World Cup Prep: City Garden Stadium Gets Fresh Pitch Ahead of Croatia National Team Friendly

Daniela Rogulj

As soon as the final whistle blew at the Slavonian derby, construction began at Osijek’s City Garden Stadium. 

Immediately after the Slavonian derby between Osijek and Cibalia came to an end, landscapers got straight to work to renovate the pitch at City Garden Stadium. The Croatia national team will play a friendly against Senegal in Osijek on June 6, 2018, reports on May 11, 2018. 

The Osijek club decided to swap stadiums with Slaven Belupo a few weeks ago, and instead will be visiting Koprivnica in the final round of the Croatian First League. This has been arranged precisely to ensure the workers and machines have ample time to revamp the field. 

Over the past few years, football spectators in Croatia had often witnessed the muddy and unplayable pitch at Osijek’s stadium, and especially in November, December, and February when the temperatures dropped to chilling lows. Ultimately, Osijek was forced to postpone some of their matches this spring, precisely because the pitch could not withstand the weird weather. 

We shouldn’t expect to see this happen anymore, however, as the First League club should soon have an ideal lawn with top-quality natural grass, brand new drainage, and a modernized irrigation system. In parallel to the upgrading of the pitch, Osijek is also working on an entrance control security system for the entire stadium. The total value of all these investments is about 500,000 euro.

Osijek is convinced that all works will be completed by June 8, when the new lawn will premiere in a friendly match of the Croatia and Senegal national teams. 

The match against Senegal will be one of two tests (and the only one to be played in Croatia) of the Croatian football team ahead of the World Cup in Russia. The Slavonian audience will have the chance to see coach Zlatko Dalić in action with a formation he is likely to choose eight days before the first World Cup match between Croatia and Nigeria.


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