Category: Sport

Ivica Kostelić Becomes Proud Father For the First Time

FacebookCroatia’s 4-time Olympic medal-winning skiing champion Ivica Kostelić has become a father for the very first time…

Kostelić (34) and wife Elin Arnarsdottir (31), who married last year, becoming proud parents of a baby boy on Thursday. The newest edition to the Kostelić family will be named Ivan, and skiing might be in his blood with his father, mother Elin, and Aunty Janica Kostelić, all successful skiers.

“If he wants to do it (ski), of course I will support him. I will definitely not push him. skiing is a brutal sport, and injuries can be serious,” said Ivica.

NBA Season Gets Underway – 14 Croats Now Been Involved in World’s Toughest League

bOJANCroatia has two representatives in the NBA which kicked off this week in the U.S…

Bojan Bogdanović (Brooklyn Nets) and Damjan Rudež (Indiana Pacers) were both in action for their respective teams in the season opener. Bogdanović managed ended with 7 baskets and 2 blocks in Brooklyn’s 121:105 loss to the Boston Celtics, whilst Rudež played for 15 minutes in his team’s victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.

Bogdanović and Rudež now bring the total number of Croats to have played in the world’s strongest league to 14.

CROATS IN THE NBA
1989-93 – Dražen Petrović (Portland, New Jersey)
1990-92, 1996-99 – Stojko Vranković (Boston, Minnesota, L.A. Clippers)
1993-97 – Dino Rađa (Boston)
1993-06 – Toni Kukoč (Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Milwaukee)
1994-98, 1999-01 – Žan Tabak (Houston, Toronto, Boston, Indiana)
1998-05 – Bruno Šundov (Dallas, Indiana, Boston, Cleveland, New York)
2000-03 – Dalibor Bagarić (Chicago)
2002-08 – Gordan Giriček (Memphis, Orlando, Utah, Philadelphia, Phoenix)
2003-06 – Zoran Planinić (New Jersey)
2004-06 – Mario Kasun (Orlando)
2006/07 – Damir Markota (Milwaukee)
2008-10 – Roko Leni Ukić (Toronto, Milwaukee)
2014 – Bojan Bogdanović (Brooklyn Nets)
2014 – Damjan Rudež (Indiana Pacers)

[VIDEO] Rakitić & Halilović Score as Barcelona Win Catalan Super Cup

CroatiaFC Barcelona has won the Catalan Super Cup after beating Espanyol 4-2 on penalties last night ..

Gerard Piqué had earlier given Barcelona the lead before Espanyol’s Arbilla equalised to send the match into penalties. Barcelona’s Croatian internationals Ivan Rakitić, who came on in the 60th minute, and Alen Halilović, who came on 16 minutes later, both made no mistake with their penalties. (PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB)

[VIDEO] Modrić Collects Best Midfielder Award and Shows off his Spanish

Croatia international Luka Modrić picked up his award for the ‘Best Midfielder in Spain for 2013-2014′ last night at a ceremony, and showed off his Spanish in the process…

“I am very happy. This is a really big honour and I want to thank all the fans and my Real Madrid team-mates,” said Modrić.

Modrić, who received 60.2% of the votes, beat Atlético Madrid’s Gabi, and Sergio Busquets from Barcelona for the best Spanish La Liga midfielder for last season award. Luka was a key figure in Real Madrid’s midfield last season, playing 34 games during the La Liga campaign.

[VIDEO] Europe’s Oldest Firm ‘Torcida’ Turns 64

CroatiaThe oldest football firm in Europe celebrates its 64th birthday today…

Torcida Split, who are the supporters’ group of legendary Croatian football club Hajduk Split, was founded on 28 October 1950 by a group of students who were studying in Zagreb. The group decided before a match against Red Star Belgrade that they wanted to stage an unprecedented spectacle in order to help their club, and took the name Torcida from the Brazilian Portuguese word for “supporters”, after fans at the 1950 World Cup at the time in Brazil had impressed them so much.

Torcida, which was started by just over 100 students, and has grown to thousands today, have built a fierce reputation around the world for gathering in the north stand behind the goal at Poljud stadium and creating a special atmosphere via their imaginative choreography, chants and pyrotechnics.

Borna Ćorić: ‘Goran’s Advice Helps the Most’

BornaBeating one of the greats of the game in Rafael Nadal, becoming the youngest player to be ranked inside the Top 100 and being talked about by media all over the world – it has been some week for 17-year-old Croatian tennis sensation Borna Ćorić…

Ćorić arrived back in Zagreb on Monday with his feet firmly on the ground after his dream run which saw him make the semi-final of the strong ATP Swiss Indoors in Basel.

“I played some top quality matches, beating two players from the Top 15, one who is one of the best players in the history of tennis. It was the best tournament of my career so far and I am really pleased. But, I cant stop here, I have to work to achieve something bigger,” Ćorić told a press conference on Monday in Zagreb, before talking about his goals for next year.

“Next season I want to be inside the Top 50, then after that I will see,” said the mature teen, who is now ranked 93rd in the world, something that mentor and former great Goran Ivanišević predicted would happen.

“I told Goran he is crazy. I thought it would be excellent if I finished in the Top 150. It looks like I was mistaken and I am happy to admit it,” said the likeable Croat, who has a special relationship with the former Wimbledon champion.

“His advice helps me the most. We hear from each other almost every day, we send messages. He is one of the ones that sends me messages even when I lose to say that it’s all right,” said Ćorić, who is already being compared to the greats of the game.

“That does not mean much to me. I look at myself, not statistics and what Federer done at my age. I am Borna Ćorić and I have my career.”

[PHOTO] How the Croatian FA’s New National Football Centre Will Look

hns1The Croatian Football Federation has announced that architect firm Proarh has won the contract to build a purpose-built football camp in the Zagreb suburb of Svetice…

After more than 23-years without its own camp, Croatia will finally get a base where national sides of all ages groups can prepare ahead of international matches and tournaments. Croatia has prepared for tournaments previously in Slovenia and Austria. The new camp will include a number of grounds, including a 3,000-seat stadium and running track, basketball courts, kids playgrounds, a gymnastics area, as well as athletics facilities.

HNS“We received a number of excellent projects. It is clear from this project that we will get a top class sports complex, which will satisfy the needs of the federation, and which will add value to athletes and the people of Zagreb who will be able to use a range of different facilities there,” said Damir Vrbanović from the Croatian Football Federation, adding that both FIFA and UEFA will help fund the complex. (HNS)

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Weekend in Sport: Career-High Ranking for Ćorić & El ClassiCRO

 

Croatia- After upsetting Rafael Nadal and reaching the semi-final of the Swiss Indoors in Basel, Borna Ćorić has posted the highest ATP ranking of his career on Monday. Ćorić is now 93rd in the world and the youngest player in the top 100, whilst Ana Konjuh has also broken into the top 100 for the first time. Ivo Karlović, who also lost in the semi-final in Basel, is 27th, with Marin Čilić Croatia’s best ranked player at number 9.

– First the first time in history there was a Croatian on either side in the famous Real Madrid – Barcelona El Classico. Real’s Luka Modrić played 80 minutes and left the pitch to a standing ovation from the Santiago Bernabeu crowd. Ivan Rakitić came on for Barcelona in the second spell of the match that finished 3-1 in Madrid’s favour.

– Croatian internationals Ivan Perišić and Mario Mandžukić both found the back of the net over the weekend for their respective clubs. Perišić was on target for Wolfsburg in their 3-0 win over Mainz, whilst Mandžukić continued his recent goalscoring form with a goal in Atletico Madrid’s win over Getafe.

60 Seconds With…Ana Konjuh

AnaKonjuhShe is still yet to turn 17, but has already played in the main draw at two Grand Slams – the Australian Open and Wimbledon, where she got to the 3rd round this year. Former World Junior number 1 Ana Konjuh is one of the brightest female tennis hopes to come out of Croatia in a long time, with Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanišević saying that he ‘would be very surprised if one day she was not among the top ten women’s tennis players in the world’. Croatia Week caught up this weekend with the former junior Australian and US Open champion…

So Ana, when did you first start playing tennis?

I started playing when I was 5, I have an older sister who played tennis and when she had a practice I would always go with her so I kinda fell in love with it and I played it since than : )

Did you have an idol growing up?

Yes, Roger Federer was and still is my idol, he’s the person I look up to and I really wish that I would get a chance to play with him somewhere in the near future.

The great Roger Federer

The great Roger Federer

Tennis has taken you all around the world, what is your favourite stadium/court that you have played at?

Uum , I would say Wimbledon show court, even though I played at some bigger stadiums. I just love Wimbledon, its my favourite Grand Slam and I think that its special just to be part of it and when I got a chance to play on the show court it was a dream come true : )

Do you have any rituals or superstitions before you play?

Uf, at every tournament its something different, but usually I’m trying to do the same things as I did on the first day when I played, like sit at the same table during meals haha, or eat the same thing at breakfast etc..

How many hours a week do you train?

I usually train for like 3 and a half hours every day except Sunday, so that is around 21 hours of tennis and then I have fitness every day for an hour and a half.

We know there are plenty more to come, but what is your most memorable victory so far?

That is probably when I won against (Roberta) Vinci in Auckland, that was my first WTA tournament and my first top 20 win, so its kind of special to me : )

Do you have any tennis goals for 2015 that you want to achieve?

Well I’m still young so I have so much room to improve and experience so many different things, but maybe I wanna get in the top 50 : ) that would be nice

Ana at this year's Wimbledon - her favourite venue

Ana at this year’s Wimbledon – her favourite venue

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How do you relax away from the court?

Usually I go to the cinema, I love movies , and I just hang out with my friends and I’m trying to live the life of a normal teenager haha.

What do you miss the most about home when your away on tour?

My bed !! Ahhaa I love my bed and each time I come home ,the first thing I’m gonna do I’m gonna lay on my bed ; )

Do you have any close friends on the tour?

Well not really , I’m still new but I’m good with all the Croatian girls so we usually hang out when we are at the same tournament : )

Ana relaxing off court with fellow Croatian tour player Jana Fett in New York

Ana relaxing off court with fellow Croatian tour player Jana Fett in New York

Favourite food?

Chicken with rice

Favourite drink?

Strawberry juice

Most admired Croatian sportsperson of all time?

Dražen Petrović

Favourite place in Croatia?

My hometown, Dubrovnik

Ana's hometown and favourite place - Dubrovnik

Ana’s hometown and favourite place – Dubrovnik

Favourite city in the world?

New York

If you were not a tennis player what would you be doing?

Uff that’s tough question hahha, I always wanted to be a professional tennis player, you know, to be remembered for something good : ) so I’m kind of living my dream . But if I wasn’t able to do that I guess I would be just a normal teenager, trying to figure out who I am and who I wanna be in the future because now I’m not so sure haha : )

Ana with the US Junior Open trophy - one of what promises to be many for the talented teen

Ana with the US Junior Open trophy – one of what promises to be many for the talented teen

Borna Ćorić Shocks Rafael Nadal at Swiss Indoors

Croatia181Croatian teenage tennis sensation Borna Ćorić has shocked the tennis world on Friday by upsetting his childhood idol and former world number one Rafael Nadal at the Swiss Indoors in Basel…

Ćorić (17) booked a place in the semi final of the ATP World Tour 500 tournament with an amazing shock 6-2, 7-6 win in just over 2 hours. The former US Open Junior champ raced out to a 5-0 lead and nearly ‘bageled’ his idol in what was their first ever match. Ćorić, who has jumped 177 places in the rankings since the start of the year, spent time in Spain training with Nadal last season, and that may have helped him not be overawed.

Earlier in the afternoon fellow Croat Ivo Karlović also booked a spot in the semi-final by beating German Benjamin Becker.