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No Bjelica, No Olmo, No Champions League: Dinamo Out

September 15, 2020




I didn’t watch the game but it sounds like Dinamo was completely hosed on a good goal today that was called offside. If VAR was used in the game, the goal would have stood.



I’m not trying to make excuses here because I’d rather Dinamo play in the Europa League group stage compared to Champions League, but they still need to get there. It sucks that they had to go on the road in back-to-back 1-leg matches as I feel they would have handles the Romanian champs and and Ferencvaros easily over two legs.



Nonetheless, Dinamo will now be heading to the Europa League playoff round where they will need one win to get into group stage. Not the end of the world but it really shows you what manager Nenad Bjelica and Dani Olmo meant to this team last year.





Dinamo Zagreb will face Hungarian champions Ferencvaros Wednesday (1PM ET) in the Champions League 3rd qualifying round. Just like the previous round, it will only be 1-leg as Dinamo take a short drive north to visit their Hungarian neighbors.



Dinamo beat Ferencvaros 5-1 across two legs last year; also in the 3rd qualifying round. Ferencvaros defeated Celtic 2-1 in three weeks ago which isn’t much of a measuring stick game. Dinamo needed a penalty kick shoot-out to progress against the Romanian champs and are obviously much different this season without Dani Olmo, who carried them to the Champions League group stage last year.



With a win, Dinamo guarantee European football this season, at minimum in the Europa League. A loss means they will go to the Europa League playoff round. Dinamo defeated Hajduk 2-1 in Split at the weekend and will probably lock up another Croatian title by Christmas. Remember, Dinamo made a Round of 16 Europa League run two years ago and nearly booked a ticket to the Champions League knockout round last season. They have to keep the momentum going and anything short of a victory on Wednesday – no matter who is in the starting XI – would be considered a failure.


Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 38 comments

  1. Maminjo says:

    I highly doubt Mamic will be able to replicate what Nenad Bjelica did, especially without Dani Olmo.

  2. Andrej L says:

    With Olmo gone, only gives Majer and Ivanusec the opportunity to show that they belong.

    —- Livakovic
    Stojanovic, Dilaver, Kevin, Leovac
    — Gojak, Ademi
    Ivanusec, Majer, Orsic

    – Petkovic saved for potential transfer but wouldn’t be surprise if he’s brought in at the 60 min if we need a goal
    – Gvardiol probably not on the bench due to potential transfer
    – Kastrati might start ahead of Ivanusec but Ivanusec can be really good off the bench; dribbling at tired defenders

  3. Maminjo says:

    Team’s not good enough.

    We need to keep Petković and Gvardiol.

    Dilaver should have been dumped a long time ago.

  4. Razbijač says:

    But the question is do you guys thin Dinamo will qualify for the CL?? ??

  5. Andrej L says:

    Probably not. For the better too, it’s just awkward watching them playing against way better teams.

  6. Maminjo says:

    I want them to qualify for Champions League simply because of the money.

    There’s just such a huge gap between CL and Europa.

  7. Anonymous says:

    What a win by the Islanders !!! Woooo-hoo

  8. Eric says:

    Dinamo will qualify, and then sell all of their best players…tank in the group stages again.

  9. ARMADA87 says:

    None of our teams belong in UCL Group Stages. It’s a nice feeling to make it, but we can’t hang in the groups, no matter the team and year.

    Starting next year it’s going to be MUCH MORE difficult for our teams to make the groups, since our league winner will start qualifying in the 1st round.

    I’ll pull for Dinamo during quals, since the coefficient points help out our league standing and depending on how we do and other countries do, we could potentially sneak back into the 15th slot, but its a long shot.

    Currently we’re in 20th place for the Association rankings at 24.875 coeff points and Czech Republic is at 15 with 27.300 coeff points. We’d need a lot of countries to have shit years in Europe and I’m assuming we’d need Dinamo to make UCL groups and one of Osijek/Loko/Rijeka to make UEL groups and for both teams that make groups to get a result or two…

  10. JB says:

    Sounds like Toma Basic to Milan.

  11. Crnkovic says:

    But maminjo what’s the point of dinamo getting loads of money? It doesn’t go into recruitment. They are not going to use it to build a team that can challenge for European glory. It just goes into someone’s pocket

  12. Dalmatia says:

    Dinamo is doing all the playing but other team is doing the scoring. Dinamo has blown so many chances.

  13. Pavo says:

    It’s hard to watch, this 1 game l format hasn’t been on our side.
    If this game happened in Zagreb, Dinamo easily wins.

  14. Mile says:

    The Islanders? They were great in the 80’s, but now that the NHL is a joke, nobody cares. Especially on this board.

  15. Dalmatia says:

    Why was Majer subbed off? He was not great but was needed in my opinion

  16. Eric says:

    Tough game to watch. Does anyone still think Petkovic needs to start for the Vatreni?

  17. Maminjo says:


    It does?

    How do you know?

    Dinamo actually does pay for player transfers (nothing crazy, but still alot more than other HNL teams), they always pay their players on time (some with pretty high salaries), and they have an amazing youth program (which I’m sure costs them money).

    You’d have to be completely naive to think that all money from transfers and tournament prixe money just goes into some guy’s pocket and nothing has gone to Dinamo’s obvious forward development this past decade.

  18. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Crnkovic talking stupidity!

    it cost a lot to run a club and its B team as well as the entire youth program! Obviously Dinamo invest in good coaches and I doubt their cheap…but if it makes people happy to believe the money goes into some’s pocket, you can’t convince them of something else!

  19. Anonymous says:

    I havent seen the books. so i dont know exactly where the money goes. All i’m saying is that featuring in the champions league is considered big money even for clubs in big leagues with HUGE salaries. In terms of player development, Dinamo continues to develop outstanding players who get sold for a lot of money. My guess is that player sales more than covers the costs of running the club. As a Dinamo fan i’d like to see the club improve the first team to a level where they can compete in Europe and make a splash. I know it’s not easy to do. The club is running a successful model of developing young players and selling them and also doing fairly well in european competition. All I’m saying is that I don’t think Dinamo needs a lot of extra money at the moment. they need to be more ambitious in terms of investing money in better players and making it more attractive for the young players to stay longer at the club and develop the clubs profile in europe. so we can have something to really shout about. unless mamic wants to buy me a new car, then i’ll change my mind

  20. crnkovic says:

    the HNL needs to improve. Dinamo having lots of money is not going to do that. Dinamo becoming an attractive destination for players who want to prove themselves in european competition might help. then players will want to come and play in Croatia. Fans will return to the stadiums. Is that stupidity Slavonac?

  21. crnkovic says:

    …that will in turn improve the standard of HNL, it will attract better TV money, all the clubs will be able to invest. then Dinamo can take the next step and become a middle weight european club. then the money will be much more….and of course most importantly..we will produce even better players for the Vatreni

  22. Maminjo says:

    Re: your comment…

    “My guess is that player sales more than covers the costs of running the club.”

    It doesn’t. This is why making these tournaments is important.

  23. Maminjo says:

    It’s a very big risk to move from being a farm team to Western clubs versus being a Champions League competitor.

    There was some stat last year that showed Dinamo’s starting eleven as costing them between 5 or 6 million Euros in transfers…which is incredible considering they were a Champions League team.

    But whey they compared it to other teams, especially the Round of 16 teams…the difference is astronomical.

    Dinamo would probably have to increase their annual transfer budget by 50-100 million Euro to maybe get into the knockout phase….and that’s a ‘maybe’.

    That’s the problem. It’s too big a risk, and progressing to the knockouts only gets you an extra 10 million Euro.

    Simply put, it’s just not worth it for Dinamo.

    They’re better off just investing all that money into their youth development program and continue to churn out talent (talent that benefits our National Team the most).
    There will be moments when they surprise and make a run (similar to how Ajax went to the Finals a few years ago) but they will always be a small market team that won’t sell out to some Arab Sheik or Russian Oligarch using their team to launder money.

  24. Miloš Hvar says:

    hey at least Crvena Zvezda lost too

  25. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Crnkovic, I don’t ever think the attendance has been more than the average of 8,000 fans per game…Croatia has a tiny league and its impossible to use fans as some major revenue stream. They aren’t and never will be a top 10 league in Europe…saying “fans will return” might mean only a few thousand more per game and Hajduk has the biggest fan base at a whopping 9,800 per game…then it goes down to Rijeka 4,100, Dinamo 3,400….and it gets worse from there.

    Dinamo has made their money from qualifying for these bigger competitions and selling their youth.

    These past several months haven’t been good for many clubs…and yes I agree that Dinamo should try being more ambitious but if you’ve been on thise site for a while you’d remember when they used to use tons of imports and fans…especially here, would criticize that!

    Hajduk’s ex players also criticize that Hajduk is using too many foreigners and not affording their younger players opportunity!

    Maybe Mamic needs to come back to ZG and iron a few details out for the club!


  26. Maminjo says:

    It’s tough for Croatian clubs due to the small population, and the low purchasing power of each citizen.

    Majority of people in Cro will not pay anything more than $10 to $20 for seats, nor will they drop 100 Euro for kits and other gear (like fans do in Germany or England).

    They really do need the transfer money, and revenue from these tournaments.

    It’s a slow process, but it’s been getting better for HNL teams in terms of revenue and stability. Plus, investing in your youth program is the most sustainable thing you can do.

    This is why we are usually furious with Hajduk, because they are cash strapped, are not making any serious money from transfers and tournaments… Yet they’ll still burn whatever money they have to bring in some two-bit foreigners from crappier leagues. It hurts both Hajduk and our National Team.

    Hajduk’s squad this year does seem to have more Croatian youth on it than last year, so I think they got the memo.

  27. Anonymous says:

    That’s when the game was the game, look at the fans!

  28. Anonymous says:

    You guys talk about a lot of dumb shit.
    Better things to do than talk about men
    Who run around in shorty shorts.
    You can really tell most of you never played
    A sport in your lives so your are relegated
    To this analysis bullshit. The Croatia Team
    Has been shit since the WC. Other teams
    Have figured us out. They should just dump
    Anyone over 30 and start over

  29. Anonymous says:


    I agree with your analysis.

  30. Andrej L says:

    As Ante alluded to, maybe Bjelica can pull off the upset against Basel tomorrow. A Bockaj bomb from distance is always a possibility.

  31. CroatianPerson85 says:

    Mandza Fenerbahce official yet/rumour or not, anyone know?

    Atalanta looking at Brekalo and Vlasic. Apparently Brekalo deal just stalled but it’s close with Atalanta. I hope this is true .

  32. Maminjo says:

    Wow. If Atalanta snag these two, they’ll be an even more exciting team to watch. Pure offense. Should be able to really challenge for the scudetto.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Atalanta wont be challenging for the scudetto even if they acquired the services of Brekalo and Vlasic. I know.

  34. Maminjo says:

    Also, does anyone know why Dinamo played both of their qualification matches again Cluj and Ferencvaros on the road?

    Was it simply a coin toss? Or was there some other sort of rationale as to how it was determined that one team gets home field advantage over the other?

  35. Anonymous says:

    It’s to do with COVID in Croatia.

  36. Incognito says:


    Dinamo played both games on the road. As per the UEFA Champions wiki page:

    “The first team drawn in each tie would be the home team.”

    It literally came down to luck of the draw……which we had none.

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