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Ten reasons for Dinamo's ten Croatian titles

Published: Monday 4 May 2015, 14.06CET
Correspondent Elvir Islamović suggests ten reasons why GNK Dinamo Zagreb have won ten titles in a row, including talent-spotting, financial prudence and Zoran Mamić.
by Elvir Islamović
from Zagreb
Ten reasons for Dinamo's ten Croatian titles
Zoran Mamić has been crucial to DInamo's decade of dominance on and off the pitch ©Getty Images
Published: Monday 4 May 2015, 14.06CET

Ten reasons for Dinamo's ten Croatian titles

Correspondent Elvir Islamović suggests ten reasons why GNK Dinamo Zagreb have won ten titles in a row, including talent-spotting, financial prudence and Zoran Mamić.

For the tenth year running GNK Dinamo Zagreb are Croatian champions having clinched the title with four games to spare; they also remain unbeaten and are a 20 May cup final against RNK Split away from their sixth double in a decade. UEFA.com's Croatian correspondent Elvir Islamović gives ten reasons why Dinamo have taken such a stranglehold on the First League.

1 Good management
Club president Zdravko Mamić has secured the club's financial position through income from player sales. Since Mamić's 2001 arrival, Dinamo have received more than €150m in transfer fees, including €21m from Tottenham Hotspur FC for Luka Modrić, not to mention the €14m paid by Arsenal FC for Eduardo and Vedran Ćorluka's €13m move to Manchester City FC.

2 Great talents 
For a relatively small country of around 4.3 million people, Croatia produces a huge number of talented players. Moreover, Dinamo's scouting and coaching departments mean they are able to attract the best youngsters – replacing the talents sold abroad. 

3 World-class academy
The Dinamo academy has brought through Niko Kranjčar, Ćorluka, Igor Bišćan, Mateo Kovačić and Alen Halilović. There is more to come, with the club supplying 12 of the Croatia squad for the upcoming UEFA European Under-17 Championship, most of whom won a prestigious international U15 tournament two years ago, beating AC Milan 2-1 at Old Trafford.

4 Financial stability
The monetary injection from transfer fees has ensured that Dinamo have been stable financially for the past decade. This has allowed them to concentrate on results and free up budget to supplement their young prospects, mostly from South America. 

5 Rivals' problems
Since Croatian independence, only once have either Dinamo or HNK Hajduk Split not won the title: NK Zagreb in 2001/02. Hajduk's last championship came in 2004/05 but since then they have suffered financial problems and even faced bankruptcy.

©Getty Images

Luka Modrić in his Dinamo days

6 Foreign signings
Dinamo's South American imports include Eduardo and another player who later took Croatian citizenship, Sammir, plus Luis Ibáñez, Leandro Cufré, Pedro Morales, Etto and Junior Fernandez.

7 Coaching team
There may have been a high turnover of coaches but their number includes the likes of Josip Kuže, Vahid Halilhodžić and Branko Ivanković. And since October 2013, former player Zoran Mamić, 43, has been the longest-serving coach of the last decade, appointing as assistants club greats like all-time Dinamo top scorer Igor Cvitanović, Damir Krznar and goalkeeper trainer Miralem Ibrahimović.

8 Mamić as 'lucky charm'
Coach Mamić (the president's brother) returned to Dinamo as a player in 2005 after nine years in Germany. Dinamo have been champions every season since – and Mamić has contributed to those wins first as player, then as sporting director and finally, from 2013, as coach.

©AFP/Getty Images

Dinamo have a huge fanbase

9 A well-structured organisation
It is not just the coaching team, scouting department and academy who are performing well: from press office to international office, Dinamo are looking more and more like a top European outfit in terms of organisation

10 Popularity in Croatia
One of Croatia's 'big two', Dinamo were always one of the leading four teams in the former Yugoslavia with Hajduk, FK Partizan and FK Crvena zvezda. A 2005 poll showed 33% of the Croatian population were Dinamo fans, which would equate to 1.5 million people.

Last updated: 04/05/15 15.48CET

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