Football News Update: Euro 2024, Champions League, FIFA World Cup, Women’s World Cup, Africa Cup of Nations Standings, Premier League, EFL Cup, EFL Championship, EFL One, EFL Two, and FA Cup

As Spain prepare to kick off their Euro 2024 campaign against Croatia in Berlin, the identity of the opposition will hold a special meaning for Dani Olmo. The Spain international midfielder spent six seasons with Dinamo Zagreb, where he made over 100 appearances and won multiple trophies, before moving to RB Leipzig in Germany.

Olmo, who was part of Barcelona’s youth academy, took an unconventional path to the top, and his decision to join Dinamo Zagreb at the age of 16 proved to be a game-changer. “Would I be the player I am now if I would have stayed? I think not,” he told Sky Sports.

The move to Croatia allowed Olmo to develop both on and off the pitch, with the young midfielder learning from experienced national team players who had played at the World Cup. “In Croatia, it was another culture and I learned a lot physically. In Spain, it was more about the ball, especially at Barcelona when I was young in the academy. I learned things in Croatia. I also learned a lot of things here in Germany. It is all part of the process.”

Reflecting on Olmo’s decision to join Dinamo Zagreb, the club’s former academy director, Romeo Jozak, highlighted the significance of the move. “When I started in the academy, getting one of Barcelona’s best young players to come to Dinamo would have been impossible. They would have said I was a lunatic. But because of our image, because of our pathway, Olmo made that move.”

Olmo’s connection to Croatia remains strong, as evidenced by his decision to join the Common Goal initiative and donate one percent of his salary to a charity helping victims of conflict in the region. “I have been collaborating with them for a long time. I wanted to help because I feel really attached to Croatia. As a player but as well as a person. I wanted to give back a little of what they gave me.”

As Spain and Croatia face off in the Euro 2024 group stage, Olmo’s journey will be a compelling narrative, showcasing the diverse paths players can take to reach the highest level of the game.

๐Ÿ”— Source