Fourth Coach this Season: Nenad Bjelica Named New Leader of Dinamo

Daniela Rogulj

Dinamo has named their fourth coach of the season…

Nenad Bjelica (46) after a few short hours of negotiations with Dinamo, will run the club at Maksimir for the next two years, reports on May 15, 2018. 

Bjelica’s first match on the sideline will be on Saturday against Inter to fully celebrate Dinamo’s 2017/18 championship title, and next Wednesday, Bjelica must lead Dinamo in the Cup final against Hajduk in Vinkovci. 

This is Dinamo’s fourth coach this season. During summer preparations, Ivaylo Petev was replaced by Mario Cvitanović. After Cvitanović’s Dinamo dropped out of the Europa League playoffs to Skënderbeu and recorded a sensational 4:1 defeat to Lokomotiva in March, Cvitanović resigned. Succeeded by Nikola Jurčević who was once again Mamić’s “permanent solution,” Slaven Bilić’s right-hand man was fired after just 65 days and four defeats in ten games – even though Dinamo still won the league under his watch. 

Nenad Bjelica has been the trainer of the Polish club Lech since August 2016 and in 78 games has recorded 41 wins, 21 draws and 16 defeats. In April, Bjelica and Lech led the Polish League with 55 points, which was one point more than the second-placed Jagiellonia and Legia. In the following five rounds, however, Lech lost to Korona 1:0, defeated Zaglebie away and lost at home to Gornik 4:2. After a draw to Wisla Plock and a loss to Jagiellonia, the club thanked him for his cooperation and let him go. 

The former Croatian national team player started his coaching career at FC Kärnten. He then led Lustenau 07 and Wolfsberger AC with which he won the second Austrian league in 2012, his only coaching trophy. Bjelica was then the coach of Austria in Vienna, knocking Dinamo out to enter the Champions League in 2013, where he won five points against Atletico, Zenit, and Porto. Though his side did beat Zenit 4:1, they finished last in the group.

Bjelica was fired in Austria in February 2014 after only eight wins in the top 23 league games, although the management did not only blame him for the poor results.

In June of that same year, he took over Italy’s second-league team Spezia, which he led for 60 games. He was fired in November 2015 after seven games without a win. In the summer of 2016, Bjelica went to Lech, where he coached an excellent first season but finished third with only two points less than the champion Legia. Lech left the Polish club in third place this season with seven points behind first. 


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