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Dinamo Zagreb

Ground: Stadion Maksimir

Visits: 1

Date: 20th July 2016

Match: Dinamo Zagreb - Vardar Skopje  3-2  (UEFA Champions League, qualifying)

Attendance: 10 241

 

In the 80s I went on holidays with my parents to (what is now) Croatia eight times. I I have so many memories but after my last visit in 1989 I have for different reasons not been back by the Adriatic Sea. This summer that would change though. Once I realized it was possible to do two UEFA-games in Zagreb and then three games in 1. HNL (top division) in five days I booked the trip. As I did the planning it felt like I was visiting a country I know inside out. Anyway, first up was the return leg of the CL-qualifier between Dinamo Zagreb and Vardar Skopje and kick-off was at 20.45. My flight left Copenhagen airport at 11.50 and two hours later I was at the airport in Zagreb. I had booked a hotel for two nights close to the bus station and once the airport bus arrived it only took me 6-7 minutes to walk to my hotel. It was 27 °C as I arrived which is warm but thankfully not as warm as it was in Macedonia a week ago. My room was spacious (and with AC) but I didn´t stay for too long. I wanted to buy a ticket and from the bus station I used the tram to get to Stadion Maksimir, the home of Dinamo Zagreb. The queue to buy tickets was not that long but it still took me 30 minutes before I had my ticket. Prices were 10/20/30 HRK (£1/2/3) and I bought a 20 HRK ticket for the centre block of the East Stand. After a few exterior pictures I went to the big park next to the ground and in that park I found a restaurant. At Restoran Maksimir I ordered the same dish I did so many times in the 80s, Wienerschnitzel. The Wienerschnitzel´s are just as good-tasting today and they were back in the 80s! At 5.15 I was back at my hotel where I rested before once again setting off for the ground.

 

Stadion Maksimir was first opened in 1912 and apart from Dinamo Zagreb games the stadium is also used for most Croatia games. The latest renovation was made in 1997 when Stadion Maksimir got its current layout. Capacity nowadays is around 36 000 but for being a national stadium in a country like Croatia I have to say it is remarkable there is no roof whatsoever. On 13 May 1990 the perhaps biggest game in the history of Stadion Maksimir was played between Dinamo Zagreb and Red Star Belgrade. The game was abandoned due to severe crowd trouble and this is the last time Dinamo and Red Star played against each other. Not liking the club´s owner most of Dinamo Zagreb´s hard core fans, the infamous Bad Blue Boys (BBB), have been boycotting Dinamo games for years and I was really unsure how many would come to the game tonight. When Dinamo played Lokomotiva last weekend in the Croatian league only 2 000 turned up. As I returned to the ground there was a long queue to buy tickets and I was starting to hope for an attendance of around 10 000. To enter the ground I had to show my ID (my name was on the ticket) and the search was stricter than at most games I have been to. My seat was a very good one and once the sun had set I had a great view of the action. Vardar Skopje brought around 150 fans to Zagreb and it was those travelling fans who could celebrate in the 38th minute. A shot from 30-35 yards went under the keeper and 0-1 at half-time. In the second half Dinamo Zagreb equalized from the penalty spot before Vardar once again took the lead in the 65th minute. 1-2 and extra-time on the cards.Marko Pjaca, then equalized with Dinamo´s second penalty of the night. He also assisted to the 3-2 goal before being substituted to a standing ovation lasting several minutes. This is his last game for Dinamo Zagreb before his move to Juventus. The game ended 3-2 to Dinamo who are now through to the next round. The attendance was given as 10 241 which is not too bad. Shortly after 11pm I was back at my hotel and after a long day I had no problems falling asleep.

 

west stand, rear

Rear of the West Stand

 

northwest corner, rear2

Rear of the Northwest corner

 

north stand, rear

Rear of the North Stand

 

bad blue boys, cafe

Bad Blue Boys, café

 

graffitti

Graffiti

 

tickets, queue

Queuing for tickets

 

south stand

South Stand

 

west stand

West Stand

 

north stand

North Stand

 

east stand

East Stand

 

dinamofans

Dinamo fans

 

club badge

Club badge

 

avspark

Kick-off

 

dinamofan

Dinamo fans

 

dinamofans2

Dinamo fans

 

vardarfans

Vardar Skopje fans

 

spelbild

View of play

 

straff

Penalty (1-1)

 

west stand1

West Stand

 

spelbild2

View of play

 

north stand2

North Stand

 

bad blue boys

Bad Blue Boys

 

bad blue boys2

Shirts are off

 

pano, stadion maksimir3

Pano

 

pano, stadion maksimir9

Pano