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GNK Dinamo Zagreb profiled

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GNK Dinamo Zagreb profiled

Postby FCBayernNews » Mon Sep 28, 2015 2:05 pm

FC Bayern have played 200 Champions League matches so far, but they have never been up against a Croatian team. This is about to change: on Tuesday evening the Bavarians host Dinamo Zagreb at the Allianz Arena on the second matchday in Group F. presents the Croatian serial champions who surprisingly won their first match against Arsenal 2-1.


Dinamo Zagreb are the gold standard in Croatia and the domestic champions every year for the last decade. In total the Blues have clinched 17 national championship titles and 13 cup victories. The biggest success in the club's history was the European Fairs Cup title in 1967, the predecessor to the UEFA Cup. In the final Dinamo defeated Leeds United 2-0 on aggregate.


Dinamo Zagreb have played their home matches at the Maksimir Stadium since 1948. It is located in the identically named district in the north east of Zagreb and has a 35,000 capacity; however, fewer than 500 fans turned out for their last league match. The unroofed arena was renovated in 2011, the pitch is now surrounded by blue artificial grass in lieu of a running track. As the first leg is in Munich, FCB will not become acquainted with the stadium until 9 December.

CL record

In the all-time Champions League table (including the European Champion Clubs' Cup) Dinamo Zagreb are ranked 109th. The Croatians are taking part in the competition for the fifth time. The last time they participated was in the 2012/13 campaign, but they have never made the knockout stages. The recent 2-1 victory over Arsenal was Dinamo's first home win since 29 September 1999, when they beat Sturm Graz 3-0. Zagreb have lost their last six away matches and are without a victory in nine on the road. Their last away win was almost 17 years ago, a 1-0 victory against Ajax in November 1998.

Current situation

Last season’s double winners are once again Croatia's top club. After 11 matchdays Dinamo are unbeaten and top of the table, already on their way to an eleventh championship title in a row. Dinamo have not lost in 45 matches - the last defeat in a competitive fixture dates back to November 2014 when they fell to Romanian club Astra Giurgiu in the Europa League group stage, squandering their chance to get through to the knockout rounds.

Key players:

Two former Bundesliga stars are among the better-known players. Gordon Schildenfeld played for MSV Duisburg and Eintracht Frankfurt, joining Zagreb from Dynamo Moscow in pre-season. The other is Junior Fernandes from Chile, who played for Bayer Leverkusen in 2012. After only six Bundesliga matches the forward was loaned out to Dinamo where he played convincingly from the start, prompting Dinamo to sign him in 2014. Fellow Chilean Angelo Henriquez, who has already scored five goals in the current campaign, joined the Croatian champions in the summer. Armin Hodzic from Bosnia and Algerian international El Arbi Hilal Soudani are Dinamo's other forwards.


Mamic has usually relied on an aggressive 4-3-3 formation with the offensive trio Soudani (right), Henriquez, and Fernandes (left). Behind them, Marco Rog is a skilled and dangerous midfielder. However, in the first match against Arsenal Zagreb played defensively; from the bench, 20-year-old Rog and Henriquez watched their team rely on counter-attacks. The tactics proved fully successful: after a barren spell lasting 16 years Dinamo won their first match in the elite club competition.
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