Italian giants Juventus have won the race for the signature of sought-after Dinamo Zagreb attacker Marko Pjaca…
Pjaca (21) told the media in Zagreb on Tuesday that had signed for Juventus and was off to Turin to join fellow Croatian teammate Mario Mandžukić this season. Pjaca has reportedly been sold for 23 million euros, making him the most expensive Croatian First Division player in history. He will play his last match in a Dinamo shirt tomorrow night at Maksimir stadium in the club’s UEFA Champions League qualifier.
“I am happy and sad. Happy that I am off for a new challenge in my career, but sad to leave Dinamo Zagreb,” he told the media in Zagreb as he announced the news that he was off to join one of Europe’s biggest clubs.
The hugely talented Pjaca, who started his professional career in the Croatian first division in 2011-12 with NK Lokomotiva from Zagreb, become the target of clubs all over Europe after impressing in Euro 2016 in France. The mild-mannered youngster was linked to the likes of Milan, Liverpool, Inter, and Napoli, but it was Juventus who have captured him.
Pjaca turned in an impressive performance in Croatia’s 2-1 win against Spain, and shone again when he came on late in the loss to Portugal. After the Round of 16 matches, Pjaca was the tournament’s number one dribbler according to statistics.
Pjaca made his senior international debut in 2014, coming on for Mateo Kovačić near the end of a 2–0 friendly win over Cyprus in Pula. He made his competitive debut in Croatia’s Euro 2016 qualifying campaign against Azerbaijan. He has been capped 10 times and has scored once.
Born and raised to a national judo champion mother and a father who was a top wrestle, the 6ft-1in Pjaca grew up with two sisters in the Zagreb suburb of Borovje. He started off at the local ZET club near his place before heading off to spend five years at Dinamo Zagreb’s academy between 2004 and 2009. He returned to ZET before moving off to KN Lokomitiva where he played 49 first team games scoring 9 times.
In 2014 he moved back to Dinamo where he went on to represent the ‘blues’ 60 times, scoring 19 goals. People started to talk about Pjaca more seriously after he scored a hat-trick against Celtic in the Europa League at the age of just 19. Pjaca is tall, strong and not likes to take on defenders. He is also not afraid to shoot from a distance. Juventus have a real gem in their ranks.