Farewell, Jurčević: Dinamo Zagreb Wins Title, Dinamo Coach Gets Sacked

Daniela Rogulj

This is the third time Dinamo has changed coaches this season. 

Nikola Jurčević is no longer the coach of Dinamo, published the Zagreb club’s website earlier today, reports Gol.hr on May 15, 2018. 

“By the decision of the Executive Committee of GNK Dinamo, Mr. Nikola Jurčević is no longer the head coach of the first team. The coach was informed of the club’s decision, and further events related to Dinamo’s first team and the staff of experts will be relayed to the public, fans and the media promptly via the website,” Dinamo said in a statement.

Jurčević led Dinamo in just 11 games, achieving five wins, four defeats, and two draws. Despite the team’s poor game under his leadership, Dinamo won the Croatian First League title and will play in the Cup final on May 23rd against Hajduk.

Under Jurčević’s leadership, Dinamo also celebrated in the great derby at Poljud, which led the club to the championship. Though Jurčević was said to have brought peace to the club, it seems that the management of the club was still dissatisfied with the team’s play under his watch. If you recall, in Dinamo’s previous league game on Monday, they lost 1:0 to Rudeš.

Believe it or not, Jurčević was already the third coach of Dinamo this season: Ivaylo Petev started the season but was fired in July immediately after the preparations. Petev was succeeded by Mario Cvitanović, who endured as coach until March, though Jurčević followed Cvitanović on the coaching bench on March 12, 2018. 

Jurčević’s possible successors include Ante Čačić, an eternal candidate for Dinamo’s bench, and Nenad Bjelica, who was released from Lech before the end of the championship. Bjelica is a favorite for the bench of the new champion, and the final deal should be reached by the end of the week.

Bjelica, an Osijek native, was able to qualify for the group stage of the Champions League with Austria Wien in 2013, defeating the Croatian champions (Dinamo) in the last round of qualifications. Bjelica, however, only stayed in Vienna for one season after which he took over the Italian club Spezia in Serie B. With just one season there as well, two years ago, Bjelica took over the Polish club Lech from Poznan where he was the coach until five days ago.

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