Member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation and former Dinamo goalkeeper Ivan Kelava took the title of ambassador of this year’s jubilee 20th edition of the Mladen Ramljak international U-19 tournament. The title of winner this year was taken by the Feyenoord , while Dinamo U19 team won third place after a 3:0 victory against Flamengo.
In 2006, Kelava played at Ramljak tournament when he was in the winning team of Dinamo, and he won the title of the best goalkeeper of the tournament also. After a rich goalkeeper career, he is currently starting his coaching career in Dinamo’s football school. In addition to actively following the entire tournament and participating as a commentator in the broadcast of matches, along with representatives of Dinamo and the Football School, he hosted the representatives of the participating teams at the official dinner.
– We have the great honor of hosting a well-known tournament with the best world and European U19 teams. The Mladen Ramljak Memorial is an opportunity for all our young players to express themselves in the competition and to create their way to the first team. It is a great honor for me to be a part of a respected tournament in this way and I am proud to have actively participated as an ambassador. I also got involved as a game commentator, which was also a special experience. We saw great teams, great and tense matches. I’m sorry that we missed the final and the fight for the winner of the tournament because we were looking forward to returning the title to Maksimir, but our boys showed a high level of quality and that’s the most important thing. I congratulate the players and staff on a good performance, and special congratulations to our best scorer of the tournament, Vita Čaić, and best defensive player, Ivan Cvetko.
The Foundation promotes and supports young talented athletes and their development. Tournaments like this, along with official competitions in different countries from which U19 teams come every year, are a great opportunity to gain additional international football experience, connect clubs and teams, and such manifestations bring only positive experiences for all participants.
– Young players can only gain experience and at the same time they have the opportunity to compare themselves with players from other parts of Europe and the world. Our academy belongs to the top level of youth football and this is a good opportunity for the boys to get some new experience and get to know each other with players and teams from other countries. Throughout the entire tournament, apart from the competitive spirit and the competitive part, there was also a friendly atmosphere and that is the most important thing. For me, playing at Ramljak was an indescribable experience that, shortly after the end of the tournament at that time, brought me the opportunity to go to the preseason with the first team of Dinamo. I hope and believe that many of our young talents will have the same opportunity in the future and that this will be a good career experience for them.
What would you say to young players?
– I would tell all young footballers to be persistent in their goals, to work hard, to do their best on the pitch and to always believe in their dreams. On the field, it is important that they respect fair play at all times, and in life, that they follow the true values of life. In this way, they will surely become quality people, and all this together is a formula for the right path to success and the achievement of career goals and satisfaction in life.