Category: Sport

Lovren Becomes Most Expensive Defender in Liverpool History

Croatia“It’s a dream come true, I am glad to be here, I am proud and I can’t wait to start,” that is what 25 million euro Croatia centre-back Dejan Lovren said after becoming the most expensive defender in Liverpool FC’s history…

Lovren is now the 3rd most expensive Croatian signing, behind Luka Modrić and Mario Mandžukić, and the 5th most expensive signing in Liverpool history, behind Andy Carroll, Luis Suarez, Fernando Torres and Adam Lallana, but he is not the first Croat at the club.

“I am glad to be the second Croatian at the club. I have spoken to Igor (Bišćan) a few times and he told me positive things about the club. He told me I will realise what it means to play at Anfield,” said Lovren, before adding.

“Liverpool is more than a club,” said Lovren, who penned a 25 million euro deal yesterday.

Lovren won’t have to wait long before facing his former team-mates Southampton, Liverpool play Southampton on the opening day of the season.

Croatian Junior Wins Discus Gold at World Junior Track & Field Championships With Biggest Throw of the Year

CroatiaCroatia already have one World and Olympic champion in the sport of discus in Sandra Perković, and they may not have to wait long to dominate the men’s division in the sport after teenager Martin Marković won the IAAF World Junior Track & Field Championships in the United States on Saturday…

Marković (18) threw a personal best and national junior record of 66.94 metres (1.750kg) to win the gold medal at Hayward Field in Eugene. The throw made the rising junior star, who is also a shot-putter, the third-farthest junior thrower ever, and was the best by a junior so far in 2014. Germany’s Henning Prufer finished second, whilst Norway’s Sven Martin Skagestad came third.(pic: AK Dinamo)

3 World-Cup Winning Germans Chilling Out in Croatia

CroatiaCroatia has been a popular relaxation spot for many of Germany’s World Cup-winning stars after Brazil, with Manuel Neuer, Bastian Schweinsteiger and now Mats Hummels spotted holidaying on the Adriatic coast…

Hummels (25), who scored Germany’s winner in their quarter-final clash with France, owns property in the small Dalmatian town of Posedarje near Zadar. The Borussia Dortmund defender posted a ‘selfie’ on Twitter from Croatia, and announced that he was only interested in taking it easy at his home away from home.

“On vacation, doing nothing but relaxing :)” said Hummels, whose villa is located not to far away from the home of Luka Modrić.

Hummels in Croatia

Hummels in Croatia

Goalkeeper Neuer and midfielder Schweinsteiger were also relaxing this week in Brela and Dubrovnik respectively, where Schweinsteiger took time to meet Dubrovnik Mayor Andro Vlahušić and catch up with Croatia’s assistant coach Robert Kovač.

Schweinsteiger in the Dubrovnik Mayor's office (pic: Mayor's Office)

Schweinsteiger in the Dubrovnik Mayor’s office (pic: Mayor’s Office)

Rising Croatian Tennis Star Switches Allegiance to Australia

CroatiaRising Croatian tennis player Ajla Tomljanović will no longer play under the Croatia flag after it was reported that she would take up Australian citizenship, reports the Sydney Morning Herald..

The Zagreb-born 21-year-old will now compete under the Australia flag, starting at the 2014 US Open in September. Tomljanović, who has risen to number 56 in the world in a short space of time, will represent Australia at all grand slam events until she receives an Australian passport and residency status, which will then enable her to represent Australia also at the WTA level.

The reason for Tomljanović’s switch of allegiance looks like it is connected with her new coach, Australian David Taylor.Tomljanović has been based in Florida since the age of 13, and joining forces with Taylor and the renowned training facilities and support services at Melbourne Park’s National Tennis Centre are seen as the main reasons.

“Tomljanovic will play as an Australian at grand slam tournaments, effective immediately, and at Tour events once her citizenship is finalised. Tennis Australia welcomes Ajla to the Australian tennis family and wishes her well,” Tennis Australia said to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The Croatian Tennis Association have said that they have had no official confirmation from the player or Tennis Australia, but would contact the family to confirm.

Clean Sweep in Europe for Croatian Clubs

UEFAIt has been a clean sweep for all Croatian clubs playing in Europe this week, after Hajduk Split, Rijeka, and RNK Split all advanced through to the next qualifying round of the UEFA Europa league last night…

Earlier in the week Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb beat Lithuanian side Žalgiris Vilnius to advance in UEFA Champions League qualifying, and on Thursday evening it was the turn of the other 3 Croatian clubs in Europe to do the job.

Results:
Žalgiris Vilnius (Lithuania) - Dinamo Zagreb – 0:2 (0:4 aggregate)
Hapoel Beer Sheva (Israel) - RNK Split 0:0 (2:1 aggregate)
Hajduk Split – Dundalk (Ireland) 1:2 (3:2 aggregate)
Ferencvaros (Hungary) – Rijeka 1:2 (1:3 aggregate)

Dinamo now travel to Denmark to face Aalborg in the final round of Champions League qualifying, whilst Rijeka face Faroe Island side Vikingur, Hajduk Split face Kazakhstan side Shakhter and RNK Slit will meet Ukrainian side Černomorec Odesa as they try to qualify for this seasons Europa League.

Locals Dominating Croatian World Games

CroatiaIt is the local Croatians who are dominating the Croatian World Games which started this week in the capital Zagreb…

Over 700 athletes with Croatian heritage from 24 countries are competing this week in 16 sports, including athletics, bowls, judo, karate, basketball, football, indoor soccer, volleyball, beach volleyball, swimming, rugby, handball, tennis, table tennis, taekwondo and water polo, and it is the locals who are dominating after medals were awarded in five sports.

The team from Croatia won the handball tournament, with teams from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Austria in 2nd and 3rd place respectively. In the games taekwondo event it the medal winners were Ivana Džeko (-57kg, B&H), Damir Šunjić (+80kg, B&H), Juraj Stinčić (-80kg, Croatia) and Gabrijel Puklin (-68kg, Croatia). Zdravko Ferenčina (+60 years, Croatia), Mišel Mladima (-60 years, Croatia), Marko Stanić (-50 years, B&H), Boris Knezović (-30 years, B&H), Petra Orlić (-17 years, B&H) and Valentin Perić (-17 years, Croatia).

The locals also won the tennis event, with Romana Kovačević and Renata Šašak from Croatia winning the women’s and Mladen Častek, Mladen Lukić, Zlatko Blagaj and Vanja Mrazovac all from Croatia winning medal, as well Nenad Jandrić from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Miren Ivanković from America and Ivo Beliš from Slovenia. Hrvoje Šimunović from Croatia won the bowls event, whilst father and son pairing Nebojša and Marko Gabrić from Serbia won the table tennis event.

Modrić Now Most Expensive Midfielder in the World

CroatiaReal Madrid’s Croatian international Luka Modrić is the most expensive midfielder in the world, according to the latest valuations by renowned German-based website transfermarkt

According to the football info site, Modrić is valued at 55 million euros, making him the 9th most expensive player in the world, and the top midfielder. Modrić’s value has jumped 10 million euro since May when transfermarkt released their last valuations.

Lionel Messi (120 million euros) is number one, followed by Ronaldo (100 million euros) and his Real Madrid team-mate Gareth Bale (80 million euros). Fellow Croatian Ivan Rakitić is valued at 30 million euros, whilst Mario Mandžukić has dropped from 30 to 22 million euros.

Most Expensive Players in the World
1. Messi (Barcelona) 120 million €
2. Ronaldo (Real) 100 million €
3. Bale (Real) 80 million €
4. Neymar (Barcelona) 70 million €
5. Rodriguez (Real) 60 million €
6. Suarez (Barcelona) 60 million €
7. Falcao (Monaco) 60 million €
8. Cavani (PSG) 60 million €
9. Modrić (Real) 55 million €
10. Di Maria (Real) 50 million €

(pic: Drago Sopta / HNS)

New Club for Vrsaljko, Whilst Mourinho Sends Pašalić Out on Loan

CroatiaCroatian international defender Šime Vrsaljko’s move to the Italian side Sassuolo was made official yesterday…|

After a season-long spell at Serie A side Genoa FC, 22-year-old Vrsaljko, who has 9 international caps for Croatia, now joins fellow Italian cub Sassuolo. Sassuolo finished 17th in last season’s Serie A. Meanwhile, former Hajduk Split playmaker Mario Pašalić, who signed for Chelsea, has been sent out on loan by Jose Mourinho to Spainish side Elche for one season. (pic: Drago Sopta / HNS)

Rijeka Deny Racism Allegations from Manchester City

Croatian club HNK Rijeka have denied allegations that one its players racially abused a Manchester City U-21 player during the club’s pre-season tour of Croatia…

Manchester City Under-21s coach Patrick Vieira ordered his team from the pitch after an incident involving French midfielder Seko Fofana. Fofana was shown a red card for an off-the-ball clash, promoting Vieira to march his side off the park with Rijeka juniors leading 1-0.

Croatia

A Manchester City player (blue) clashes with a Rijeka player in yesterday’s match

“Fofana was sent off because inside one minute there were two brutal tackles on our players. Manchester City coach Patrick Vieira then entered the field, something was discussed with the referee, and then to the amazement of a well-filled stadium he took his team off the pitch. What are the reasons? They are known only to him.” Ranko Buketa from HNK Rijeka said, before adding.

“Maybe Vieira was expecting an opponent that they would dominate on the field and be an easy warm up for his side, that was not the case against Rijeka,” reported 24sata.

Manchester City officials claim that Fofana was racially abused and have asked the Croatian FA to look into the matter. (pic: HNK Rijeka)

Danish Champions Next as Dinamo Zagreb Sniff UEFA Champions League Spot

CroatiaCroatian champions Dinamo Zagreb will face Danish champions Aalborg in the UEFA Champions League 3rd round qualifying after they brushed aside Lithuanian side Zalgiris Vilnius 2-0 (4-0 agg) last night…

Goals in the second half by Algerian international Soudani and Croatia centre back Josip Šimunić saw Dinamo repeat the result from the 1st leg in Zagreb a week ago.

“I congratulate the guys on the win and advancing through to the 3rd qualifying round of the Champions League which was thoroughly deserved,” said coach Zoran Mamić, before adding.

“We were nervous in the first half with passing and finishing, but when we opened the second half with an early goal the victory was never in doubt.”

Dinamo Zagreb face Aalborg home and away over the next two weeks to try to win a spot in this season’s Champions League. (GNK Dinamo)