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On This Day…

Tonight (20:45) Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb take on FC Sheriff Tiraspol from Moldova in UEFA Champions League qualifying at Zagreb’s Maksimir Stadium, 16 years to the day on the same ground that the club recorded arguably their finest victory.

On 30 June 1997, also in UEFA Champions League qualifying, Dinamo Zagreb (then called NK Croatia) beat Partizan Belgrade 5-0 in the first match between the two sides since the war.  Amongst the goalscorers on the night at a packed Maksimir stadium was former Celtic, Leeds, Middlesbrough and Newcastle legend Mark Viduka. The Australian-born Croat was bought to the club personally by former Croatian President Franjo Tuđman. With tensions from the war still running the high the victory was special for many Croatians.

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