8 March 2019 – Dinamo Zagreb’s 1-0 victory over Benfica last night in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 was an important win for Croatian football.
The win means that Croatia are now guaranteed to have five teams next season in European competitions, including two clubs in Champions League qualifying.
Points gained by Dinamo Zagreb this season in the Europa League has helped Croatia’s coefficient and has seen them jump Switzerland and Denmark on UEFA’s list to move into 15th place.
This means in the 2020/21 Champions League, Croatia will have two clubs in the qualifying competition.
The champions of the Croatian first division will join the qualifying in the third round, whilst the runner-up in the league will start in the second round of qualifying. The three next best placed teams in the league will play in the Europa League qualifiers.
The last time Croatia had two clubs in the Champions League was back in 1999 when Dinamo Zagreb and Rijeka were involved.