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Bayern Munich legends to battle Croatia in Roman amphitheater

A team of Bayern legends will square off against members of Croatia’s 1998 bronze-medal-winning team in a gladiatorial venue in coach Niko Kovac’s homeland.

The Roman Amphitheatre of Pula, Croatia, was built in the 1st century AD. It was built in the reign of Claudius and expanded under the Flavian emperors Vespasian and Titus.
The Roman Amphitheatre of Pula, Croatia.

A friendly match between the Bayern Munich legends and members of Croatia’s 1998 bronze-medal-winning World Cup team will take place in an arena that has seen its fair share of “hard fouls”: the ancient Roman amphitheater of Pula, Croatia.

According to Croatia Week, this will be the first time that the amphitheater has hosted a soccer match in its two-thousand-year history. It hosted a hockey match in 2012, and a variety of other events in its history: animal fights, staged hunts, gladiatorial combat, and lopsided “battles” between convicted criminals and wild animals.

The match will be held on a 40m by 20m futsal pitch set up in the arena. Bayern Munich and the Istria Tourism Board signed a partnership in 2018. The director, Denis Ivošević, said,

At the moment, only the date is certain, everything else has not yet been confirmed. We know from Bayern what football legends are coming, but we will not make these names public until the “Vatreni” team is known.

The goal of the partnership, according to Croatia Week is to promote Istria among Bayern fans. Given the background of Bayern Munich head coach Niko Kovac, the club has all the more reason to cultivate its Croatian connections.

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