When you are a football club from a city that boasts a population of only around 800,000 and selling Luka Modrić for €21 million is not your record sale then you know you are doing something right…
The signing of 21-year-old Croatia international Marko Pjaca to Juventus for €23 million has set a Dinamo Zagreb club record. Pjaca, born and raised in Zagreb, becomes the most expensive footballer in the clubs and the Croatian first division history.
The Pjaca transfer is not a one-off for the club. Dinamo Zagreb’s Youth Academy has consistently been ranked among the top in the world for developing players. The club is ranked alongside Ajax and Barcelona when it comes to the development of youth, a ranking backed up by having a browse through some of the club’s big sales in recent years.
Transfer deals such as Alen Halilović’s to FC Barcelona, Šime Vrsaljko’s to Genoa and Tin Jedvaj’s to Bayer 04 Leverkusen fail to feature even in the Top 10 of the small club from the capital.
“A lot of credit must go to the coaches, but we have also shown a good eye for recognising talent – we can’t afford to miss any talented players,” former Academy coach Romeo Jozak said. “A couple of years ago our academy was recognised as one of the best six youth schools in Europe, along with the likes of Barcelona, Inter, Arsenal and Sporting. We work with a budget of around €1m a year, while the other clubs have up to €8m to spend.”
Pjaca’s move to Juventus puts him at the top of an impressive club record transfer list, one which was been topped by Luka Modrić since his €21 million move to Tottenham in 2009.
Eduardo da Silva’s €13.5 million move to Arsenal in 2008 is now the cub’s third-biggest transfer deal, whilst Manchester City’s signing of defender Vedran Ćorluka is now fourth. Another of the club’s real gems, 18-year-old Josip Brekalo, was signed recently by Wolfsburg €10 million, whilst Mario Mandžukić scrapes into the Top 10.
TOP 10 Biggest Transfers in Dinamo Zagreb’s History:
1. Marko Pjaca – Juventus 2016 – €23 milion
2. Luka Modrić – Tottenham 2009 – €21 milion
3. Eduardo da Silva – Arsenal 2008 – €13.5 million
4. Vedran Ćorluka – Manchester City 2008 – €13 million
5. Mateo Kovačić – Inter 2011 – €11 million
6. Josip Brekalo – Wolfsburg 2016 – €10 million
7. Dejan Lovren – Lyon 2010 – €8 million
8. Jozo Šimunović – Celtic 2015 – €8 million
9. Boško Balaban – Aston Villa 2001 – €7.8 million
10. Mario Mandžukić – Wolfsburg 2010 – €7 million