History will be made this Monday when the New England Patriots take on the Seattle Seahawks in the 2015 NFL Super Bowl XLIX – America’s biggest sporting event. It will be the first time in Super Bowl history that coaches of Croatian descent square off against each other…
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick will be hoping to get one of his Seattle counterpart Pete Carroll in the battle of ‘Croatians’ coaches, and it won’t be the first time the Belichick has come up against a coach with the same root as him in the NFL.
“The last big Croatian matchup that I had was with Coach (Nick) Saban when he was with the Dolphins and that was within the division — we kind of had the battle of Croatia,” Belichick said at a press conference ahead of the next week’s Super Bowl. “But I am very proud of my dad’s family tradition and history with Croatians. I had the opportunity to visit the beautiful country a couple of times and I’m proud of that heritage. It looks like we’ll have a Croatian champion one way or the other, right?” Belichick joked.
Belichick’s father, Steve Belichick (born Stephen Biličić), played for the Detroit Lions and was an assistant coach and scout with the United States Naval Academy football team for 33 years. His paternal grandparents Ivan Biličić and Marija Barković emigrated from Karlovac in Croatia in 1897 and left for the USA, where they settled near Pittsburgh.
Seattle Head Coach Pete Carroll
Carroll though, whose maternal grandparents were Croatian and his paternal great-grandparents Irish immigrants, will be hoping he can get one over his former club on Monday. Carroll was head coach of the New England Patriots from 1997 – 1999. With a coach of Croatian descent guaranteed to win this year’s Super Bowl, it won’t be the first time that has happened as both Carroll and Belichick are previous Super Bowl winners. (photo credit / Luis Espinosa Garay)
The Australian Open is currently going on at the moment, and one of the features is the up close and personal interviews in the back of the courtesy vehicle as players make their way from their hotel to the stadium. This week former Croatian tennis player Goran Ivanišević, who is playing in the legends event, was one the victims of the ‘Open Drive’, where he talked about his most embarrassing moment on tour, his idol growing up as well as putting on his best Australian accent. Check out ‘Crazy Goran’s’ short interview below.
On this day 35 years ago – 27 January 1980 – English football giants Manchester United suffered one of the heaviest defeats in the club’s history…No it was not against Real Madrid but none other than Croatian club Hajduk Split…
The match, played at Split’s famous Poljud stadium in front of 30,000 fans, may have been a friendly, nevertheless the United line-up that day included some household names at the time, such as Gordon McQueen, Sammy McIlroy, Steve Coppell, Ray Wilkins, Joe Jordan and Lou Macari. The Hajduk side on the day featured the talented Vujović twins Zoran and Zlatko. Hajduk Split found the back of Manchester United’s net 3 times in each half. (photo / Total Split)
Croatia has produced a host of world-class basketball players in the past with Dražen Petrović, Toni Kukoč and Dino Rađa to name a few. One name to keep an eye is Antonio Vranković, the son of former Croatian representative Stojko Vranković…
There has been talk for a while that a big future in the game awaits 18-year-old Antonio, and recently he lived up to the hype, equalling a high school basketball record in the U.S held by NBA guard Brandon Knight. The 6-foot-11 senior tied Florida’s Pine Crest boys single-game scoring record which was held by Milwaukee Bucks star Knight when he scored 55 points in his team’s 87-65 win over Taravella. Vranković also contributed in the match with 17 rebounds and edges his closer to breaking another record for the most rebounds in a season. He is currently 87 rebounds away from the record and if he continues his 15.61 average per game he will break the record 5 games faster than the previous record holder.
Vranković, who moved to the States a few years ago, will soon have to choose which University to go to as he is in his last year of high school. His father says he is happy for his son to take his basketball career one step at a time, but he has already captured the attention of a number of scouts in the U.S. Vranković is defintely a name we will be hearing more of in the basketball cirlces in the future.
Croatian Ivan Dodig and his Brazilian partner Marcelo Melo are one match away from making the final of the Australian Open…
Dodig and Melo beat Spanish / Belarus pair Feliciano Lopez and Maksim Mirni 6:0, 3:6, 7:6 (4) in the quarter final on Tuesday to advance to the semi-final, where they will play Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut. Dodig and Melo last Grand Slam final appearance was at Wimbledon in 2013.
The UEFA Executive Committee have announced today that the 2017 UEFA European U17 Championship will be staged in Croatia…
The tournament will be the first men’s UEFA youth tournament to be held in Croatia. The last UEFA tournament played in Croatia was the 2008/09 finals of Europe’s top amateur competition, the UEFA Regions’ Cup. Croatia last figured in the U17 finals in 2013, while their most successful campaign to date took them to the semi-finals in 2005 where they lost to Turkey. That side featured future senior internationals Ivan Kelava, Milan Badelj, Dejan Lovren and Nikola Kalinić. (photo / “Poljud panorama 2″ by Ballota – Wikimedia Commons)
Doubles expert Ivan Dodig has made the quarter-finals at the Australian Open for the very first time after he beat Jamie Murray and John Peers with his Brazilian partner Marcelo Melo 6-7 (8-10), 6-2, 6-4 on Monday…
Although the Croatian / Brazilian pairing lost the first set, they managed to fight back to win the next two and advance to the quarter finals at the Australian Open for the first time. Dodig and Melo, who made the Wimbledon doubles final in 2013, will face Spanish / Belarus pair Feliciano Lopez and Maksim Mirni for a place in the semi-final. (photo / Julian Finney / Getty Images Europe)
A spectacular volley from retired former Croatian international Ivan Klasnić has gone viral on the internet…
Klasnić thrilled the crowd whilst playing for his former club Werder Bremen at a futsal tournament in Germany. Klasnić made it 2-0 over Sparta Prague with a screaming mid-air volley in the 10th minute. Klasnić, who also played for Bolton Wanderers in the Premier League, played 41 times for Croatia scoring 12 times. He retired from professional football in 2013.
Croatia has advanced to the quarter-final stages of the World Handball Championships after beating Brazil in Qatar on Sunday…
After going through their group undefeated with 5 wins in a row, Croatia faced Brazil in the Round of 16 on Sunday in Doha and turned around a 2 point half-time deficit (13-15) to eventually win 26-25.
Croatia’s coach Slavko Goluža was pleased with the win, but says there is room for improvement.
“I have to congratulate my players. The most important thing is that we won. I expected a tough match and that is what we got. We played poorly but still won. I do not care who we face next, we just need to concentrate on our own game, at times we are our own enemies. Most important was we won today and we move on,” said Goluža.
Croatia will face the winner of the Sweden v Poland match in the quarter-final.
(photo / World Handball Champs Qatar)
A week ago it looked like Arsenal would sign Dinamo Zagreb and Croatia defensive midfielder Marcelo Brozović, but a week is a long time when a transfer window is open…
Brozović (22) is in Milan this weekend and will sign a contract with Inter after a medical on Sunday. Inter Milan sent the private jet for Brozović on Saturday to La Manga in Spain where Dinamo Zagreb is currently preparing for the second half of the season. Speculation is that Inter will pay Dinamo Zagreb 8 million euros, plus 25% of his next transfer.
“I am happy and sad at the same time. Dinamo is my club and I leave behind a number of friends who I will miss, but on the other hand I am happy that I am going to a big club and a strong league where new challenges await,” said the 6-cap Croatian international.
Brozović will team up with his former Dinamo Zagreb teammate Mateo Kovačić at Inter.
“A number of big European clubs were interested in Marcelo, and our position was clear; we would only let him go if there was a quality offer and both sides were happy. I want to thank him for what he has done for Dinamo and wish his all the best of luck in his career,” said Dinamo Zagreb coach Zoran Mamić.