Croatian football champions Dinamo Zagreb advanced to the playoff stage of a European competition for the first time since 1970 and to celebrate an initiative was set up to bring back the club’s identity.
The ‘Dinamo Spring’ project was set up by the association ‘Dinamo to smo mi (Dinamo that is us) with the aim of bringing back the club’s identity and local support and last night over 300 people turned out at the Kranjčar Gallery at Kaptol in the capital Zagreb for the opening of the ‘Dinamo’s Spring’ exhibition.
Old membership cards from the 1960s – 1980s, kits worn back in 1967 when Dinamo beat Leeds United to win the 1967 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Final, a signed match ball and a signed flag from the current squad who help the club qualify again after 49 years for the playoff stages of a European competition were some of the items on display.
“A packed gallery already on the opening night shows we got it right with the idea and how Dinamo lives among a lot of people in Zagreb and around the rest of Croatia. I am glad that everyone liked how we presented the history of the club and I invite everyone to come and look around the exhibition,” Juraj Čošić, president of Dinamo to smo mi said.
Among the public who were in attendance on opening night were a number of well-know faces, including former Dinamo stars like Slavko Ištvanić, Dario Šimić and Filip Blašković, as well as art historian Zvonko Maković, actors Rene Bitorajac and Tarik Filipović.
Two of the biggest Dinamo collectors, Krešimir Barić and Tomislav Rončević, played a big part in the exhibition, showcasing what they had collected over the years.
“I am a guy from the stands who has supported Dinamo at Maksimir stadium and at away matches for decades. When I am asked how much is everything I have worth, I say that simply there is no price. Today, every player turns up to the match and there are four shorts waiting for them, and we have shirts from the period when there would be just 14 or 15 shirts for the whole squad. This acts as a way to bring up and team the future Dinamo generation about the culture and size of the club which we love,” Barić said.
Former Dinamo defender Dario Šimić was particularly emotive on the night
“This takes me back to my childhood, when my father took me to the games. Then I could only dream about playing for Dinamo and be part of this story and now I am immensely proud that I gave my little stamp to the history of this club,” Šimić said.
The exhibition will be open at Kranjčar Gallery at Kaptol 26 until 19 February 2019 and admission is free. Tickets are also on sale at the exhibition for the big concert ‘Dinamo’s Spring’ which takes place at Dom sportova on 23 February 2019 and features Jura Stublić & Film, Kawasaki 3P, Tram 11 and Šank.