Saturday, 21 August 2021

Luis Figo, Aleksander Čeferin, and More Stars at Plasma Youth Sports Games in Split

August 21, 2021 - Aleksander Čeferin, Luis Figo, Johannes Hahn, Zvonimir Boban, Predrag Mijatović, Darijo Srna, Florent Malouda, Maxwell Andrade, and Fernando Hierro took part in the 25th anniversary of the Plasma Youth Sports Games in Split.

The 25th Plasma Youth Sports Games in Split on Friday brought together many international sports stars and officials who came to congratulate the largest amateur sports event in Europe on this great jubilee, reports Dalmacija Danas.

The program began with a solemn ceremony at the Croatian Home in Split, which brought together longtime partners, friends, and ambassadors of the Games.

The international sports stars were led by Luis Figo, who arrived in the company of Zvonimir Boban, Maxwell Andrade, Hierro, Malouda, Darijo Srna, and Predrag Mijatović.


Miroslav Lelas / PIXSELL

Special awards for long-term support and cooperation were given to Zoran Mamić, Tommy doo Supervisory Board Presiden, Zoran Bogdanović, Chief Executive Officer of Coca-Cola HBC on behalf of the Coca-Cola partner of the ceremony, Predrag Mijatović, Ambassador of Plasma Youth Sports Games, Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for Budget and Administration for the 2020 Ambassador of the Year, and Alexander Ceferin for 2021 Ambassador of the Year.

“Sport connects, sport is love, sport is unique, sport earns the respect of all people, so a big tribute to everything that the Plasma Youth Sports Games do. As long as I am the president of UEFA and the UEFA Children's Foundation, I will fully support the work of the Games within my capabilities," said Čeferin.

The stars were greeted by Ivica Puljak, Mayor of Split, and Davor Božinović, Croatia's Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister. Members of the Ministry of the Interior, in cooperation with the Plasma Youth Sports Games, have been conducting a large educational campaign "Be a fan, not a breaker", which aims to prevent violence on sports fields. In addition, they jointly implemented the National Road Safety Program.

"This is a great event, dedicated to the great idea and vision of young people, who are still young even after 25 years. Youth sports games have given a new dimension to sports in Split and sports in Croatia. In these challenging times, it is important to care for children and separate them as much as possible from mobile phones and computers so that they can fully accept healthy lifestyles," said Davor Božinović.


Miroslav Lelas / PIXSELL

In his emotional speech, Zdravko Marić, President of Plasma Youth Sports Games, thanked everyone who gave their all to the success of the Games and pointed out: “We try to add up, try to summarize a quarter of a century in some statistics to describe well how we grew, how we expanded, how we did not give up. We have been promoting tolerance, friendship, solidarity, and fair play for a quarter of a century and we hope that in these 25 years we have woven exactly these values ​​into many generations of our children and youth in Croatia and the region.”

Zlatko Dalić, Stipe Pletikosa, and Marijan Kustić, HNS president, but also famous citizens of Split - Gibonni and Tonci Huljić, and guests from Serbia led by Vanja Udovičić, Serbian Minister of Youth and Sports, were also at the ceremony.

After the festive program, the guests hurried to change into jerseys as Prokurative transformed to host a football spectacle at 8 pm: revival matches featuring participants in the international finals of the Plasma Youth Sports Games from Croatia, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina against world sports stars and friends of the Games.

Tihomir Gudić, executive director of Plasma Youth Sports Games, celebrated football player Igor Tudor, and Igor Angelovski coached the young athletes. The star team was led by coaches Zdravko Marić, Martina Dalić, and Davor Božinović.

Fulfilling the dream of playing with your idols was the biggest reward for the excited little footballers who seriously impressed Figo, Srna, Stanić, Boban, and other stars. That this would be a serious football clash was also clear with the arrival of Robert Rosetti, a world-famous football coach. The fan atmosphere, which has not been seen for a long time at a sporting event, was heightened by the victory of young athletes against world stars. Prokurative turned into a spectacular football field thanks to Green Luxury. The match could be watched live by the citizens of Split and guests of the city in the fan zone on the Riva, where the real fan atmosphere was provided by Indira.


Miroslav Lelas / PIXSELL

The closing ceremony was held on the Riva, where Alexander Čeferin, Predrag Mijatovic, and Johannes Hahn presented awards to young ambassadors from Croatia, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The young athletes and guests were greeted by Ivica Puljak, Mayor of Split, Tomislav Družak, State Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Nikola Brnjac, Minister of Tourism and Sports, Zdravko Marić, and Davor Božinović, who closed the 25th season of the Games. Before the celebration, congratulations were sent by video from many athletes: Luka Modrić, Goran Ivanišević, Slaven Bilić, Edin Džeko, Dragan Stojković Piksi, and many others, regretting that they failed to attend the celebration.

The beautiful night in Split ended with a big fireworks display and a concert by Sergej Ćetković.

As part of the International Finals in Split from August 17-21, as part of the implementation of the Youth Sports Fair Chance project, games were held with the participation of students and teachers from Croatia, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Infographics created during the implementation of the project on the fight against violence, racism, discrimination, and intolerance in sports were presented, and panel discussions and sports activities for children were organized.

The Youth Sports Fair Chance project is co-financed by the Erasmus + program of the European Union, and the total value of the project is 365,525.00 euros. The project was also presented at a ceremony at the Croatian Home.

Plasma Youth Sports Games are the largest amateur sports event in Europe and in its 25 years of existence have gathered more than 2 million children and youth athletes. Every year from January to August they organize sports competitions in 10 sports (Tommy tournament in indoor soccer 2009, Coca-Cola Cup in football, HEP handball tournament, Croatian Post Cup tennis tournament, Kinder tournament in street basketball, beach volleyball, volleyball, chess under the auspices of FIDE, table tennis, dodge ball, and 60m race) and sports-educational event Telemach Sports Day.

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Saturday, 17 April 2021

Zvonimir Boban to Become First-Ever UEFA Head of Football

April 17, 2021 - Former Croatia national football team captain Zvonimir Boban will become the UEFA head of football on Tuesday, taking over a position that did not exist before.

Jutarnji List reports that on Tuesday, April 20, Zvonimir Boban will officially become the head of football, or 'chief of UEFA football!' With the great desire and concrete action of President Aleksander Ceferin, UEFA will thus get the first football boss in history. The fact that he is a former great footballer gives this decision a special dimension.

There is no doubt that this is another huge recognition for Boban (53) after he held an almost identical position in FIFA from March 2016 to the summer of 2019. Recall, he worked as the right hand of President Gianni Infantino.

The Slovenian lawyer became the head of UEFA in 2016, and on many occasions, he cooperated and held contacts with FIFA, i.e., Zvonimir Boban. When Boban was with Infantino at FIFA, great reforms began, of which the epochal one was the introduction of VAR. Everyone in football institutions knows that Zvone Boban was the main promoter of introducing the technology as an assistant to referees. He personally supervised it to the maximum and demonstrated its importance for football at the World Cup in Russia. VAR was only one and the most significant reform; others are related to the game rules, restoring credibility to FIFA after years of scandals, and more.

In the summer of 2019, Boban responded to the invitation of AC Milan, the club in which he gained worldwide recognition as a player and one of the most trophy-winning foreigners in history, and took on the role of head of the football sector. Together with Paolo Maldini, he got down to business. Through many problems in the club's selection policy, he managed to stabilize Milan, and with the new coach Stefan Pioli, put together a new team.

But with his views, which he intended to restore the former splendor and credibility of the great Milan, he encountered resistance from American owners, too concentrated on running the club as a company and on the cusp of a financial business. Aware that they were working behind his back by secretly arranging other coaches and players and denying the agreed budget to strengthen the team, Boban spoke publicly about it. This provoked a reaction from the club's owners, and the cooperation was terminated after only nine months. Due to illegal actions in the unilateral termination of the contract, the Milan court ruled in favor of Boban, who also sued the club and ordered AC Milan to pay him the entire contract and compensation, which is a total of just over 5 million euro.

After that, aware of all the values Boban has as a charismatic football man, with experience in leading the world football organization, evident and consistent attitudes, and sufficiently diplomatic when compromises are necessary for the general football interest, Ceferin called on him to join UEFA.

In 2019, the Slovenian received a new mandate as the president of UEFA until 2023. The European Football House is facing major reforms in club competitions, challenges of new times, pandemic restrictions and adjustments, and many new epochal situations. Ceferin showed wisdom when he decided to strengthen his team.

Boban is tailored to the duty of the head of all football issues, and that is directly Ceferin's decision. Boban will be part of the President's Office, with great powers and responsibilities, as was the case at FIFA. Croatia will now have a new UEFA government and Executive Committee member Davor Šuker, and now and another representative, Boban, the head of football.

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Friday, 28 June 2019

Zvonimir Boban Looking to Rebuild Milan with Four Croatian Players

TCN recently announced that Zvonimir Boban left his role at FIFA to return to AC Milan as the club's Chief Football Officer. Now, in collaboration with Paolo Maldini, he is preparing a team that should compete for the biggest medals in Italy.

In all likelihood, this team should feature a strong Croatian contingent, and if all goes to plan, Boban is looking to bring four Croatian players to Milan this summer, reports on June 27, 2019. 

Namely, the former Deputy Secretary General of FIFA is after Andrej Kramarić and Nikola Moro, and has allegedly already started negotiations, writes the Italian media. Additionally, AC Milan could even see the promising Josip Brekalo and Dejan Lovren.

"Now that Zvone is back in Milan, the club is back in a good position," said Andrej Kramarić’s agent recently about the possible transfer of the 28-year-old footballer who currently plays for Hoffenheim. While Milan is not the only club after the Croatian striker, by the sounds of it, they’re the closest to bringing him to Serie A. The transfer should amount to about 30 million euro.

Dinamo's Nikola Moro also has Boban’s interest, and Milan allegedly already sent an official offer to Maksimir, though the price the Italians will have to pay for the young Croat will inevitably be higher. Boban was also impressed by Josip Brekalo at the U21 Euros in San Marino. 

In Croatia’s final game against England, Brekalo scored two goals, which was all Boban needed to see to try to bring him over to the club this summer. 

It is known that the new Milan coach Giampaolo wants to play in the 3-5-2 formation, which requires another stopper. One of the leading candidates is yet another Croat, Dejan Lovren. The Liverpool defender has lost his place in the first 11, and it is not unlikely that he will soon find somewhere new to continue his career. So why not Milan?

This is just some of the Croatian transfer news, as Mateo Kovačić should sign with Chelsea today, Ivan Peršić could see a move to Arsenal, and Ivan Rakitić could be leaving his beloved Barcelona. 

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

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Zvonimir Boban Leaves FIFA, Joins AC Milan as Chief Football Officer

Zvonimir Boban has said goodbye to FIFA and is turning a new page of his career back at his beloved AC Milan. reports on June 14, 2019, that Zvonimir Boban has left his position as the Deputy Secretary General of FIFA to join AC Milan where he will assume the function of Chief Football Officer, the umbrella world football team announced in a statement on Friday. 

“I will always be grateful to FIFA President Gianni Infantino for the opportunity he gave me after his election in 2016. True to his manifesto pledge to ‘bring football back to FIFA and FIFA back to football’, he had the courage to entrust a former footballer with such a far-reaching role within the organization.

I feel really honored and privileged to have worked on such important projects to take FIFA back to its rightful place, far away from past scandals and a tarnished image. Looking back, I feel a real sense of accomplishment about my contribution to these big changes over the last three years.

I have been entrusted with leading important projects such as the revamp of the FIFA Club World Cup and the successful bidding process for the FIFA World Cup 2026™, as well as the revolutionary VAR project, which has managed to make the beautiful game fairer and protect its integrity.

None of this could have been achieved without the support of the President and amazing colleagues who are dedicated to serving the game of football across the globe. There may have been some debates along the way, but we have always upheld our motto of ‘Living Football’ and I will be eternally thankful to everyone,” Boban said on the official FIFA website

“It is extremely difficult to leave FIFA, but I followed my heart and my passion when making this decision, as was the case when I accepted the challenge of joining FIFA. The people at AC Milan are my family and the city of Milan and Italy are my home. I have a burning desire to help this glorious club, which means so much to me, to return where it belongs. Zurich now also has a special place in my heart after three wonderful years in Switzerland," concluded Boban for FIFA. 

Milan stated on its website announced that Boban would take on the new role of Chief Football Officer. The task will be to supervise and coordinate club sports activities, which will be chaired by director Ivan Gazidis and technical director Paolo Maldini.

Boban has been a part of FIFA since 2016 as a special advisor to Gianni Infantino and was effectively the second man in FIFA. Now, he returns to a club where he was a member for 10 years, from 1991 to 2001.

"I am very happy to return to my beloved Milan. I will contribute to bringing the club back where it deserves to be. Milan must be a leading and winning club, it's natural to his history and supporters,” Boban told the official club page. 

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

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Deputy Secretary General of FIFA and Former Croatia Captain Talks World Cup, 1998, and VAR

We're one month away from the World Cup in Russia - what does former Croatia captain and 1998 bronze medal winner Zvonimir Boban have to say?

Saturday, 7 January 2017

FIFA Trophy for Best Player in the World Designed by Croatian Artist

Ana Barbić Katičić created the look of the new FIFA trophy which will be awarded to the best football player in the world.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Zvonimir Boban To Get The Senior Position At FIFA

Ex-Croatian captain will be the special adviser to the President of FIFA.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Another Croatian Anniversary to Remember - the Birth of Vatreni

25 years ago, now legendary Vatreni played their first game together