Champions League and Europa League: Potential Draws and Earnings for Croatian Clubs

Daniela Rogulj

After Dinamo claimed the Croatian Cup last night in Vinkovci, the seats for Croatian clubs in the European championships have been secured. While Dinamo will fight in the Champions League next season, Rijeka, Hajduk, and Osijek will take on the Europa League.

Today we bring you an overview of the Croatian club’s potential opponents and earnings in the highly anticipated European competitions, reports on May 24, 2018. 


The Zagreb club is included in the 2nd qualifying round of the Champions League, which will debut a new format and a difficult road to the group stage, but opens up the possibility of a move into the Europa League. If Dinamo falls at this stage of the Champions League, they will automatically be included in the 3rd qualifying round of the Europa League. 

The draw for the 2nd qualifying round for Champions League is on June 19. The first games are played just one month later, on July 24 and 25, with return matches on July 31 and August 1.

In the 2nd qualifying round, Dinamo will have the top seed, and the possible rivals will depend on the outcome of the 1st qualifying round as well as other championship games. If there are no surprises and Olimpija becomes the champion of Slovenia in front of Maribor, the possible opponents are:

Midtjylland (Denmark)

Crvena Zvezda (Serbia)

Hapoel Beer-Sheva (Israel)

Rosenborg (Norway)

HJK Helsinki (Finland)

TNS (Wales)

Kukesi (Albania)

Cluj (Romania)

Videoton or Ferencvaros (Hungary)

Olimpija (Slovenia)

If Dinamo passes that obstacle, in the 3rd qualifying round they will not be the top seed, and as things stand now, their possible rivals are:

Salzburg (Austria)

Ludogorec (Bulgaria)

Celtic (Scotland)

APOEL (Cyprus)

Legia (Poland)

Malmö (Sweden)

If Dinamo is defeated in this phase, they will enter the 4th qualifying round of the Europa League. 

If they win, they will advance to the 4th qualifying round of the Champions League, where there will be three winners of the 3rd qualifying round, and either PSV Eindhoven or Young Boys. The loser will go to the Europa League. 

How much can Dinamo earn?

Uefa has increased the prize pool for the next five year period. The new prize list is as follows:

Entry into the group stage – 15 million euro

Group stage draw – 900,000 euro (was 500,000)

Group stage win – 2.7 million euro (was 1.5 million)

Entry into the round of 16 – 9.5 million euro (was 6 million)

Entry into the quarterfinals – 10.5 million euro (was 6.5 million)

Entry into the semifinals – 12 million euro (was 7.5 million)

Entry into the final – 15 million euros (was 11 million)

Champions League winner – 19 million euro (was 15.5 million)


Rijeka is included in the 3rd qualifying round of Europa League, whose draw is on July 23. The first matches are played on August 9 and 16.

It is important to note that Rijeka cannot face Dinamo because in the new format, the Europa League is divided into two parts: the Champions (those who dropped out of the Champions League qualifications) and the non-champions (those who are in Europa League from a Cup win or as the second, third, or fourth-placed team in their championship league standings).

In the 3rd qualifying round, there will be two teams who fell from the 2nd qualifying round of the Champions League, 37 winners of the 2nd qualifying round of Europa League, and 13 new teams, which includes Rijeka. 

Rijeka should be the top seed, and at the moment (as some leagues and Cups are not over yet) potential rivals, among others, are:

Basaksehir (Turkey)

Mariupol (Ukraine)

Dinamo Minsk (Belarus)

Hajduk (Croatia)

Lech Poznan (Poland)

Admira Wacker (Austria)

LASK (Austria)

St. Gallen (Switzerland)

Vitesse (Netherlands)

Atromitos (Greece)

Hafnarfjordur (Iceland)

Dundalk (Ireland)

Žalgiris (Latvia)

Gabala (Azerbaijan)

Osijek (Croatia)

Brondby (Denmark)

Nordsjaelland (Denmark)

Vardar (Macedonia)

Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia)

If they advance, on the way to the 4th qualifying round, where Rijeka would most likely not be the top seed, possible rivals include Sevilla, Zenit, Besiktas, Olympiakos, Braga, PAOK, Steaua, Gent, AZ, and others. 


Hajduk is included in the 2nd qualifying round of the Europa League, among 27 new teams and 47 winners of the 1st qualifying round. 

The draw is on June 19, and the first matches are played on July 26 and August 2.

Hajduk will be the top seed for the 2nd qualifying round, and if there are no surprises in the 1st qualifying round, their possible rivals are, among others:

Famagusta (Cyprus)

Dinamo Tbilisi (Georgia)

Viitorul (Romania)

Jagiellonia (Poland)

Gornik (Poland)

AIK Stockholm (Sweden)

Aberdeen (Scotland)

Kalju Nomme (Estonia)

Häcken (Sweden)

Djurgardens (Sweden)

Slavia Sofija (Bulgaria)

CSKA Sofija (Bulgaria)

Neftchi (Azerbaijan)

Radnički (Serbia)

Spartak (Serbia)

Ventspils (Latvia)

Dinamo Brest (Belarus)

Shakhtyor Soligorsk (Belarus)

Glasgow Rangers (Scotland)

Hibernian (Scotland)

Tobol (Kazakhstan)

Irtysh Pavlodar (Kazakhstan)

Kairat (Kazakhstan)

Fola Esch (Luxemburg)

Lillestrom (Norway)

Sarpsborg (Norway)

Rabotnički (Macedonia)

Sarajevo (Bosnia & Herzegovina)

Domžale (Slovenia)

If Hajduk advances, they will not be the top seed in the 3rd qualifying round and can draw, among others:

Sevilla (Spain)

Zenit (Russia)

Besiktas (Turkey)

Olympiakos (Greece)

Braga (Portugal)

Steaua (Romania)

Gent (Belgium)

AZ (Netherlands)

Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel)

Feyenoord (Netherland)

Rapid WIen (Austria)

Leipzig (Germany)

Partizan (Serbia)

Burnley (England)

Rijeka (Croatia)

Atalanta (Italy)

Molde (Norway)

Bordeaux (France)

Ufa (Russia)


Osijek will play in the 1st qualifying round of the Europa League. The draw is June 19, and the first matches are on July 12 and July 19.

Osijek is the top seed in the 1st qualifying round, and the rivals will probably be from smaller football nations like the Faroe Islands, Northern Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, and Wales. The most interesting matchups would be against neighbors Široki Brijeg, Ujpest or Budućnost from Podgorica.

If Osijek advances, they would be the top seed in the 2nd qualifying round, meaning that their potential rivals are the same as Hajduk at that stage.

Translated from 


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