Croatia: Osijek will set the standards in the Balkans?
source: StadiumDB.com; author: Robert Saganowski
One of the top teams of the Croatian League will soon receive its new stadium. The facility is expected to be the most modern football arena in the country.
Osijek is a city of 84,000 inhabitants located in the north-eastern corner of Croatia. The club, which has been among the best teams in the league for several years, decided that the sporting level must be followed by infrastructure and in 2018 presented the design of the new facility, which will be perhaps the most luxurious arena in this part of Europe.
After 20 gameweeks, NK Osijek has the same number of points as leaders Dinamo Zagreb and second-placed Rijeka, and is also 5 points ahead of Hajduk Split. Obviously these teams cannot be compared in terms of trophies won, but with the best result ever (2nd place in season 20/21) Osijek can look to the future with hope.
The ‘White and blues’ fans do not deny that they will fight for their first championship this season, but history shows that instead of competing with Dinamo, it would be easier for them to win some sizeable amount according to Zamsino.com.
The Hungarians have a lot to say in the club, and for some time they have been looking for investments in neighboring countries where there is a large diaspora of their citizens (the city itself is located just 40 kilometers from the border).
NK Osijek has thus been in Hungarian hands for several years, and during the initial phase of the stadium's construction, the Prime Minister himself, Victor Orban, visited it. His government is also actively involved in the construction of the new facility, which it is co-financing.
The stadium in Pampas, located right next to the Drava River, will be unique for its luxurious contents, unprecedented in Croatian football reality. The venue will include sky boxes and a ‘champagne lounge’, as well as saunas and jacuzzis, from which fans will also be able to follow the events on the pitch.
The stadium was initially expected to be completed as early as 2020, but work has been delayed by at least 20 months due to the coronavirus pandemic and, more recently, the rising prices of construction materials. The modern arena, which is being built according to FIFA's four-star criteria, will be Croatia's entry into a new stadium era. The Hungarian investors aim for the facility to earn for itself and be in use 365 days a year.
Stadion NK Osijek is the facility Croatia has been waiting for for many, many years. The World vice-champions have been promoting talented footballers to the best European leagues for decades, but the infrastructure doesn't measure up to the level of football in the country. In order to be able to discover a new Modric or Rakitic, Osijek will also receive 6 training pitches where they will train young football adepts.