UEFA Champions League - 2019/20 SeasonMatch press kits
|GNK Dinamo Zagreb||Stadion Maksimir - ZagrebWednesday 18 September 2019|
21.00CET (21.00 local time) Group C - Matchday 1
Date of birth: 20 August 1971
Playing career: Osijek (twice), Albacete, Real Betis, Las Palmas, Kaiserslautern, Admira, Kärnten
Coaching career: Kärnten, Lustenau, Wolfsberg, Austria Wien, Spezia, Lech Poznań, Dinamo Zagreb
• Aged 19, Bjelica made his professional debut for home-town club Osijek, scoring seven goals in 23 games in his first full season. In 1992 the Croatian joined Spanish club Albacete where he spent four successful years before spells at Betis and Las Palmas. In summer 1999 he rejoined Osijek for a year, prior to closing out his career in Germany and Austria.
• The playmaker, voted Croatia's player of the year in 2000, was awarded his international debut against Austria in 2001 and was capped nine times by his country. He made two appearances at UEFA EURO 2004 in Portugal.
• Bjelica started life in the dugout in autumn 2007 as player-coach at Kärnten – registering 29 Austrian second division outings that season. Then hung up his boots but remained in charge until early 2009, subsequently taking over at Lustenau and Wolfsberg, whom he guided from the third tier to the Austrian Bundesliga.
• During his final campaign with Wolfsberg, in 2012/13, Bjelica's side missed out on UEFA Europa League qualification by a solitary point. Bjelica left his post to replace Peter Stöger at Austria Wien and soon led his new employers to the UEFA Champions League group stage, overcoming Dinamo Zagreb in the play-offs, but nevertheless only lasted in the post until February 2014.
• Took charge of Italian Serie B side Spezia between June 2014 and November 2015, before two seasons in Poland with Lech. Appointed Dinamo coach on 15 May 2018, within days the club had won both the Croatian league and cup; retained the league title in 2018/19, Bjelica also taking the club to the UEFA Europa League round of 16.
Date of birth: 26 January 1958
Playing career: Juventus, Reggiana, Palermo, Cavese, Pistoiese, Pescara, Salernitana, Vis Pesaro
Coaching career: Juventus (youth), Crotone, Genoa, Internazionale, Palermo (twice), Genoa, Atalanta
• Gasperini came up through Juventus youth ranks alongside Italy legend Paolo Rossi but never played in Serie A for the Bianconeri, only appearing in the Coppa Italia. Loaned to Reggiana in 1977/78, he joined Palermo for the following campaign.
• After spells at Cavese and Pistoiese, the midfielder moved to Pescara in 1985 and captained the team to promotion to Serie A two years later; scored on his top-flight debut in September 1987 and stayed at the club until 1990, ending his career in the lower divisions with Salernitana and Vis Pesaro.
• After seven successful years as coach in Juventus's youth system, Gasperini took over at Crotone in 2003, leading the southern side into Serie B during his first season before joining Genoa in 2006; again gained promotion in his debut campaign, taking his new club up to the highest division and winning the Panchina d'Argento (Silver Bench) as Serie B's coach of the season.
• Famous for his attacking football and tactical knowledge, in 2008/09 Gasperini led Genoa to fifth place in Serie A, losing out on a place in the UEFA Champions League to Fiorentina only on the head-to-head rule. The first Genoa coach to win three Serie A derbies against city rivals Sampdoria, he was sacked after only ten games of the 2010/11 season.
• Had three months as Inter coach in 2011 before two short spells at Palermo and three years back in charge at Genoa. Appointed Atalanta coach in June 2016, his first season in Bergamo ended with the club in fourth place, earning their first European campaign in 27 years; Atalanta reached the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League round of 32 and finished third in Serie A the following season to reach the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time.
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UEFA: Total matches officiated in UEFA club competition including all qualifying round matches. Matches where the official has acted as the fourth official are not included in these statistics. These are the official statistics considered valid for communicating official records.