Where should Kovačić play next year?

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HNL Week 2

August 6, 2018





Rijeka tops the table this week with a +6 goal differential, which is all that separates it from Osijek, which is the only other club with two wins in this young season.



Rijeka took care of business against visiting Inter Zaprešić, who remain without any points in the first two matches this year. The home side scored four goals against Inter, who started former Dinamo Zagreb goalkeeper Ivan Kelava in goal on Friday. Rijeka goalkeeper Simon Sluga recorded his second clean sheet of the season.



Goals came from Boadu Acosty, Alexader Gorgon (2), and Heber. Acosty scored the match’s first goal after only four minutes of play, while Rijeka’s three other goals came in the second half.





Dinamo Zagreb also recorded a big win on Friday, defeating visiting Istra 1961 3-0, with two goals from Mario Gavranović and one from Marin Leovac. Dinamo sit in fourth place.




Hajuk Split and NK Lokomotiva fough for a 1-1 draw on Sunday. Hajduk had the lead thanks to a 30-yard screamer scored by Stanko Jurić, but Ivan Krstanović stole a point fro the match with his 57th minute goal. Hajduk is in eighth place and without victory in the first two matches of the season. Lokomotiva rest in third.





Slaven Belupo and HNK Gorica played the most exciting match of the weekend, ending 3-3. The match was intended to be a home game for Slaven, but the new pitch laid in Koprivnica was not ready to be used, so special permission was gained to play the match at Gorica’s home stadium, which also has temporary A license status to be used in the Prva Liga. That license expire in September, leaving Gorica forced to play their home mates at Maksimir if changes aren’t made.

The six-goal thriller did not get started until the first goal was scored in the 62nd minute. Gorica had the one-goal lead for exactly three minutes until the doubled it. Six minutes later, Slaven got one goal back but the Goričani regained a two-goal lead only two minutes later. Five minutes later, Slaven again came with in one goal. They tied the match in the 90th minute with a goal that appeared to be offside, but stood.





NK Osijek squeaked by NK Rudeš on Sunday, defeating them 3-2. Osijek held a three-goal lead which they let dwindle to a one-goal lead by the 82nd minute after Rudeš scored two goals in four minutes. Osijek held on to the win and are tied on points with Rijeka.








Colin O'Haravić
Posted By: Colin O'Haravić 17 comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Playoff rounds

    Rijeka-(norway team) vs macabi tel aviv – pyunik

    hajduk- steau buchurest vs slovan bratislava – rapid vienna

    dinamo – astana vs young boys

  2. Maminjo says:

    Rangers are garbage team in a garbage league that is rated worse than the HNL. Going to Rangers is almost a step backward.

    Borna Barisic should hold out for something better. If he gets called up for Nations League, he’ll probably get better teams looking at him for the January window.

    20-year old Borna Sosa is already on a better team (Stuttgart) in a much better league..and if he gets a starting spot at that club, then he will already be ahead of Barisic in the pecking order at LB.

  3. Maminjo says:

    Fun fact about Borna Barisic…

    His dad is apparently some mafioso from Osijek who blames Mamic for his son not being transferred to Dynamo Kiev last year when (suspiciously) it was Josip Pivaric who Kiev ended up purchasing instead (after Kiev had some initial talks with Barisic).

    He blames Mamic for swooping in and selling them Pivaric over his own son.

    Mamic being shot last year could have been from the Barisic clan, lol. (assuming it wasn’t some hooligan or Mamic himself)

  4. Soul Champ says:

    @ Maminjo

    Always can count on you for fun facts.

    Rangers is a storied club.

    If he does well then he will be picked up by a bigger club.

    He definitely will get a raise.

    Plus he can’t sit the bench at 25.

  5. Soul Champ says:


    I love this move.

    Croatian footballers need to act like first class players.

    No transfer .. no train.

    I am all in with Kovačić.

    All the experts here who don’t see it?

    Speak now .. because we had many BUST mongers on Modrić back in the day or the very least not giving him his due respect.

    This young man is 24 and has all the tools.

    He needs to start.

    I remember when they rated Kroos higher than Modrić.

    Folks here called me names and pretended like I was some dumb ass homer.

    Real Madrid either sells Kroos or Kovačić.

    You pick one trick pony Kroos over thoroughbred Kovačić?

    Then you should examine your self.

  6. Bobby V says:

    I’m amazed at how many of the bigger clubs pick up Croatian and and other players from smaller, less noticed leagues right after playing them in a two-leg European competition.

    It happened with Vlasic going to Everton last season right after they played Hajduk and happens every year.

    Are they too lazy or don’t have the resources to scout players properly? Don’t understand how it happens so often.

  7. Soul Champ says:

    @ Bobby V

    That is a great point!

    The Croatian brand of football took a giant leap this past World Cup.

    Our boys will be scouted more and more.

    Stereotype lift is most prominent in scouting for sports.

    When the bigger club sees the pleayer dominating there own team this can break through any previous limiting stereotype threat of HNL.

    We will start to export more and more elite footballers.

    Places like Zadar should build elite youth academies and develop a legit NK.

    We should triple the amount of players we produce who can play in top leagues.

    Simultaneously strengthening HNL.

  8. ZLATAN HRVAT says:

    Kovacic is overrated didnt he decline a move to Manchester United he shouldnt be picking and choosing.

  9. Maminjo says:


    Sadly, a lot of these organizations are filled with friends and family. Like how does someone actually become a club sporting director? Or even a scout?

    Is there some sort of schooling for this?

    You essentially have to be involved in sport in some kind of capacity for several years, know the right person, and you’ll get one of these jobs that require a different type of skill than just experience as a coach or football player.

    The “hey, that guy looks pretty good” method is pretty much how most of these clubs operate, lol.

  10. Razbijač says:

    @ JB / Zee

    First things first, the kid’s gotta change his last name to Olmić!


    Anyway, he’s quite a talent. Formed in Barcelona, and Dinamo has put the finishing touches on this diamond. Dinamo will surely get a good fee for the kid when they sell him.

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