Dinamo Zagreb’s UEFA Champions League season opens tomorrow night at Maksimir stadium against Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal side, but there are is no shortage of Croats in action in the opening match tonight in Madrid…
No less than 11 Croats taking part at Santiago Bernabeu for the round 1 match between Real Madrid and Ukraine’s Shakhtar Donetsk.
On the Real Madrid side there are internationals Luka Modrić and Mateo Kovačić, while Croatia captain Darijo Srna and former international striker Eduardo da Silva will line up for the Ukrainians, whilst Igor Gršković will be on the bench as Shakhtar’s physio. Another six Croats will also be on the pitch tonight.
Ivan Bebek, who recently became the first Croat on UEFA’s elite panel, will referee tonight’s match. His team of officials will also be from Croatia with Tomislav Petrović and Miro Grgić linesmen, Dalibor Conjar (4th official) and reserve officials Domagoj Vučkov an Goran Gabrilo.
Tonight’s match will also signal the 10th season that Srna has played in the UEFA Champions League.