- Tottenham’s bid for youngsters Tin Jedvaj and Alan Halilović fell through, with AS Roma sweeping up Jedvaj for a €5m fee. Halilović is expected to stay at Dinamo for another season. More here: Halilović deal off, Jedvaj to Roma
- Genoa has confirmed their signing of Croatian defender Šime Vrsajlko for an undisclosed fee. Šime will look to get his career back on track after a disappointing season following lots of hype.
- The 2nd round of Champions League and Europa League will begin this week, with Dinamo on the road on Tuesday, and three other HNL teams with Europa League matches on Thursday. More here: 2nd qualifying round fixtures set
- The 2013-14 HNL kicked off this weekend, as Hajduk went to the top of the table with a 5-1 victory over Zadar. The league has been reduced from 12 teams to 10 this season. More here: HNL Is Back! Week 1 Report
- Along with the HNL, a few other European leagues began their new seasons this past weekend. In Ukraine, Ivan Strinić played the full match for Dnipro, with Nikola Kalinić an unused sub as they beat Arsenal Kyiv 3-0. Shakhtar Donetsk won their opener 2-0 against FC Hoverla, with Darijo Srna starting at right back and Eduardo Da Silva out of the squad. Domagoj Vida started for Dynamo Kyiv in their 1-1 draw with Volyn. Ognen Vukojević was an unused sub and Niko Kranjcar was out of the squad, with rumors circulating that he may be leaving for Slaven Bilić’s Besiktas. The Russian League kicks off on Monday, July 15th.
Video of the week- Luka Modrić 2012-13
The European U-20 Championships tipped off this week, with Croatia coming back in their final game against Sweden to advance to the main round. They finished the 1st round with a 2-3 record. Croatia are without most of their talented u-20 players including Dario Šarić and Mario Hezonja. Power forward Antonio Boban lead the team with 13.5 points per game. Croatia will face tournament favorites Greece on Monday, and will need to win their final two games to have a shot at the quarterfinals.
It looks like there will be no Croat in the NBA next year after all. The Nets and Bojan Bogdanović had come to an agreement on a three year contract but the Nets failed to reach an agreement with Fenerbahce over the buyout of his contract. The Nets will retain the rights to Bojan and will likely try to sign him next summer.
Since its acceptance into the KHL this spring, Medvescak Zagreb has been extremely busy, completing the signings of ten new players, many formerly from the NHL. They finished undoubtedly their biggest signing this week, when Canadian Jonathan Cheechoo, who led the NHL in goals in 2006, signed on to bolster The Bears attack. Things are looking up for Medvescak as they prepare for the tougher competition in the KHL, where play will begin in under two months. Amidst all the changes, only 6 Croats remain on the roster, although 5 or 6 North American players have Croatian heritage.
Medvescak’s marquee signing, Jonathan Cheechoo
The FINA World Championships will begin in Madrid on Saturday, June 20th, with the Water Polo World Championships being the highlight for Croatians. Croatia finished 3rd in 2011 and 2009 after winning in 2007. They will look to continue their recent form after winning gold at the Olympics at the Mediterranean Games. The Barracudas have drawn a very easy preliminary group, as they will face Canada, the U.S, and South Africa. They lost a rematch of the Olympic final 11-7 to Italy on Tuesday in a “test match”. In addition to water polo, the aquatics championships will feature open water, synchronized, and indoor swimming, diving, and high diving.
- Ivo Karlović made a successful return from a two month hiatus due to career-threatening spinal meningitis, reaching the quarterfinals of the ATP Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport. He fell to John Isner in the quarterfinals, losing tiebreaks in both sets. Ivo had been in poor form prior to the virus and has dropped down to #167 in the ATP rankings, but he will move up to #155 with his good results at Newport. He will play in the ATP 250 Bogota next week where he drew a to-be-decided qualifier in the first round. Ivo was thrilled to be back playing tennis again.
- “I woke up and my arm was numb, then my wife [Alsi] asked me I don’t even remember what. I was slurring, so she called the paramedics. They gave me IV [therapy] and I felt good. But when they left, I began to vomit a lot and had headaches, so I went to hospital. They released me after one hour, but later that evening the numbness and pain returned. I became less and less conscious. I returned to hospital again. I don’t know what happened after that.
The doctor’s didn’t really know if I would recover 100 per cent. I was unconscious for a long time. I didn’t know my name or what year it was. I was in a lot of pain. My right arm and my face was numb. Headaches lasted almost 10 days. I recalled my name after four days and the numbness disappeared after five days.” -Ivo Karlović
Yo it felt so good just to play a match again. Win or lose, dont matter. Just two months ago i thought it was over.
— ivo karlovic (@ivokarlovic) July 9, 2013
- Blanka Vlašić jumped 1.98m (6′ 6”) at the IAAF World Challenge meet in Madrid this week. She tied for the win with world leader Brigetta Barrett but was disappointed to fail three times at 2.01 meters. Blanka and Ana Šimic will compete in the Monaco Diamond League meet on Friday.
- Ana Šimić bested her personal best by one centimeter this week at the Hungarian Athletics Grand Prix. She won the competition with a jump of 1.96m (6′ 5”). The jump puts her 7th in the world, with less than a month until the World Championships.
- The IAAF World Youth Championships took place this week, where 1532 athletes under 18 from 165 countries headed to Donetsk, Ukraine. Croatia had 17 athletes competing, and came away with one medal. 16 year old Matija Gregurić won the boy’s hammer throw on his final attempt, moving from 5th to 1st with a throw of 79.38m; 36 centimeters further than 2nd place. Other notable results include 4th place in the shot put for Martin Marković and 13th in the 2k steeplechase for Kristina Božić.