Category: Sport

CNN: ‘Alen Halilović Among 5 Stars in the Making’

halilovicCNN asked one of Europe’s leading scouting experts, Tor-Kristian Karlsen, to give then his top five young players to watch out for in this season’s UEFA Champions League. Among the ‘five stars in the making’ was Croatian international Alen Halilović…

Despite playing for Barcelona B, the pint-sized left-footer has been registered in Barcelona’s Champions League squad for this season and CNN’s football expert believes this could be his year.

“Barcelona’s attacking midfielder Halilović , who made his full international debut Croatia at the age of 16,is currently playing for the Catalan club’s B side but is expected to make his way into the first team this season”, says the article.

The other 4 names to watch were: Hakan Çalhanoglu (Bayer Leverkusen), Ruben Neves (FC Porto), Kingsley Coman (Juventus) and Lucas Ocampos (Monaco).

Čilić’s US Open-Winning Racket to be Locked Away for 100 Years

CroatiaThe racket that Marin Čilić used to win the final of the US Open last week in New York will not see the light of day for another 100 years…

Čilić has put the prized Head racked inside a time capsule, which Zagrebačka banka will safeguard for 100 years.

“I would like that one day in a 100 years, one of my descendants takes it out of the time capsule,” said Čilić, before handing over the red-rimmed racket.

To celebrate 100 years of doing business in Croatia, Zagrebačka banka are giving citizens the opportunity to place anything they wish in a time capsule which will not be opened for another 100 years. Those who open a time capsule do not necessarily have to be clients of the bank, and everyone who does chose to open one will be sent a certificate of verification. That certificate will need to be produced when they capsules are open in 2114.

Čilić Arrives Back Home: ‘I am Proud to be Croatian’

CroatiaIt has been a crazy week for Croatia’s number one tennis player Marin Čilić. Last Monday he beat Japan’s Kei Nishikori to win the final of the US Open in New York, and on Sunday he helped guide Croatia to a 3-2 win over the Netherlands in the Davis Cup. On Monday just after 1:15pm local time Čilić returned to Croatia to a warm welcome…

Čilić landed in Zagreb this afternoon and was greeted by fans and dignitaries at the airport, but the real celebrations will take place tomorrow night in his hometown of Međugorje where a big party has been planned. Čilić has enjoyed a phenomenal couple of weeks, which have made the nation very proud.

“Thanks for making Croatia happy, those two nights when you beat Federer and Nishikori will be forever written into our tennis history. Thank you from my heart,” Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić said as he greeted the US Open champion at the airport.

“Things have happened very fast in the last 10 days. I am enjoying every day and I am proud that I come from Croatia and that I have that support. I believed that these things can happen in my career, but not in this way and this fast,” said Čilić, thanking once again his coach Goran Ivanišević.

A number of local singers, including Marko Perković Thompson, Mate Bulić and Jole, will perform tomorrow night at Čilić’s welcome home party. (pic: Twitter)

Croatian Andrej Kedveš New World Junior Kickboxing Champion

croatiaCroatia has produced yet another World Champion. Andrej Kedveš has won the at the World Junior Kickboxing Championships in Rimini, Italy, which ended on Sunday…

Kedveš, from the Slavonian town of Đakovo in eastern Croatia, fights out of the Muay thai klub “Blitz”. Kedveš, who beat his Russian opponent in the U-57kg final, is definitely a name to watch in the future.(pic: Facebook)

Super Sunday for Croatian Tennis…Lučić Wins WTA Title, Croatia Promoted to Davis Cup World Group

CroatiaJust days after Marin Čilić thrilled the tennis world with his US Open win, Sunday has been another day to remember for Croatian tennis…

Mirjana Lučić-Baroni (32) has made history by winning the WTA tournament in Quebec on Sunday, beating Venus Williams in straight sets 6-4, 6-3. It was her first title in 16 years.

“Thanks to the fans who supported me. This was an amazing week for me. I am unbelievably happy. I hope nobody comes and wakes me up, because this is like a dream,” an excited Lučić-Baroni said after the win, before taking the court in the doubles final and also claiming that title to cap off an amazing week.

The hard-hitting Croatian now holds the world record of the longest gap between titles (16 years), breaking a record previously held by Japan’s Kimiko Date (13 years), and has now won 3 titles.

Meanwhile Čilić has given Croatia a 3-2 win over Netherlands in the Davis Cup on Sunday. Fresh from his US Open win, Čilić won the deciding match of the rubber beating Thiemo de Bakker 67-(4) 6-4 6-2 7-5 as Croatia earn promotion to the Davis Cup World Group for 2015.

Neven Žugaj Wins Wrestling World Championship Silver for Croatia

CroatiaThere has been some success for Croatia at the 2014 FILA Wrestling World Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan…

Croatia’s Neven Žugaj (31) has picked up a silver medal in the U-75 kg category at the World Champs in Uzbekistan, the first medal for Croatia at the champs and the biggest in Žugaj’s career. Croatia has 4 more representatives at the World Champs – Neven’s twin brother Nenad competed in the U-85 kg category, whilst Dominik Etlinger (U-66 kg) and Božo Starčević (U-80 kg) compete later today, and Tonimir Sokol (U-59 kg) will compete on Sunday.

UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour to Stop in Zagreb Next Month

CroatiaCroatian international and Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modrić got to lift it last season, now football fans in Croatia have the opportunity to lift the famous UEFA Champions League trophy…

The trophy, which has earned its nickname ‘big ears’ because of the shape of the trophy’s handles, will be on display on Zagreb’s Trg bana Jelačića on 10 October. The trophy, along with the Walk of Champions exhibition, will stop off in Croatia next month as part of its tour through Europe leading up to the final next year.

Zagreb leg:
Venue: Trg bana Jelačića , 10.10.2014
Opening of the Walk of Champions
14:00 – 15:00
Talk and signature session with Goran Vlaović
14:00 – 20:00
Experience the Walk of Champions and get your personal trophy picture
Closing of the Walk of Champions

Croatia U-21 to Face England in UEFA EURO Qualifier

Croatia27The Croatia Under-21 team has drawn England in a home and away playoff to qualify for the U-21 European Championship Finals in the Czech Republic next year in Nyon on Friday…

England will host Nenad Gračan’s side at Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Molineux Stadium on 8 October, before the return leg in Croatia on 14 October. The winner will advance to next year’s EURO which will be held between 17-30 June.

Gareth Southgate’s England side topped their qualification group, winning nine of their ten matches, and will be a tough opponent for the Croatians.

The draw
Slovakia v Italy
France v Sweden
Denmark v Iceland
England v Croatia
Netherlands v Portugal
Ukraine v Germany
Serbia v Spain

(pic: Drago Sopta / HNS)

Toni Kukoč Signals Interest in Croatia Coach Role

CroatiaCroatia’s under achievement at the current FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain has put pressure on current coach Jasmin Repeša to step down…

“If anybody is better they can put their hand up for the job,” Repeša said after Croatia’s disappointing round of 16 exit at the hands of France, and it looks like a Croatian legend of the game may well just to that.

Three-time NBA champion and three-time Croatian sportsman of the year Toni Kukoč has told Tportal that he would like the job.

“Maybe the job of coach of the national team interests me. I would only want to be coach if the conditions were right and there was a healthy environment. That is all I will say about it,” said the former Chicago Bulls forward.

Kukoč, who has already been involved with the Croatian national team, helping for a week coaching here and there back in 2010 and 2011, says things were not quiet right in the Croatian camp at the World Cup, despite big things expected from them.

“Compared with the European Championships in Slovenia where you could feel the connection between the players, in Spain that wasn’t there. It was obvious from watching on TV. I saw the match against France and Argentina, what did I see? I think something happened internally, maybe something between the coach and the players…obviously there were problems. We played without any idea,” said Kukoč, adding that the players did not fight for each other.

Eduardo da Silva: I feel like a foreigner in Brazil

Croatia84Former Croatian international Eduardo da Silva says that he feels like a foreigner in his country of birth Brazil, where he is currently plying his trade for Flamengo…

After arriving in Croatia as a 16-year-old and spending 15 years playing in Croatia and Europe, Eduardo has returned to his native Brazil after signing for Flamengo, but the 31-year-old former Dinamo Zagreb striker says the return home has not quiet felt like one.

“When I go out (in Brazil) I notice how different it is compared to Europe. I left Brazil as a kid to go to Croatia and I got used to life in Croatia. I have come back, but I am lost,” said Eduardo, who retired from international football at the end of the World Cup, where he got to play for Croatia in his home country.

“I am born here, but I have different habits than the Brazilians,” Eduardo told FIFA, before explaining some of the differences.

“I feel like a foreigner here, the traffic is different, the supermarkets, shops. In Zagreb I used to buy bread at the same bakery and walk in peace. Nobody knew who I was at the start of my career, things are different now,” da Silva, who is Croatia’s second top goal scorer behind Davor Šuker.

In 2002, Eduardo took Croatian citizenship and was first called up to play for the country’s Under-21 team at the finals tournament of the 2004 Euro U-21 in Germany. He went on to represent the full Croatia side 64 times, scoring 29 goals.