Monday, 16 May 2022

Four New Faces on Latest Croatia Nations League Player List

May 16, 2022 - Coach Zlatko Dalić announced the Croatia Nations League player list at a press conference today ahead of the national team gathering at the end of the month. 

Croatia national football team coach Zlatko Dalić announced the list of players for the upcoming UEFA Nations League matches today. The Croatia A national team will play four games at the beginning of June in this competition. 

It all begins in Osijek on June 3 against Austria, followed by another home game against France in Split on June 6.

Croatia then travels to two away games, first to Copenhagen on June 10 against Denmark and then to France for a replay of the World Cup final on June 13.

Dalić invited four debutants to the upcoming gathering: Nediljko Labrovic, Josip Šutalo, Martin Erlić, and Petar Musa, and two call ups - Filip Krovinović and Mario Vušković.

Goalkeepers: Dominik Livaković, Ivica Ivušić, Nediljko Labrović

Defenders: Domagoj Vida, Šime Vrsaljko, Borna Barišić, Duje Ćaleta-Car, Josip Juranović, Joško Gvardiol, Borna Sosa, Marin Pongračić, Josip Stanišić, Erlić, Josip Šutalo

Midfielders: Luka Modrić, Mateo Kovačić, Marcelo Brozović, Mario Pašalić, Nikola Vlašić, Lovro Majer, Kristijan Jakić, Luka Sučić

Strikers: Ivan Perišić, Andrej Kramarić, Josip Brekalo, Mislav Oršić, Marko Livaja, Ante Budimir, Petar Musa

Callups: Luka Ivanušec, Mario Vušković, Nikola Moro, Ivo Grbić, Mile Škorić, Filip Krovinović

"Congratulations first to Dinamo on becoming Croatian champion. We have four games ahead of us in which we need to achieve our goal in the Nations League. It’s inconvenient because it’s the end of the season, the guys will come after seven, eight days off and there are four games, which is a lot. That is why we have expanded the list and I will have to calculate that," Dalić began and added:

"As always, we will go for all the victories, that is our goal and desire. We need to focus on Austria and France at home, but difficult Denmark in Copenhagen and France in Paris await us. There won't be a lot of calculations. Modrić, Perišić, Gvardiol, or Brozović cannot play all four games; we will see how they will feel. It is inconvenient that the players are on vacation for seven days, so when we gather, there is a danger of injuries and all that.

We will not be able to put together the most ideal lineup, and already in the first game, we have to put in the strongest forces and try to win because it is the most important. Later we will see. Depending on the young team finishing qualifications, some of their players will join us." 

The national team gathers on May 30 in Zagreb and will stay in the capital until June 2 before traveling to Osijek.

Tickets for all matches go on sale today at noon! You can find more information here.

Source: HNS

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

Sunday, 1 May 2022

Hajduk and Shakhtar Donetsk Play 'Football for Peace' Humanitarian Friendly in Split

May 1, 2022 -  Hajduk and Shakhtar Donetsk played a humanitarian friendly match at Poljud on Sunday under the theme 'Football for Peace'.

The goal of the match is to raise funds to help orphaned children in war-torn Ukraine who now need accommodation in Croatia.

Tickets were 30 kuna while a donation line is also open to call until May 15. The number is 0609006. A call center was set up at Poljud's White Salon on Sunday, where many celebrities answered the phones, from athletes to actors, singers, current first-team players, veterans, and members of the club's Management Board. A special guest is UEFA President Alexander Ceferin.

Hajduk's new home jersey was also officially presented for the first time at the friendly match. 

 Since this is a humanitarian meeting aimed at raising funds to help orphans in war-torn Ukraine, Hajduk put the first 12 jerseys up for auction, and all funds will be donated to the humanitarian action.

The club will publish two jerseys from Hajduk's first-team players every day on the club's official Facebook page. Bids can be left in the comments below the post with the winner being the highest bidder. Each of these jerseys will be signed by the player whose jersey is up for auction. The auction ends on May 7.

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Before the match, HRT spoke to Hajduk president Lukša Jakobušić and former Croatia national team captain and Shakhtar legend Darijo Srna.

"I would like to immediately thank the President of Hajduk for this great gesture. I never dreamed we would play this kind of game today. However, it is life, we have to deal with it, and we have to fight it. Many thanks to them, many thanks to the fans, Croatia, Split, Dalmatia. This is a great honor for us and once again a huge thank you to Hajduk. Two months ago, when I talked to the president he said ‘Darijo, send all the children, we will take them all. We’ve been through it all, we know what it means to help at this point. Believe me, me personally, my club, and the whole of Ukraine will never forget this from Hajduk," said the former Vatreni captain and the legend of the Split club. Srna is the current sports director of Shakhtar.

"In our DNA is defiance of the powerful and protection of the weak. We in this area know what trouble is, we know what war is and the least we can do is help. We help as much as we can, we know what Darijo did for Croatia and Hajduk. Out of respect for him and the children, we will try to help them at least a little," said Jakobušić.

Lineups for Sunday's friendly match

HAJDUK: Posavec, Fossati, Elez, Lovrencsics, Biuk, Zulić, Lazar, Letaj, Bradarić, Jakir, Ljubičić
Bench: Subašić, Fesyuk, Simić, Pukštas, Čuić, Brajković, Krolo, Nazor, Zubanović, Jurak, Grgić, Hrvojević, Petrović, Vrcić

SHAKHTAR Pyatov, Matviienko, Korniienko, Bondarenko, Marlon, Stepanenko, Konoplia, Sudakov, Topalov, Mudryk, Solomon
Bench: Shevchenko, Puzankov, Trubin, Rakytskyi, Farina, Bondar, Buleza, Udod, Stasyuk, Drambaev, Kapinus, Chekh, Myshnyov, Shostak, Siheev, Kryskiv, Khromel, Boirachuk

Marin Ljubičić scored the first goal of the match for Hajduk in the 10th minute for 1:0, which was the score going into halftime. 

Franjo Lazar scored an early goal in the second half for 2:0 going into the 49th minute. Anel Zulić was subbed off for Zubanović in the 50th minute. 

In the 57th minute, Hajduk subbed off Marco Fossati for Rokas Pukstas, Josip Elez for Stefan Simic, and Franjo Lazar for Luka Jurak. 

Dmytro Topalov scored for 2:1 in the 59th minute and Petro Stasiuk equalized for 2:2 in the 74th minute! But Hajduk's Marin Ljubičić made it 3:2 with 10 minutes to go.

Boriachuk scored during stoppage time for the final 3:3! 

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

Tuesday, 12 April 2022

HNS and UEFA Meet in Nyon: Croatian Football House Project Presented to Čeferin

April 12, 2022 - HNS and UEFA met in Nyon, where they discussed several challenges in today's European football and presented the idea of creating a Croatian football house to President Aleksander Čeferin.

A high delegation of the Croatian Football Federation led by President Marijan Kustić visited Uefa President Aleksandar Čeferin and his closest associates, reports HNS

A meeting of the Uefa and HNS leaders was held on Monday at the headquarters of the umbrella European football federation in Nyon. UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin received a high-level HNS delegation, including President Kustić, Executive Director Tomislav Svetina, and Technical Director Stipe Pletikosa. In addition to Čeferin, the Croatian delegation was hosted by UEFA's head of football, Zvonimir Boban, and the director of national associations, Zoran Laković.

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UEFA

"Thanks to President Čeferin and his closest associates, Mr. Boban and Mr. Laković, for a delightful reception and constructive and open conversation. We are proud that Croatian football is highly valued within the umbrella federation of European football and that HNS has such quality cooperation with Uefa. We are pleased that the President of Uefa is following an exciting competition in the Croatian First League. We discussed several challenges of today's European football, from the so-called Super League to the pandemic to the war in Ukraine. We presented the idea of creating a house of Croatian football in Veslačka to President Čeferin, and we are glad that Uefa will support this project if we succeed in its realization. We are honored with such a pleasant reception.

We look forward to returning the hospitality at the meeting of the Uefa Executive Committee, which will be held in September on Hvar," said HNS President Marijan Kustić.

"We were pleased to receive the HNS delegation, which is on and off the field is undoubtedly one of the most successful medium-sized federations in Europe. The Croatia national team's silver medal in Russia is the best inspiration to any small country that football dreams can come true if you show great togetherness with football talent and skill. Club football is also getting better, confirmed by the recently signed record contract for TV rights.

HNS has made great strides in recent years in building quality infrastructure across the country and will undoubtedly continue to have strong Uefa support in the same direction. This also applies to a potential camp or football house in Zagreb, which would be an excellent solution for HNS. I am looking forward to a new arrival in Croatia. Hvar is an ideal destination for the session of our Executive Board, and the HNS will undoubtedly be a great host," said Uefa president Aleksander Čeferin.

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UEFA

The HNS delegation presented the hosts with personalized jerseys of 2018 World Cup finalists with the #9 to Aleksandar Čeferin, #11 to Zoran Laković, and the well-known jersey #10 to Zvonimir Boban, the legendary Vatreni captain who led Croatia to the bronze medal at the 1998 World Cup in France. 

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

Friday, 25 February 2022

Dinamo Europa League Earnings Revealed After Elimination from Sevilla

February 25, 2022 - After being eliminated to Sevilla in the playoffs, the Dinamo Europa League earnings have been revealed. 

Dinamo was knocked out of the Europa League on Thursday night. Although they beat Sevilla 1-0 at Maksimir, they failed to make up for the two-goal deficit from the first Europa League play-off match. Recall, Sevilla won 3-1 in the first leg last week and went on to the next round with a 3-2 aggregate. 

Despite the relegation, Dinamo has reason to be pleased, which is the state of the club's coffers. Thanks to good performances in the Europa League, the Zagreb team earned a hefty amount that will give them a significant boost in the fight for the First HNL and Europe next season, reports Gol.hr.

By losing to the Sheriff in the Champions League play-offs, Dinamo earned 5 million euros. In comparison, they made a slightly smaller amount for placing in the Europa League group stage - around 3.6 million euros.

For every point won in the Europa League group stage, Dinamo earned several hundred thousand euros. Specifically, the Croatian champion won ten points as the second-placed team in the group and thus earned 2.1 million euros. That is 210,000 euros per point.

By securing a place in the second round of the Europa League, UEFA rewarded Dinamo with another million euros.

But that's not the end.

Thanks to the excellent coefficient in European competitions, Dinamo earned an additional 3.7 million euros.

When everything is added up, Dinamo has earned close to 15 million euros, or 14.6 million euros this season in Europe. This considerable amount will surely grow even more when the money from television rights enters Dinamo's account.

Dinamo will now fully dedicate themselves to the fight for the First HNL title. The first exam awaits them this weekend in the 25th round of the First HNL against Osijek at City Garden Stadium. 

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

Thursday, 24 February 2022

Dinamo Drops Out of Europa League, Sevilla through to Next Round

February 24, 2022 - Dinamo drops out of Europa League, and Sevilla moves forward with a 3:2 aggregate after the second leg was played at Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb. 

Dinamo Zagreb did not manage to secure a spot in the Europa League round of 16. After the return match of the Europa League playoffs on Thursday, Dinamo defeated the six-time winner of this competition - Sevilla 1-0 (0-0). However, as Sevilla won 3-1 in the first leg last week, they went on to the next round with a 3-2 aggregate. 

The match's only goal was scored by Mislav Oršić in the 65th minute from a penalty after Acuna played with his hand in the 16th minute.

The first half was overall unexciting. Dinamo opened it briskly and energetically, but Sevilla successfully repelled all attacks. Mišić had an attempt in the 20th minute from twenty meters though it missed the goal. 

In the middle of the first half, Sevilla took possession and control of the match, but in the 34th minute, Dinamo created a solid opportunity. After a great breakthrough, Tolić found Gojak, who fell in a duel with Diego Carlos. Unfortunately, the ref did not point to the penalty spot as expected. Sevilla sent several shots towards the Dinamo goal by the end of the half, none of which were dangerous.

Sevilla opened the second half much better and had two good situations in front of Dinamo's goal, first in the 48th and then in the 51st minute. However, Livaković managed to defend both times. After that, Kopić made four changes - he introduced Bulat, Bočkaj, Špikić and Emreli, and took out Tolić, Štefulj, Ristovski and Petković.

Bulat was responsible for Dinamo's lead in the 65th minute. Sevilla's left-back Acuna played with his hand in a duel with the Šibenik player, and the referee immediately awarded a penalty. Mislav Oršić scored for 1-0. 

Dinamo was even more motivated after scoring the goal. After 75 minutes, Bočkaj got through on the left and was close to equalizing but couldn't get the shot off. A minute later, Menalo shot after Špikić's cross, but Sevilla's goalkeeper was ready again.

By the end of the match, numerous attacks by Dinamo followed. Oršić had a superb strike in the 89th minute after a long ball through the middle, but it went out for a corner. Delaney earned his second yellow card in the first minute of extra time, forcing Sevilla to play with a man down for the last three minutes. Dinamo tried to attack after two interceptions, but Sevilla defended and has advanced to the round of 16.

Source: Index.hr

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

Wednesday, 2 February 2022

UEFA Playmakers: HNS, UEFA, and Disney Join Forces to Promote Women's Football in Croatia

February 2, 2022 - This March, young girls all over Croatia will have the opportunity to participate in the UEFA Playmakers program and enjoy football through innovative and fun training programs that follow the most popular Disney animated hits. 

What is the UEFA Playmakers program?
Namely, HNS reports that the UEFA Playmakers is a pan-European program promoting women's football, which was created in cooperation between Uefa and Disney. The Croatian Football Federation is thus introducing the program in Croatia on March 1. The program is intended for girls aged 5 to 8 and is adapted to girls who have never played football or participated in a sport before.

The program has a unique approach based on scientific research from Uefa and Leeds Beckett University. It focuses on narration, acting, imagination, and children's play as the main elements in encouraging girls to play football and develop motor and physical skills.

In Croatia, the program will take place in 2022 and 2023, and four editions will be organized. The first edition - in March 2022 - will follow the animated film Frozen 2.

Each edition of the program will consist of ten trainings. The girls will embody characters from Disney's most popular animated films, such as Frozen and The Incredibles, and learn basic football skills.

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The training will take place on the fields and/or in the halls of women's football clubs so that girls can join the clubs and continue playing football after participating in the UEFA Playmakers program.

The ambassador of the UEFA Playmakers project in Croatia is the former celebrated Croatia national team member and current coach of the Croatia U-19 national team Niko Kranjčar, who stressed the importance of the game in encouraging children to play sports:

"I like this program for several reasons - I'm a big fan of cartoons, especially Disney, and I'm also a big fan of sports, and I believe that all children should have the opportunity to play sports. This initiative is a great way for young children to get in the habit of playing sports through playfulness and fun, which, in my opinion, are the most important parts of sports."

What makes UEFA Playmakers special?
Unlike traditional football programs, each of the ten trainings in each edition of UEFA Playmakers follows animated hits such as Frozen 2 and The Incredibles 2. Girls participating in the training will have the opportunity to embody popular characters such as Elsa and Anna and Incredibles heroes, develop basic football skills and cooperate, all while using their imagination.

The fundamental goal of the first few trainings is to encourage girls to gain self-confidence in their sports skills and to think creatively and communicate with other participants in the program. In the program's continuation, coaches introduce exercises that develop fundamental football skills, but the emphasis remains on relaxed playing and fun.

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"The development of women's football and encouraging girls to play football are essential goals of HNS, and we believe that this program, along with many other programs for the development of women's football that we already implement, can be of great benefit to the development of our women’s soccer base. As a long-time coach who has worked with young people and as the main instructor who has worked with young players, I see a lot of potential in the approach used by UEFA Playmakers - I think that playing and acting is a great way to introduce football to girls and to lay the foundations for their football through a positive and fun experience.

The football centers that will implement the UEFA Playmakers program in cooperation with HNS are closely connected with women's football clubs, and we hope that the girls will love football through this non-competitive, fun training, and want to continue their football travels in clubs," said Chief Instructor of the Croatian Football Federation Petar Krpan.

Where and when is the UEFA Playmakers program held in Croatia?
The program will be held in 30 football centers in Croatia so that girls from all over Croatia can participate. Trainings will be held in Zagreb, Rijeka, Split, Osijek, Dubrovnik, Čakovec, Ivanec, Karlovac, Kaštela, Koprivnica, Lepoglava, Metković, Požega, Pregrada, Pula, Slavonski Brod, Velika Gorica, Vinkovci, Zadar and Županja.

The first edition of the program starts in March, and parents can register their girls today (from 5 to 8 years old) to participate via the link. The second edition will begin in May this year, while the third and fourth editions will be organized in the fall of 2022 and spring 2023, respectively.

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An approach based on scientific research and previous positive experiences
The emphasis on learning through play and acting - at the heart of UEFA Playmakers - is based on scientific research conducted by UEFA under the auspices of UEFA Beckett University in Leeds, which has shown the critical role of entertainment and non-competitiveness in encouraging girls to the way they start playing sports. The UEFA Playmakers program is also based on the exchange of knowledge between Uefa and the England Football Federation, running the "Shooting Stars" program in collaboration with Disney for several years.

The program's main goal is to encourage girls to play football through fun, non-competitive training and provide them with an easy way to gain more confidence and security when it comes to sports activities.

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Through a combination of Disney's popular stories and characters and academic recommendations that show the positive role of narration and acting in promoting sport among children, UEFA Playmakers aims to increase the proportion of girls in Europe who meet the World Health Organization's recommendations for sports and physical activity. This program is crucial for HNS and Croatia because Croatia is among the poorest members of the European Union when it comes to the share of the population that meets the health recommendations for physical activity. The percentage of women who meet these recommendations is particularly low.

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

Saturday, 29 January 2022

Croatia and France at Poljud: June 2022 UEFA Nations League Host Cities Announced

January 29, 2022 - It'll be a replay of the 2018 World Cup final, with the Croatian Football Federation announcing the 2022 Nations League match between Croatia and France will be played at Poljud on June 6, 2022. 

The Croatian Football Federation Executive Board has decided on the venues for the Croatia national team matches in the UEFA Nations League, opening in June this year, reports HNS

The 2018 World Cup finalist will host Austria on June 3 at City Garden Stadium in Osijek (20:45), and three days later a replay of the 2018 World Cup final between Croatia and France at Poljud in Split. The long-awaited spectacle against the 2018 world champions will also be played in the evening (20:45).

In this June mini-cycle, the Croatia national team will also face Denmark (June 10) and France (June 13), both away. Croatia completes the Nations League in September with Denmark at home (September 22) and Austria away on September 25 (stadium to be determined). 

Thus, four Nations League rounds will be played from June 2 to 14, and the remaining two in the second half of September (from 22 to 27).

The Croatian Football Federation will announce ticket sale information in due time, but if the final 2022 World Cup qualifying match against Russia last November tells us anything, we can expect a sellout at Poljud Stadium in June - with hopefully much nicer weather. 

Croatia will not rest at the end of March, either. While the remaining second-placed European national teams will play additional World Cup qualifications, Croatia could play up to three friendly matches as part of their World Cup preparations.

Furthermore, the World Cup group draw will be held on April 1, 2022, in Doha. On that day, coach Dalić and the players will learn the three national teams they will compete against in the group stage of the World Cup. The 2022 World Cup will be hosted by Qatar from November 21 to December 18 this year. 

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

Wednesday, 19 January 2022

Croatian Football Federation to Host UEFA Executive Board Session on Hvar

January 19, 2022 - The Croatian Football Federation announced on its official website that it would host a UEFA Executive Board session on Hvar in September this year.

The session could be critical in the context of the fight with FIFA over the biennial World Cup and the latest preparations for the World Cup in Qatar, which will be held from November 21 to December 18, 2022.

The leadership of the Croatian Football Federation has expressed interest in hosting a session of the Executive Board, and the Federation's headquarters confirmed that UEFA accepts the proposal. Accordingly, the UEFA session will be held on September 21 in Hvar.

"We look forward to holding this session in Croatia and have the opportunity to explore your beautiful country further," reads a letter signed by UEFA Secretary-General Theodore Theodoridis, quoted by the HNS website.

"I thank President Alexander Čeferin and the UEFA leadership for the great trust they have shown us. We are pleased with this decision because it confirms the excellent status that HNS enjoys in UEFA, and I am convinced that we will once again prove ourselves as excellent hosts and capable organizers of such events," said HNS President Marijan Kustić.

The UEFA Executive Board last met in Croatia in 2013, when the session was hosted in Dubrovnik.

Gol.hr reports that HNS president Marijan Kustić and his right-hand man and Čeferin's legal colleague Tomislav Svetina certainly did not accidentally throw Hvar on the table, which is an elite destination of Croatian tourism. Still, there is another important point in the whole story.

Well-known Slovenian lawyer and since September 2016 the leader of European football, UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin, will combine business and pleasure on Hvar. 

Namely, Čeferin has been spending his summers on Hvar for many years. Moreover, he has a house in the small town of Zavala, approximately in the central part of the sunniest Croatian island, and on the south side.

Hvar locals already know him well. Čeferin has a beautifully decorated house about 200 meters from the sea, and tall palm trees were brought by truck and planted in the garden. From the home terrace, there is a fantastic view of the open sea, and in the immediate vicinity is a small vineyard that completes the experience.

The UEFA Executive Board has 20 members, among them the former president of the HNS and still the top scorer of the Croatia national team - Davor Šuker.

Among the most famous people in the Croatian public are Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, a legend of German football and Bayern, and the president of PSG Nasser Al-Khelaifi. Both are members of the UEFA IO as representatives of the European Club Association (ECA), while the famous Spaniard Javier Tebas represents the Europa League (EL).

All major football nations have their representatives among the members of the IO. Sixteen of them are elected by the UEFA Congress, two representatives are given by the ECA and one by the EL, and the UEFA President has a seat on the IO by the logic of things.

Gol.hr assumes that Dejan Savičević, President of the Montenegrin Football Federation and one of the six UEFA envoys to the FIFA Council, will also attend the session.

As the UEFA President can invite third parties to attend UEFA Executive Board meetings in an advisory capacity, we expect other well-known football names.

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

Monday, 10 January 2022

Hajduk's Stipe Biuk Only Croatian Footballer on UEFA's 40 for the Future

January 10, 2022 - Hajduk Split wonderkid Stipe Biuk is in the UEFA spotlight as the only Croatian footballer named as a young player to watch in 2022. 

The European Football Organization (UEFA) has singled out a list of the most talented footballers under the age of 21 who could come to the forefront of the football public this season.

The list includes several famous names and one Croatian football player - 19-year-old Hajduk Split winger Stipe Biuk.

Thanks to his outstanding performance in the U21 European Championship quarterfinal match against Spain earlier this year, the European football public took notice of the Hajduk Split player. 

"Biuk turned heads with an impressive cameo against Spain at last summer's Under-21 EURO finals, and the left-winger has been a regular starter at club level during the past nine months," writes UEFA. 

He won a penalty for extra time, though the U21 Croatia national team did not have enough strength to beat Spain and win a spot in the semifinals.

Biuk signed a professional contract with Hajduk until 2026 in January 2021. As captain, he led the Hajduk junior team to lead the standings in the first half of the season. Thanks to his excellent play, he was invited to the winter preparations with the first team last year, together with Marin Ljubičić. He has also been a regular member of all Croatia national team younger age categories. 

Some of the largest European clubs have already targeted Biuk. In August last year, it was revealed that Lokomotiv Moscow and Manchester City were after the youngster, with City offering 12.5 million euros for the footballer. It would have been the club's record transfer. 

Hajduk's record outgoing transfer thus far is Nikola Vlašić, who was sold to Everton in the summer of 2017 for 10.8 million euros. 

You can see the list of UEFA's most talented young footballers HERE.

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

Friday, 17 December 2021

UEFA Nation's League Group 1 Schedule: Croatia Opens against Austria and France at Home

December 17, 2021 - The UEFA Nation's League Group 1 schedule has been announced. Croatia will open the competition with home games against Austria and France next June. 

The European Football Federation (UEFA) has announced the Nations League Group 1 schedule, which features the national teams of Croatia, France, Denmark, and Austria.

"We are in the elite group and every opponent is tough, but I can say that the draw was not bad. It seems to me that it will be easier than the first two years and I expect, of course, good results. I was expecting Italy, but we got France from the strongest hat. There is no way we can avoid them and I guess we have to play until we beat them. Austria and Denmark are national teams we can play with," was how Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić reacted to the draw held on Friday. 

"The Nations League is always important, but it has caused me problems in the past because we were not successful. Now I expect better games and to present ourselves properly. There will be good matches, the group is great and everything will be great preparation for the World Cup in Qatar," concluded Dalić.

Croatia will open the competition in June next year with home games against Austria (June 3) and France (June 6). This will be followed by away matches against Denmark (June 10) and France (June 13). Croatia will play at home against Denmark on September 22 and visit Austria on September 25 to close out the group stage. 

The cities hosting the group matches will be announced at a late date.

SCHEDULE

June 3, 2022: Croatia - Austria

June 6, 2022: Croatia - France

June 10, 2022: Denmark - Croatia

June 13, 2022: France - Croatia

September 22, 2022: Croatia - Denmark

September 25, 2022: Austria - Croatia

It is not yet known how this Nations League season will affect the qualifications for Euro 2024. UEFA has said that this has not yet been decided.

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

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