Category: Sport

Luka Modrić Wins La Liga Midfielder of the Year Award

Croatia127Croatia international Luka Modrić has won the ‘Best Liga BBVA Midfielder for 2013-2014′ award…

Modrić, Atlético de Madrid’s Gabi, and Sergio Busquets from Barcelona were the contenders for the best Spanish La Liga midfielder for last season award, with Modrić winning the most number of votes (60.2%) from readers of leading Spanish sports daily Marca. Gabi received 30.7% of votes, with Busquets picking up 9.1%.

Luka was a key figure in Real Madrid’s midfield last season, playing 34 games during the La Liga campaign.

Marin Čilić Wins 4th ATP Title of the Year in Moscow

CroatiaCroatia’s number one tennis player Marin Čilić has won his 13th ATP title on Sunday when he beat Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut in the final of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow…

Čilić, who only last month won the US Open, was too good for the World number 16, winning in straight sets 6:4, 6:4 in just over 1 hour and 20 minutes. The victory was the Croatians 4th title this year, and puts him second only behind Roger Federer for ATP tour wins in 2014. Čilić, who fired 10 aces in the match, become the second Croat to win in Moscow after his coach Goran Ivanišević won the title in 1996.

Marin had another reason to celebrate, he also has qualified for the season finale event at The O2 in London which is contested by the top 8 players in the world.

On This Day 24 Years Ago…

croatiausa19902On this day 24 years ago the Croatian football team played its first match under its own flag…

The first modern-day Croatia team met the USA at Zagreb’s Maksimir stadium on 17 October 1990 in front of over 30,000 fans, and since that day 24 years ago have played 240 competitive matches. Since 1990 Croatia has appeared at 4 World Cups and has been ranked as high as 3rd in the world.

The first match under the modern-day Croatian flag ended in a 2-1 victory, thanks to goals from Aljoša Asanović and Ivan Cvjetković. Croatian legends Zvonimir Boban, Davor Šuker, Alen Bokšić, and Robert Jarni were unable to play in the fixture as they were playing with the Yugoslavia U-21 side against USSR. Croatia will face USA again next month in London in a friendly.

Croatia’s side in that match was:

Dražen Ladić (71′ Tonči Gabrić) – Zoran Vulić, Saša Peršon (70′ Gregor Židan), Vlado Kasalo, Drago Čelić, Darko Dražić – Marko Mlinarić, Aljoša Asanović (58′ Mladen Mladenović), Zlatko Kranjčar (C) – Ivan Cvjetković, Kujtim Shalla

Who Turned up to Niko Kovač’s Birthday?

Croatia11Croatia manager Niko Kovač turned 43 yesterday, and after his side gifted him a present on Monday with a 6-0 thumping of Azerbaijan, it was the turn of his close friends and family to help him celebrate on Wednesday night…

Kovač celebrated with an intimate dinner with family and friends at Vallis restaurant in the Zagreb suburb of Sesvete , which just happens to be owned by his brother and assistant coach Robert. Along with his brother, Kovač was joined by former internationals Mario Stanić and Boško Balaban, as well as Dinamo Zagreb’s manager Zoran Mamić, and his brother Zdravko. (pic: Instagram)

 

Dinamo Zagreb boss Zdravko Mamić with Robert's wife Anica

Dinamo Zagreb boss Zdravko Mamić with Robert’s wife Anica

 

Davor Šuker Receives Spanish Honour

0000007761_685_375_cutCroatian Football Federation President, Davor Šuker, has been awarded for his contribution in tightening the friendly bonds of Croatia and Spain on Wednesday in Zagreb…

Šuker, who left his mark in Spain after impressing during his time with Sevilla and Real Madrid, was presented with the award by the Spanish Ambassador His Excellency Eduardo Aznar on the occasion of Spanish National Day. Šuker was awarded for his contribution in promoting the friendly bonds of these two friendly countries.

“Our desire is to reward a man who is a Croatian, but also a Spaniard. Simultaneously, we reward all Croatian athletes who left their mark in Spain and who, through various activities, make a positive impression on Spanish people. Because of people such as Davor Šuker, Croatia is getting more popular in Spain, and Spain is getting even better known in Croatia”, said ambassador Aznar.

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“I would like to thank everyone for this award, coming from a country that respect its sports, that invests in it and is therefore very successful. On my behalf and on behalf of other athletes, I can say that in Spain, the foreign athletes are superbly treated. One of the everlasting memories will be my chance to speak to King Juan Carlos after winning the Champions League”, said HNS president Davor Šuker.

Šuker presented the ambassador with a commemorative jersey, and later spoke to Croatian media about Spanish approach to sports:

“Spain has given me the chance to fulfill my childhood dreams of becoming a world-class player and winning trophies. I have enjoyed these nine years because Spain is a country that accepts all people, takes care of their children and invests in sports. It is normal for the king and other dignitaries to cheer their national teams from the stands and rejoice with their people. I hope that shall be the case in Croatia. Their long-term investments are paying off, to the country, to sport, to the fans, and to the economy. Whatever is invested in youth is worthwhile”. (pic: Drago Sopta / HNS)

Luka Modrić Nominated for Spain’s La Liga Midfielder of the Year Award

Luka-ModricCroatia international Luka Modrić has been nominated for the ‘Best Liga BBVA Midfielder for 2013-2014′ award…

Modrić is one of three contenders for the best Spanish La Liga midfielder for last season, with Atlético de Madrid’s Gabi, and Sergio Busquets from Barcelona the other two in contention. Luka was a key figure in Real Madrid’s midfield last season, playing 34 games during the La Liga campaign. The LFP ceremony will be held on 27 October.

England End Croatia U-21 EURO Dream in Vinkovci

CroatiaThe Croatia U-21 side has failed to qualify for the EURO 2015 in the Czech Republic after losing to England 2-1 on Tuesday night in Vinkovci…

Croatia, bolstered by full international Alen Halilović, went into the match trailing 1-2 on aggregate from the first leg in the UK, and quickly went a goal down at home in the return leg. A Marko Livaja equalizer gave Croatia hope, but England snatched a winner late in the match to win on aggregate 4-2 and advance to next year’s finals in the Czech Republic.

U-21: CROATIA – ENGLAND 1:2 (1:1)
EURO 2015 play-offs, return leg.
Cibalia Stadium, Vinkovci

Goalscorers: 0:1 – Moore (9′), 1:1 – Livaja (38′), 1:2 – Hughes (73′)
Yellow cards: Carroll (56′)

Croatia: Livaković, Milić, Datković, Mitrović, Miloš, Bradarić, Pašalić (67′ Caktaš), Halilović (79′ Mišić), Pjaca, Rebić (34′ Bagarić), Livaja. Head coach: N. Gračan

England: Butland, Dier, Shaw, Gibson, Hughes, Moore, Caskey, Carroll, Redmond (85′ Ince), Berahino, Kane. Head coach: G. Southgate.

[VIDEO] Kovač Over the Moon After Croatia Hammer Six Past Azerbaijan

Croatia37Croatia have thumped a poor Azerbaijan side 6-0 in their EURO 2016 Group H qualifier in Osijek in front of just over 16,000 fans on Monday night…

Niko Kovač showed faith in NK Rijeka’s Andrej Kramarić by giving him a starting birth up front ahead of Ivica Olić, and the young forward did not disappoint when he opened the flood gates in the 11th minute with a clinical finish from a Darijo Srna cross. A brace by substitute Ivan Perišić with the head, and a turning shot by Dinamo Zagreb’s Marcelo Brozović sent Croatia to the break 4-0 up.

Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modrić converted a penalty after the break, before an own goal ended Azerbaijan’s misery on the night.

“We are over the moon. I am very happy with how it went tonight. We were excellent, there is nobody I want to single out, the whole team was great. We could have scored some more at the end but the players started to hold back, which is understandable as tomorrow they set off for their clubs,”said a happy Kovač after the win, adding that is never easy to play the smaller nations and that his side has a lot more room to improve.

Croatia, now top Group H on a maximum 9 points with a superior goal difference over Italy, who they face next in Milan on 16 November.

5-Year-Old Girl Who Went Viral Gets Special Guest Invite from Croatian FA

The five-year-old football fan who made headlines after a YouTube clip of her supporting her club went viral, has now caught the attention of the Croatian FA who want her passionate support for tonight’s EURO 2016 qualifier against Azerbaijan…

Doriana Capan (5) and her family have been invited by the Croatian Football Association as a special guest for Croatia’s clash with Azerbaijan in Osijek. The 5-year-old girl, who is a huge football fan, was captured on video chanting with NK Rijeka’s hardcore fans during their UEFA Europa League match against Seville recently.

“Doriana will also get a Croatia shirt signed by the Croatian team as a reward for her passionate and positive support for NK Rijeka – and we believe Croatia as well,” said the FA.

23rd Zagreb Marathon Held

ZagrebPerfect weather greeted 12,000 runners who lined up for the start of Zagreb’s 23rd Marathon on Ban Jelačić square on Sunday…

Most of the runners however were there to compete in the half-marathon which ran along side the main 42km marathon which 3,000 athletes had registered for. From the main square, the marathon runners then set off through the streets of Jurišićeva, Martićeva, Bauerova, Maksimirska and Avenue Dubrava, before turning around and coming back the same way to the finish line on the main square.

Kenya’s Luke Kibet won the men’s marathon, finishing in 2 hours and 14 minutes, whilst Serbian record holder Olivera Jeftić won the women’s marathon in a time 2:38.26. (pic: Zagreb Marathon)