibenik to play with a man down for the remainder of the match. Kacavenda scored again to make it 1:3 in the 76th minute and Tuci scored for 1:4 to confirm the Lokomotiva victory. 


Sibenik is currently in 8th place with 26 points while Lokomotiva is in 5th with 36. 

Slaven Belupo v. Istra 1961 (0:0)

Slaven Belupo and Istra met in Koprivnica on Saturday, March 12, 2022.

Neither team was able to score and the match ended 0:0. Belupo had 17 total shots to Istra's 7, of which only 4 were on target (Istra had only 2). Belupo received 5 yellow cards to Istra's 4. 


Belupo is currently in 7th place with 30 points, while Istra is in 9th with 24. 

Hajduk v. Dinamo (0:0)

Hajduk and Dinamo met for the highly anticipated 'Eternal Derby' at Poljud on Saturday, March 12. 

While the atmosphere was better than ever at the sold-out Poljud, for the first time full thanks solely to Hajduk's members and season ticket holders, the derby itself was one of the less exciting meetings between the two rivals. The match went without goals, though Hajdkuk had 3 shots on target to Dinamo's 0. Hajduk had slightly less possession than Dinamo (44%/56%). 


Hajduk is currently in 4th place with 49 points and a game in hand, while Dinamo is in 1st with 54 points and a game in hand. These two teams play last season's makeup match on April 20 at Poljud. 

Dragovoljac v. Rijeka (2:1)

Dragovoljac and Rijeka met in Zagreb on Sunday, March 13, 2022. 

Certainly the most shocking match of this round, Dragovoljac took the lead in the 23rd minute thanks to Peric (1:0). Peric opened the second half with another goal for 2:0 in the 50th minute. Ampem gave Rijeka some hope in the 74th minute scoring for 2:1, while VAR recalled a Dragovoljac goal in the 83rd minute for being offside. 


Dragovoljac is currently in the last place with 13 points, while Rijeka is in 3rd with 52. 

Osijek v. Gorica (0:0)

Osijek and Gorica closed out the 27th round on March 13, 2022, at City Garden Stadium. 

Yet another match of the 27th round that went without goals, Osijek had only 51% possession to Gorica's 49%. Osijek also had only 3 shots on target to Gorica's 6!


Osijek is currently in 2nd place with 54 points, while Gorica is in 6th place with 33 points. 

You can see the HNL standings HERE

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

Sunday, 13 March 2022

Online Publication Details Rijeka Military Fortification Renovation Project

March the 13th, 2022 - An online publication has detailed the ongoing process of the Rijeka military fortification renovation project which is set to breathe new life into these old and often neglected structures.

As Morski writes, in order to transform the slowly deteriorating cultural heritage in Rijeka, as well as lead its transformation for the purpose of cultural tourism, the cross-border project ''Revival'' was launched, as part of which the old Rijeka military fortification was restored.

The Revival project was implemented within the INTERREG VA Italy-Croatia Cross-Border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020, which aims to revitalise and placed back into use the neglected heritage of the entire Adriatic landscape of the two nations and to make available to the local population and tourists abandoned buildings and military fortifications and bunkers that represent an important form of local cultural heritage which also boast significant economic, tourist and cultural potential.

In the Northern Adriatic city of Rijeka, as part of the project, the ''Katarina B'' stronghold was revamped, as a representative example of the buildings of the Alpine Wall defense system in the Rijeka area. This Rijeka military fortification dates back to the 1930s, it has 12 underground tunnels and military bunkers and is located in Pulac. It is an exceptionally well-preserved fortification, and the inner and outer part of it is now accessible to visitors.

As part of the Rijeka military fortification renovation project, an online publication was published in which it has been made possible to see the development of the project as well as the activities that were carried out in each of the cities involved in it in both Croatia and Italy.

The project holder is the Italian City of Forli, with its partners; the Italian cities of Campobasso, Cesenatico and Pesaro, the City of Rijeka and the City of Zadar, and the project partners are the Public Institution RERA S.D. for Coordination and Development of Split-Dalmatia County and the University of Zadar.

The total value of the project stands at 1,825,035.00 euros, the grant provided by the European Regional Development Fund is 136,127.50 euros, and the remaining funds were provided by the project partners themselves.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Friday, 11 March 2022

Racing on Opatija Riviera, From the Adriatic Grand Prix to the Women’s Auto Rally

March 11th, 2022 - Did you know that Rijeka once used to host an all-female car rally?

Rijeka and Opatija have a long tradition of motorsport racing, going back to the early 1930s when a race course named Opatija Circuit first started hosting auto races.

Also known as the Kvarner Circuit (Circuito del Carnaro), the race course was 6 kilometres long and had a starting point in Preluk bay between Rijeka and Opatija. The circuit used the streets of Opatija and its environs, offering splendid views of the Adriatic Sea.

The circuit’s claim to fame was the 1939 Adriatic Grand Prix, when the Italian team decided to compete in Opatija instead of the French Grand Prix in Rheims. Luigi Villoresi won the race driving a Maserati 4CL, essentially turning Opatija into a prestigious racing venue overnight.

It soon became apparent that the narrow roads along the coastline, complete with plenty of roadside obstacles, didn’t exactly make for safe driving conditions. On more than one occasion, races on the Opatija Circuit ended in tragic deaths of drivers; although the track remained popular for decades in spite of all issues, auto races were discontinued after the Formula 3 Gran Premio Adriatico in 1968.

The end of auto races kicked off a golden era of motorcycle racing, after the Adriatic Grand Prix became a round of the FIM Motorcycle World Championship.

The 1977 Grand Prix was held in spite of an order from the FIM to improve the safety of the track. No modifications were made prior to the event and the race ended up with 19 injured and 2 fatalities, prompting the FIM to ban all road races from the World Championship schedule. The Opatija Circuit fame came to its end, and a modern replacement circuit was created on the other side of Rijeka - the Automotodrom Grobnik.

A lesser known fact about racing on the Kvarner coast is that Rijeka also used to host an all-female car rally. Named Rijeka Women’s Auto Rally, the racing event was held every year from 1971 to 1999.

Back in 1971, as Auto Club Rijeka was celebrating its 25th anniversary, the club’s executive board decided to hold an all-female race in honour of International Women’s Day.

Held on March 7th 1971, the first rally drew a lot of interest, with 60 drivers registering to take part in the race. The 41 km circuit took the racers from the starting point in Preluk to Lovran, Jušići, Krnjevo, and back to Preluk.

preluk_02-1.jpgPreluk bay /

They competed in three classes: 850 ccm, 1250 ccm, and 1250+ ccm, won in the first year by Inga Kren, Radmila Valković and Vesna Grgurina respectively.

The Rijeka Women’s Auto Rally soon became an attractive racing event which, together with the international Zagreb rally, formed the basis for the establishment of the national championship for women.

Women were flocking to Rijeka from other parts of Croatia to show off their racing skills. Some of the notable winners were Sonja Kezele and Mirjana Bučić from Opatija with ten victories each, Nađa Cenov from Rijeka who won the race eight times, and Olga Bebić from Split who won seven times.

After a while, 41 drivers who had won in some of the classes or in the overall standings earned the right to compete in a racing event called the Champions’ Cup.

In 1996, Auto Club Rijeka marked its 50th anniversary with a grand 25th edition of the women’s rally, held under the motto ‘50 hours of rallying’ and complete with an entertainment programme that featured something new with each passing hour.

All-female rallies were held in Croatia until 1999. The last, 28th women’s rally in Rijeka was won by Auto Club Rijeka, represented by racers Palmina Alijanović, Smiljka Pavić, Luisa Božićević, Dajana Aračić and Ljiljana Kamenar.

Wednesday, 9 March 2022

Rijeka Tops Osijek in Extra Time for Spot in Croatian Cup Final against Hajduk

March 9, 2022 - Rijeka topped Osijek in the final minutes of a thrilling extra time to secure a spot in the Croatian Cup final against Hajduk on May 26! 

Rijeka and Osijek met in the Croatian Cup semifinal at Rujevica on Wednesday. In the other semifinal played last week, Hajduk beat Gorica for a spot in the final at Poljud on May 26.

Rijeka reached the semifinal by eliminating Pitomača (0:7) in the last 32, Oriolik Oriovac (0:6) in the round of 16, and knocking out Dinamo in the quarterfinal at Maksimir. Goran Tomić's team celebrated 3:1 and it was also the last game for coach Damir Krznar on the Dinamo bench.

Osijek did not concede a goal on their way to the semifinal. They defeated Bednja Beletinec 0:3, then Rudeš 0:2 in the last 16, after which they hosted Slaven Belupo in the quarterfinal. Osijek and Belupo played for 120 minutes before a penalty shootout which Osijek won. 

Before this Cup match, Osijek played 0:0 against Lokomotiva on Friday in the Croatian First League, while Rijeka beat Slaven Belupo 3:0 on Saturday, separating these two teams by only one point.


Rijeka: Labrović, Velkovski, Čestić, Krešić, Bušnja, Čerin, Pavičić, Selahi, Vukčević, Vučkić, Drmić

Osijek: Ivušić, Cheberko, Škorić, Lončar. Grgić, Žaper, Kleinheisler, Leovac, Fiolić, Caktaš, Mierez


Rijeka took the 1:0 lead in the 20th minute with a goal by Krešić. Gnezda Čerin sent a freekick into Osijek's penalty area, which Krešić headed into the goal for the lead. 

Osijek equalized in the 42nd minute for 1:1 thanks to Mijo Caktaš, scoring the 11th goal of his career against Rijeka and the first in the Osijek jersey.

Josip Drmić put Rijeka back in the lead in the 77th minute for his 18th goal of the season. In the 2nd minute of stoppage time, Mance equalized for Osijek to send the match into extra time! 

While the first half of extra time went without a goal, with the nerves of penalties on the horizon, Merkulov scored in the 188th minute for the Rijeka lead and ultimate win for a spot in the Croatian Cup final against Hajduk on May 26! 

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


Monday, 7 March 2022

A Town Called River: Urban Fantasy Novel With a Slavic Twist, Set in Rijeka

March 7th, 2022 - Written in English by Igor Rendić, the novel paints a picture of Rijeka as you’ve never seen it before, drenched in magic and inhabited by mythical creatures

The town of Rijeka makes an appearance in many works of literature: some are set in it, some inspired by it, but rarely does it happen that the port city plays a major part in a fantasy novel.

Late last year, Croatian writer and translator Igor Rendić published a novel entitled ‘A Town Called River’, written in English to introduce international readers to the captivating local folklore. Described as an urban fantasy novel with a Slavic twist, the story follows the protagonist Paul as he returns to Rijeka after his grandmother’s passing and soon finds himself in the world of mythical beings, friendly and malevolent spirits.

To quote the synopsis:

'Paul finds out he got more than he expected in terms of inheritance—way more than just a stuffy old apartment downtown.

The legacy of his grandmother’s work as a krsnik—a traditional magic user tasked with keeping the thin line between the humans and the things that prey on them—falls on his shoulders, threatening to change everything he thought he knew about life, the city he left behind so long ago, and himself.

As the line keeps getting thinner, it’ll soon be up to Paul, with help from some unexpected (and witchy) places, to prove worthy of his legacy while fighting for the city’s humanity, and trying not to lose his own along the way.'

The novel is the first part of a trilogy of the same name, with the author currently writing the second part set to be released in late 2022.

Interested? Head over to Shtriga publishing house to read the first chapter for free, available in epub, mobi and pdf formats.

The novel can be purchased as an e-book or paperback, the latter available on Amazon and Book Depository.


Monday, 7 March 2022

HNL Round 26 Recap: Draws for Osijek and Hajduk, Dinamo Back into 1st Place

March 7, 2022 - The 26th round of the Croatian First League was played from March 4 to 6, 2022. Osijek and Hajduk recorded draws in this round, while Dinamo and Rijeka booked 3:0 victories. Here is our HNL round 26 recap. 

Lokomotiva v. Osijek (0:0)

Lokomotiva and Osijek opened the 26th round on Friday, March 4, 2022, in Zagreb in front of 884 fans. 

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


Lokomotiva is currently in 5th place with 33 points, while Osijek has dropped to 2nd place with 53. 

Dinamo v. Sibenik (3:0)

Dinamo and Sibenik met on Satuday, March 5, 2022, at Maksimir in front of 2,421 fans. 

Bockaj scored Dinamo's first goal for 1:0 in the 16th minute. Petkovic increased Dinamo's lead with a goal in the 58th minute for 2:0. Finally, Baturina secured Dinamo's victory with a goal for 3:0 in the 76th minute. 


Dinamo has moved back to first place with 53 points and a game in hand, while Sibenik is in 8th place with 26 points. 

Rijeka v. Slaven Belupo (3:0)

Rijeka and Belupo met on Saturday, March 5, 2022, at Rujevica in front of 3,421 fans. 

While the first half went without goals, Vuckic scored for the Rijeka lead in the 55th minute for 1:0. Drmic increased Rijeka's lead to 2:0 in the 70th minute, before Čerin made it 3:0 9 minutes later, which was the final score. 


Rijeka is currently in 3rd place with 52 points, while Belupo is in 7th with 29. 

Gorica v. Hr. Dragovoljac (4:0)

Gorica and Dragovoljac met on Sunday, March 6, 2022, in Velika Gorica. 

Though Kalik missed a penalty in the 10th minute for Gorica, Atiemwen scored the second-awarded penalty for Gorica in the 22nd minute for 1:0. Subaric received a red card for Dragovoljac in the 45th minute, forcing them to play with a man down for the remainder of the match. Muhammed scored for 2:0 Gorica in the 47th minute, followed by Da Cruz for 3:0 in the 52nd and Kalik for 4:0 in the 59th. 


Gorica is currently in 6th place with 32 points, while Dragovoljac is in last place with 10. 

Istra 1961 v. Hajduk (1:1)

Istra and Hajduk closed out the 26th round on Sunday, March 6, 2022, in Pula. 

Nikola Kalinić scored his first goal for Hajduk since he's returned in the 30th minute for 0:1. Drena Beljo equalized for Istra in the 54th minute for 1:1. Hajduk scored one minute later though it was ultimately recalled thanks to VAR. The match ended 1:1. 


Istra is currently in 9th place with 23 points, while Hajduk is in 4th with 48 and a game in hand. 

You can see the full HNL standings HERE

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

Thursday, 3 March 2022

Rijeka Railway Station Unveiled After Two Years of Renovation

March 3rd, 2022 - Special attention was paid to the restoration of original decorative elements on the facade

After a two-year renovation, the main railway station in Rijeka has been restored to its original splendour.

The 19th century edifice had been neglected for ages until it was finally decided to renovate the historical building, starting with a facade restoration. The project is worth HRK 25 million in total, and works should be completed by the summer of 2023, according to RiPortal.

Conservators and restorers have been working on the building since March 2020, and are now putting the finishing touches on the facade. Scaffolding was taken down earlier this week to the delight of Rijeka locals, who are happy to see one of the main landmarks in the city finally getting the long-awaited makeover.

The railway station is the work of Ferenc Pfaff, a Hungarian architect who also designed the central railway stations in Zagreb and Osijek. The project was financed by the Hungarian State Railways with construction completed in 1891.


Special attention was paid to the restoration of original decorative elements on the facade, painstakingly carried out by a team of 20 experts from the company Terracotta from Zagreb. Weathered elements that were too heavily damaged had to be removed entirely and replaced with identical replicas: molds made from the originals were used to cast new terracotta elements.

The facade was also repainted and the exterior woodwork replaced. Interior works were also supposed to be nearing completion, but were delayed after the restorers uncovered original architectural sculpture in the vestibule. Conservators now need to draw up an interior design plan before works are allowed to continue. Once this is done, the next stage of the project can begin, namely renovation of the waiting rooms, staff offices and restrooms.


And while some are poetically calling the renovated building a rhapsody in white, others have pointed out that it wouldn’t take too long for vandals to tarnish the fresh facade with graffiti. Sadly, it wouldn’t even be the first time: as Novi list reported a while ago, several graffiti had been found on a renovated part of the facade back in December 2021.

They’ve been painted over in the meantime, and the facade was reportedly covered in special anti-graffiti coating that will prevent spray paint from permeating the wall surface and make cleanup easier.

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