Category: Sport

3 Croatians in Finals at Youth World Boxing Championships in Bulgaria

CroatiaThere has been success for Croatian boxers at the Youth World Boxing Championships being held in Bulgaria this week, with three of them making it through to finals…

Croatian boxing representatives Luka Prtenjača (Sesvete-69 kg), Luka Plantić (pictured above in action-Sesvete-75 kg) and Toni Filipi (Zadar-91 kg) have all advanced through to the final of the World Championship in their respective categories, a huge achievement with more than 500 competitors from around 100 countries at the event. This will be Croatia’s best performance ever at a Youth World Boxing Championship.(pic

Famous Ina Delta Rally to Celebrate 40th Birthday in Zagreb

CroatiaThe oldest and one of the most popular car races in the Croatia is set to celebrate its 40th anniversary next month…

The Croatia Rally, also known for most of its existence as the Ina Delta Rally, is an international rally racing event and is a round of the European Rally Championship. This year’s jubilee rally gets underway on 9 May in the capital Zagreb with the Croatian championship race, followed by another rally the following Saturday around a tough course near Zagreb’s Sljeme mountain. The first Croatia Rally was held in 1974 as the INA-Delta TLX Rally as a round of the regional Croatian championship, it was held in the Delnice-Rijeka area.

Dinamo Zagreb Win 9th Consecutive Title

DinamoDinamo Zagreb are the Croatian first division champions after a 5-0 home win on Tuesday…

Dinamo Zagreb wrapped up their 9th consecutive title with a 5-0 win over bottom placed Hrvatski Dragovoljac at Maksimir stadium on Tuesday afternoon. Goals from Duje Čop, Barcelona-bound Alen Halilović, Domagoj Pavičić, Soudani and Said Husejinović means Dinamo have now won 16 Croatian titles.

“I am proud of the whole team who put a lot of effort into this championship,” coach Zoran Mamić said after the win, “I want to congratulate everybody, we have got better and better by the day. The feeling is beautiful. This is my 9th title in a row, we have won everything since I came back to Croatia in 2005,” Mamić concluded. (pic: GNK Dinamo)

Croatia Thrash Great Britain and Holland at Ice Hockey World Champs

CroatiaThe Croatian national ice hockey have begun their World Championship campaign with back-to-back 4-0 victories…

Croatia thrashed Holland 4-0 last night after annihilating Great Britain by the same scoreline just two days ago in their Division 1B tournament in Lithuania. Goal scorers for Croatia in yesterday’s victory were Tadija Mirić, Michael Novak, Mislav Blagus and Ivan Brenčun. Croatia is hoping to gain promotion to Division 1A. Croatia faces Romania next on Wednesday. (pic

Croatia’s Class of ’98…Where are they Today?

When Croatia take on Brazil on 12 June in the opening match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, it will be 2 days short of 16 years since Croatia made their debut at a football World Cup, when Miroslav Ćiro Blažević’s side sent the nation into euphoria with their 3rd place finish in France. The online sports betting sites on SBD don’t rate Croatia’s chances to repeat the feats of 1998 in Brazil, with odds of 26/1 being offered for Croatia to reach the semi-finals. So what has happened to the class of ’98 and what are they doing today? Croatia Week reveals...

croatia2From top left to right…

Dražen Ladić – Age: 51
Dražen Ladić enjoyed a very impressive playing career which spanned nearly 14 years, collecting a record-holding total of 802 appearances in official matches. After hanging up his gloves in 2000, Ladić stayed in football and took up coaching roles, first as goalkeeper coach of Croatia from 2002 – 2004, followed by managing the Croatian U-21 side from 2006-2011. Ladić today is the reserve coach at Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal.

Slaven Bilić – Age: 45
Slaven Bilić retired from the game in 2001, after going back to the club where it all started for him – Hajduk Split – in his home town, and immediately turned to coaching, his first job being a five-month stint at Hajduk Split. He then went on to manage the Croatia under-21 team, before taking over the senior national side from Zlatko Kranjčar in August 2006. Bilić stepped down after the UEFA Euro 2012 tournament and then signed a contract with the Russian club FC Lokomotiv Moscow.After leaving Moscow in 2013, Bilić went to Turkey to manage Beşiktaş where he currently lives.

Igor Štimac – Age: 46
Just like Slaven Bilić, Igor Štimac also returned to his home club Hajduk Split before retiring. After working on Croatian Television as football commentator, Štimac turned to coaching and was the second member of the class of ’98 to manage the national side after Bilić. Štimac was sacked in 2013 ahead of Croatia’s World Cup playoff match against Iceland. Štimac, who owns an award-winning olive oil company with his brother, currently lives in Split with his partner and new-born child.

Mario Stanić – Age: 42
Mario Stanić was forced to retire at the age of 32 after developing a serious knee injury during the 2003-04 league season. Stanić started a players agency with former teammates Goran Vlaović and Boris Živković. He lives in Zagreb, has real estate interests there and writes a column for a local portal.

Zvonimir Soldo – Age: 46
Zvonimir Soldo finished his playing career at German Bundesliga club VfB Stuttgart in 2006, and then like a number of the class of ’98 went into coaching. In 2008 Soldo managed Dinamo Zagreb, before managing FC Koln for one season in 2009-10. Soldo today lives in Zagreb and owns the popular bar Bulldog.

Aljoša Asanović – Age: 48
After France ’98 Aljoša Asanović had stints at Panathinaikos, Austria Wein, Sydney United and Hajduk Split. Asanović made the switch to coaching after retiring and was Slaven Bilić’s right-hand man when the pair took charge of the Croatian U-21 side. Asanović then joined Bilić with the Croatian national team before joining him again in Moscow at Lokomotiva. Asanović lives in Split after leaving Lokomotiva in 2013.

Zvonimir Boban – Age: 45
Croatia’s captain in France, Zvonimir Boban enjoyed an illustrious career in Italy with AC Milan before retiring from playing in 2002. Boban then swapped his boots for the books and enrolled in studies, gaining a history degree from the University of Zagreb. Today Boban lives in Zagreb with his wife and four kids, he owns a couple of restaurants and an ice cream parlour in Zagreb, has a food import company with former AC Milan team-mate Paolo Maldini, and currently is a football pundit on Italian television with SKY Italia.

Robert Jarni – Age: 45
Robert Jarni opened the scoring in what was Croatia’s most memorable victory in France – the 3-0 quarter-final win against Germany. The left-back signed for Real Madrid immediately following that World Cup, before representing Croatia in Futsal. Jarni hung up his boots in 2002 and got into coaching. Jarni coached Hajduk Split and Istra 1961 before recently taking up a post at FK Sarajevo. Jarni was sacked this month by the Bosnian club.

Robert Prosinečki – Age: 45
Robert Prosinečki was another who after finishing his career in Zagreb in 2004 went back to school to get his coaching badges. He assisted Slaven Bilić when he was in charge of the Croatian national team from 2006-2010 before taking up a managerial role of his own with Serbia’s Red Star Belgrade. Prosinečki lives in Turkey where he currently coaches Kayserispor.

Davor Šuker – Age: 46
Šuker, who won the Golden Boot award in France scoring 6 goals, finished his playing career with 1860 Munich in 2003. He then went onto open the Davor Šuker Soccer Academy around Croatia before turning to administration. Šuker lives now in Zagreb and is the current President of the Croatian Football Federation.

Dario Šimić – Age: 38
Dario Šimić was the youngest member of the class of ’98 and only retired from the game in 2010 after returning to his home club Dinamo Zagreb after stints at Milan and Monaco. Šimić got into business after football, heading Aquaviva, a family owned bottled water and coffee business. Šimić also owns Zagreb’s largest cafe club. Šimić is also now the President of the Croatian Professional Footballer’s Association (HUNS). He lives in Zagreb with his wife and 3 kids.


Donna Vekić Beats Cibulkova to Win WTA Title in Malaysia

Donna Vekic17-year-old Croatian tennis star Donna Vekić has won her first WTA title after she beat top-seed and World number 10 Dominika Cibulkova from Slovakia in the final of the Malaysian Open on Sunday…

Vekić, who was playing in her 3rd WTA final, was too good for her more experienced opponent, winning in two-hours and 55 minutes – 5-7, 7-5, 7-6. Vekić’s victory on Easter Sunday was the first WTA title won by a Croatian since Iva Majoli in 2002.

Croatian FA Pilot Programme Launched in Osijek to Develop Future Stars

CroatiaA football center in the eastern city of Osijek has been chosen for the first pilot project aimed at systematically monitoring the long-term development and selection of young players for Croatia’s national football team….

Earlier this month former Croatian international and Regional instructor for Slavonia, Petar Krpan, hosted Croatian Football Federation Technical Director Romeo Jozak and Chief Instructor Martin Novoselec, and under their scrutiny began a two-day program that brought together 60 young U-11 and U-12 players from the region of Pakrac, Požega, Slavonski Brod and Nova Gradiška. This week talented kids from Donji Miholjac, Valpovo, Belišće, Našice and parts of Osijek, Vinkovac, Županja, Vukovar and Đakovo gathered for a camp.

The young players through these camps will enter the Croatian FA development system and will be monitored through personal records, all with the long-term intention of being selection for Croatian national teams, and the ultimate goal to play for the Croatian senior national team.


“Such gatherings where children get to know each other, connect, share experiences, and train together are of great importance of. This area has always produced top players at a national and European level, therefore, no doubt that one of these children, with proper development, will become someone of interest in the world of football,” said Krpan. (pic: Drago Sopta / HNS )

Sandra Perković Voted European Athlete of the Month

SandraPReigning world and Olympic discus champion, Croatian Sandra Perković, has been voted by the fans and media as the female European Athlete of the Month for March…

Perković, who won gold at the London Olympics in 2012, was awarded the title thanks to her record-breaking throw of 70.51m at the Croatian championships in Split. Sandra’s massive throw broke not only broke a Croatian record, but was the first throw over the magical 70-metre mark since 1999, and the best throw in the world for 22 years. Czech Republic 400m champion Pavel Maslak took out the Men’s European Athlete of the Month award. 

Dinamo Zagreb and Hajduk Split Fans Clash on Motorway – 50 Arrested

Croatia2 people were seriously injured, while 13 suffered minor injuries as rival Dinamo Zagreb and Hajduk Split football fans clashed on Croatia’s A1 motorway on Wednesday, reports daily 24sata…

Police arrested around 50 people after Hajduk Split’s ‘Torcida’ fans and Dinamo Zagreb’s ‘Bad Blue Boys’ came to blows in a pre-arranged dust-up near the Otočac junction on the A1 motorway on Wednesday afternoon. Dinamo Zagreb supporters were making their way down to Split where their side will play Split’s other side RNK Split tonight.

WORLD CUP: Croatia v Brazil and Mexico Sold Out

Croatia (24)Croatian football fans still wanting to go see their side play Brazil and Mexico at this year’s World Cup in Brazil are out of luck, after FIFA announced on Tuesday that the two matches had now been sold out…

FIFA have said that after just five hours of tickets going on sale in the final phase online yesterday, that tickets were available for only 20 of the 64 matches. Both Croatia versus Brazil, which will open the World Cup on 12 June, and Croatia versus Mexico had sold out. There were still tickets available for Croatia’s other group match against Cameroon.

The matches which attracted the highest demand, and the quickest to sell out were; Croatia-Brazil,  Mexico-Cameroon, England-Italy, Argentina-Bosnia, Brazil-Mexico, Spain-Chile, Cameroon-Brazil, Croatia-Mexico, Australia-Spain, and the final. FIFA said Brazilian citizens had purchased 63 percent of the tickets (80,496) on Tuesday, followed by fans from the United States, Colombia, Argentina, Germany, Mexico, France, England, Chile and Australia.