Croatian Sport 2019: What Awaits Us this Year?

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

It’s a new year with a slew of new sporting events for Croatian sport. Even though there won’t be any major football competitions in the summer, or Olympic Games for that matter, we promise there will be no shortage of moments to create history once again, reports on January 1, 2019. 

Croatia’s handball players will fight in the World Cup in Germany and Denmark from January 10 to 27. Lino Červar’s team plays in Group B against Spain, Macedonia, Iceland, Bahrain and Japan. The first match is against Iceland on January 11, followed by Japan (January 13), Macedonia (January 14), Bahrain (January 16) and Spain on January 17.

Croatia’s tennis players traditionally open the Grand Slam season in Melbourne. The Australian Open kicks off on January 14 and we can only hope Croatia’s tennis stars like Marin Čilić and Borna Ćorić will start the season as they finished it – with success. It will also be interesting to see whether anyone in 2019 can threaten the best tennis player in the world – Novak Djokovic.

Just a few months later in March, the Croatia national football team will begin their qualifiers for the 2020 European Championship. Zlatko Dalić will lead the World Cup finalists in Group E with Azerbaijan, Hungary, Slovakia and Wales. The first match is scheduled for March 21 at home (Maksimir) against Azerbaijan, followed by a game against Hungary three days later. In the third round, Modrić & Co. will welcome Wales on June 8. On September 6, the team will play against Slovakia away and will visit Azerbaijan three days later. In the seventh round on October 10, Hungary will head to Croatia, and on October 13, Croatia will visit Wales. The last two rounds will be played on November 16 and 19 – Croatia will welcome Slovakia, and since they are in a group of five teams, will have a free last round. 

In other football news, after 49 years, Dinamo will play a ‘European spring’. The Croatian champion will play on February 14 and 21 against Viktoria Plzen in the UEFA Europa League round of 32. The first match is in the Czech Republic and the second at Maksimir in Zagreb. 

Rijeka and Hajduk will meet in the Adriatic Derby on February 16 in the 21st round of the Croatian First League. On March 21, Dinamo welcomes Rijeka in the 24th round, and then heads to Poljud for the Eternal Derby against Hajduk on April 3 in the 27th round. Hajduk will play against Rijeka on April 20 in Split (30th round), and on May 11, Dinamo will go to Rujevica (33rd round). In the final 36th round, Dinamo will host Hajduk at Maksimir for the end of the championship.

Though Croatia basketball has a slim chance of going to the World Cup in China, they await their last two qualifying rounds in February. Croatia will first welcome Italy on February 22, and on February 25 they visit Hungary. In Group J, Croatia currently holds fifth place of the six national teams. Only the top three advance to the World Cup. 

Sandra Perković will try to defend the gold in London at the end of September in Doha at the World Athletics Championships. The gold medal will also be defended by the Sinković brothers in the men’s pairs at the World Rowing Championship in Linz in August.

Here’s a list of the sporting events we can look forward to in the new year. 


January 5 – February 1: Asia Cup in Emirates (football)

January 9-27: World Cup in Germany and Denmark (handball, men)

January 14 – 27: Australian Open (tennis)


February 3: Super Bowl (Rugby)

February 5 – 17: World Championships in Sweden (skiing)

February 14: Viktoria Plzen – Dinamo, the first match of Europa League round of 32 

February 20: Nordic Skiing World Championships in Austria

February 21: Dinamo – Viktoria Plzen, in the Europa League round of 32 (football)


March 10: Start of Moto GP (Grand Prix of Qatar)

March 17: Beginning of Formula 1 (Grand Prix Melbourne)

April, May

April 21 – 28: World Championship in Budapest (table tennis)

May 3rd – 19th: World Cup in Bratislava and Košice (hockey)

May 18: FA Cup Final at Wembley (football)

May 26 – June 9: Roland Garros (tennis)

May 29 – Europa League Final (Baku)


June 1: Champions League Final at Wanda Metropolitan in Madrid (football)

June 7 – July 7: World Cup in France (football, women)

June 15 – July 13: African Football Cup of Nations (host TBA)


July 1-14: Wimbledon (tennis)

July 6 – July 28: Tour de France (cycling)

July 12 – July 28: World Cup in South Korea (swimming)


August 25 – September 1: World Rowing Championships in Linz

August 26 – September 9: US Open (tennis)

August 31 – September 15: World Cup in China (basketball)


September 20 – November 2: World Cup in Japan (rugby)

September 28 – October 6: World Championships in Doha (athletics)

October, November

October 4 – October 13: World Championships in Stuttgart (gymnastics)

November 18 – 24 – Davis Cup (tennis)

November 17: End of the season for Moto GP (Grand Prix of Valencia)

November 30 – December 15: World Cup in Japan (handball, women)


December 1: Completion of Formula 1 (last race in Abu Dhabi)

To learn more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page


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