Dinamo Zagreb vs Hajduk Split: 5 Classic Clashes Between Croatia's Eternal Duo

GNK Dinamo Zagreb v HNK Hadjuk Split - Prva HNL Liga
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We're all well versed in the matches between bitter rivals in Europe's top five leagues. It's one of the best parts about football. It does say an awful lot, though, that when you mention two particular names from one of, well, the less popular divisions across the continent, you still know exactly who they are.

These two are, of course, Dinamo Zagreb and Hajduk Split; two clubs who play in a league where, for much of us pampered folk, we haven't a clue who any of the other eight teams are. But, we all know exactly who these two are, they're the biggest clubs in Croatia, and staunch enemies to boot.

A rivalry that has been ongoing since the 1920s, the pair have been embroiled in a bitter war since that has produced some of the most memorable club matches in Croatian football history.

Here are five such encounters.

2003 - Dinamo Zagreb 4-1 Hajduk Split

Dinamo Zagreb supporters lit flares duri
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Beating your rivals is one of the best feelings you can have as a football supporter. Absolutely wiping the floor with them though? That's on a different level.

Can that be bettered? Perhaps only if there is a trophy involved, which is exactly what was at stake during the 2003 Super Cup final. Having secure the league title that season, finishing just one place above Hajduk, they were hosting their bitter rivals once more with a league and cup double on the line.

A tentative first half saw both sides go in level at the break, but a Dinamo storm came calling in the second period as three goals put the result beyond doubt to inflict a double dose of pain deep into Hajduk hearts.

2004 - Hajduk Split 1-0 Dinamo Zagreb

HNK Hajduk Split fans light flares as th
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See the above? All you really need to do is swap the names around, and that's the story for this match.

Revenge was on the cards in remarkably similar fashion just one season later, as Hajduk - who'd secured the league title that season - played host to Dinamo in the same final of the same competition 12 months later, hoping to do just like their opponents and secure the double.

Hajduk's side may not have had many names familiar to an English audience, but a Dinamo side featuring Eduardo and Niko Kranjcar were powerless to stop the hosts claiming the ultimate prize. Dragan Blatnjak scored the only goal of the match shortly after the restart to right the wrongs of the previous season.

2008 - Dinamo Zagreb 0-2 Hajduk Split

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Hajduk have not won a Croatian league title for 16 years now. That, well, isn't very good for the country's second biggest side.

So, with that in mind, it's important for Hajduk to gain any victory they can, if more for morale than anything else.

When they traveled to their sworn enemies' home ground for a league clash in 2008 and escaped with a 2-0 win, it went some way to temporarily ending their (at this point) only three year wait.

2016 - Hajduk Split 0-4 Dinamo Zagreb

As previously touched on, Dinamo's dominance over Hajduk when it comes to the league has been a thing for nearly two decades now.

Their superiority was clear, but they really rubber stamped it when they traveled to take on Hajduk back in 2016. Winning titles at the same time your rivals aren't is fun in itself, but heading over to their patch and wiping the floor with them is rubbing salt into already gaping wounds.

This time, a 4-0 drubbing would be the final score, although Hajduk salvaged some pride with a 0-0 draw in the return fixture later that season.

2017 - Dinamo Zagreb 0-2 Hajduk Split

With nothing ever seeming to go their way when make the pilgrimage to Zagreb, it would be understandable for Hajduk heads to drop. But as is well documented in this fixture, the atmosphere remains as passionate and hostile for each and every encounter.

For the visitors on this occasion, they headed into their league clash without a victory on Dinamo's patch for NINE YEARS, but still full of voice. Fortunately this time, it all seemed to work. Singing and scoring alike.

That dreadfully long and presumably agonising wait would finally come to and end in 2017, as a goal either side of half time banished some long-standing demons to restore some pride among the Majstori s mora.