Dinamo Zagreb extended their lead at the top of the Croatian first division on the weekend with a comfortable 4:1 win over Osijek at Maksimir Stadium. Third place Rijeka again lost ground on the leaders after being held to a 3:3 draw by Istra 1961. Second place Hajduk Split face Zadar tonight in the Dalmatian derby.
Rijeka – Istra 1961 3:3
Dinamo Zagreb – Osijek 4:1
Hrvatski dragovoljac – Lokomotiva 1:3
Split – Slaven Belupo 0:0
1. Dinamo Zagreb 40
2. Hajduk 36
3. Rijeka 34
4. Lokomotiva 32
5. Split 31
6. Istra 1961 23
7. Slaven Belupo 17
8. Zadar 16
9. Osijek 11
10. Hrvatski dragovoljac 9
Real Madrid star Luka Modrić will be one of Croatia’s key men at next summer’s World Cup in Brazil, and the pint-sized midfield has spoken out after the World Cup group draw on Friday, which will see him face team-mate Marcelo in the opening match of the tournament…
“The match against Brazil will be special as it is the first of the World Cup. That means a lot to us. Brazil is one of the favourites for the tournament, but we want to show our quality. I am happy that I will play against Marcelo and I hope I will make his job difficult. Brazil will be under pressure,” said Modrić, before talking about Croatia’s remaining opponents Mexico and Cameroon.
“We have never played against Cameroon, but we have enough time to prepare. Mexico is also a good side. We have a tough group, but we want to go through. Don’t underestimate Croatia. We will play the best we can and enjoy,” said Modrić.
Croatia’s Brazilian-born striker Eduardo da Silva will have fixed feelings come 12 June when he takes on his homeland wearing the colours of his adopted country. The former Arsenal marksman will be hoping to spoil the party for his former countrymen…
“Uh..when we ‘landed’ in Group A, I got a sore head and stomach, and heart and throat, my head was spinning! Nerves hit me, I didn’t hope that it would be like this, I wanted a different draw,” da Silva told daily Vecernji list after Friday’s draw saw Croatia matched against the hosts in the opening game of the World Cup.
“It’s fantastic, unique, great … hard to describe, it will be a spectacle to remember. Nobody can write us off! Many times upsets have happened at the opening of the World Cup, so why not now,” added the man the Croats call Dudu.
Eduardo was born in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil before moving to Croatia as a teenager and signing for Dinamo Zagreb. He made his international debut for Croatia at senior level as a second-half substitute in the team’s friendly match against the Republic of Ireland on 16 November 2004 at the age of 21 after gaining citizenship in 2002.
Croatia will play hosts Brazil in the opening match of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Croatia were dealt a tough draw on Friday, drawing Mexico and Cameroon along with 5-time winners Brazil…
Croatia v Brazil – 12 June (22.00) – Sao Paulo
Croatia v Cameroon – 18 June (21.00) – Manaus
Croatia v Mexico – 23 June (22.00) – Recife
“I am glad that we will open the World Cup. Let the world see our dear little Croatia against the mighty Brazil. We will come and play beautiful football, the guys will give it all and do our fans and nation proud,” said coach Niko Kovač after the draw.
Australia’s number one tennis player Bernard Tomic has hired Croatian Velimir Zovko as his new coach until his father John serves out the remainder of a ban for assaulting his former French training partner…
Zovko, who was a former Croatian Olympic coach, will coach Tomic until May. Bernard’s father John was sentenced to eight months in jail by a Spanish court in September for headbutting and breaking the nose of Thomas Drouet.
“He’s from Croatia, he speaks my language, and it’s very important for me to have a good communication, someone that understands me, my background, because it’s not easy – I’m a difficult sort of guy,” Bernard, who is ranked 51 in the world, told the Sydney Morning Herald.
His first football love is Hajduk Split, but English Premiership side West Bromwich Albion is a close second, and on Wednesday night legendary Croatian tennis player Goran Ivanišević was the half-time star of the show during WBA’s clash with Manchester City…
The former Wimbledon champion was introduced to the crowd at half-time and was presented with his own shirt, reading ‘Croatia’s Number 1 Albion Fan’ on the back. Goran, who made it to his first match at the Hawthorns in 8 years, says that WBA remind him of himself, a side with ups and downs and your never sure what they are going to do next. Unfortunately Goran and the rest of the WBA fans at the Hawthorns had to witness their side go down 3:2 to City. The day was not all bad however for Goran, earlier he beat Britain’s Greg Rusedski 7-6, 7-6 in London at the Royal Albert Hall in the first round of the Statoil Masters Tennis Tournament. (pic: Facebook)
Former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Mundials World Champion and also ADCC World Champion Ricco Rodriguez has arrived in Zagreb…
Rodriguez, who has competed in the biggest organisations in the world such as Pride Fighting Championship, EliteXC, International Fight League, BAMMA, World Extreme Cagefighting, and Bellator Fighting Championships, is in the Croatian capital to train with legendary Croatian fighter Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipović. Rodriguez will fight in the FFC in Skopje, Macedonia on 13 December.
Dinamo Zagreb have recorded a history-making 5:0 victory of their bitter rivals Hajduk Split in the quarter-final of the Croatian Super Cup at Zagreb’s Maksimir Stadium on Wednesday night…
Goals by Joe Šimunić (18), Duje Čop (47, 63), Junior Fernandes (56), and Alen Halilović (81) meant the spas number of fans that did bother to turn up were treated with the biggest victory margin ever in the famous derby since Croatia become independent 22-years ago.
The game was also notable for a walkout staged in the 15th minute of the match by Hajduk Split’s Torcida fans, who left out of solidarity with Dinamo’s Bad Blue Boys fans who boycotted the match after police detained some of their members after last Sunday’s derby.
The last time Hajduk Split lost by such a margin was in 2005 to Debrecen in Champions League qualifying.
Hajduk Split midfielder and Belgium U19 international Tino-Sven Sušić (21) has reportedly turned down the chance to represent Croatia and focus on playing for Bosnia and Herzegovina…
“Tino has interested me for a while now. I wanted him while I was coach of Croatia U21′s. I have followed him and he has left a strong impression on me. He has a great left foot, has a positive audacity, and is technical. Nevertheless, Tino thanked me and said he has no desire to play for Croatia but he wants to play for Bosnia and Herzegovina. If nothing else, I am satisfied because from the heart he bluntly told me what his ambitions were, “Croatia coach Niko Kovač told Daily Avaz.
Born in Sarajevo, Sušić emigrated with his family early in his life to Belgium where he played for Standard Liege and Genk. He is eligible to play for Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Belgium, who he has already represented at youth level.
Croatian ice hockey club Medveščak yesterday became the most popular ice hockey club in Europe based on the number of Facebook fans…
Zagreb-based Medveščak, who have set the strong KHL on fire in their debut season, hit 81,036 fans on their official Facebook page, the most out of any other club in Europe. Kolner Haie – Germany (80,091), Frolunda – Sweden (79,645), Jokerit – Finland (65,600), Mannheim – Germany (60,000), Berlin – Germany (59,800), Karpat – Finland (58.000), Farjestad – Sweden (51,000), Slovan – Slovakia (50,100), and even SKA Saint Petersburg with 15,400 fans were all behind the Croatian club.
Medveščak are currently 7th in their division in the KHL and will be hoping to make the playoffs in their first season in the Russian league.