Saturday, 25 May 2019
Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas - The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times. Born in the UK he has been living and working in Dubrovnik since 1998, yes he is one of the rare “old hands.” A unique insight into both British and Croatian life and culture, Mark is often known as just “Englez” or Englishman. He is a traveller, a current affairs freak and a huge AFC Wimbledon fan.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

After a whirlwind visit to Dubrovnik the Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo waved goodbye to the city yesterday afternoon as he left his luxury seafront villa. The richest footballer in the world had arrived in Dubrovnik just before Easter and just after winning the Italian Championship, Serie A, with Juventus.

In fact, Ronaldo became the first ever player to win Europe's top three leagues. The 34-year-old had already picked up the English Premiership with Manchester United, the Spanish League with Real Madrid and now the Italian Serie A with Juventus. "I'm very happy to have won in England, Spain and now the league title in Italy as well,'' commented Ronaldo, adding that, "It meant a lot to me and it means a lot to us as a team.''

Ronaldo arrived for his Adriatic break in his own private jet and spent his time in the city in many of the best restaurants, as well as visiting the local islands. He travelled with his 25-year-old Spanish model girlfriend, Georgina Rodriguez, as well as some of his closest personal friends.

Check out the video by Tomi Surakka posted on his Instagram profile.

Hollywood actress Salma Hayek seems to be enjoying her time in Croatia as she posted an Easter message to her fans on Instagram showing the picturesque coastal town of Rovnij in the background.

Hayek is currently filming the follow up to “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” with Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson in Istria, “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard.” The cast and crew arrived in Croatia back at the beginning of this month and certainly haven’t been shy on the social media with Reynolds in particular filling his Instagram with shots from the set.

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“Happy Easter from Croatia! - Joyeuses Pâques de Croatie! - Felices Pasquas desde Croatia!” added Hayek to her Easter photo message and as she has almost 10 million followers the photos had soon collected thousands of likes.

It is believed that filming will last until the end of May and although the shooting is based in Rovinj other locations such as Zagreb and Rijeka have also been used. The movie will be released in early 2020.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo’s own private jet is sitting on the tarmac at Dubrovnik Airport waiting for its owner to finish his Adriatic vacation. The $32 million Gulfstream jet is the most expensive private jet owned by any of the world’s leading footballers. It can carry 18 people and can hit top speeds of 610 miles an hour.

According to Spanish website “El Confidencial”, Ronaldo rents out his jet at a cost of 6,000 euros an hour to recoup some of the cost. Apparently the player has a deal with charter company Executive Airlines, and receives a percentage of all rental income.

Lionel Messi has the second most expensive private jet from the leading football stars, and his Embraer Legacy 650 set him back a whopping 28 million euros.

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Personalised private jet - Instagram 

 

Croatia is one of the European countries that has the highest amount of immigrants as a percentage of the overall population. However, this latest data from the European union statistic service, Eurostat, is a little misleading.

The vast majority of the immigrants, born outside of Croatia but living in the country, actually come from neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina, more precisely the Croatian dominated part of the country, Herzegovina.

According to the latest census 584,947 foreign born people live in Croatia, which when you consider that the overall population is only 4.1 million it is a relatively large section. Breaking down the total a massive 70 percent, or 409,000 were born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, followed by 9 percent from Serbia, 6 percent from Germany, 3.5 percent from Kosovo and 3.4 percent from Slovenia.

Cristiano Ronaldo is certainly living the high-life in Dubrovnik. After a romantic late lunch on the picturesque island of Lopud he followed that with an evening meal with his gorgeous Spanish girlfriend in the only Dubrovnik restaurant to have a Michelin star.

Security and privacy are clearly important to the richest footballer in the world as he arrived in the pedestrian Old City with a blacked-out van, literally driving right up to the entrance of the restaurant. This is treatment that President, Royals and rock stars don’t receive.

Ronaldo and his 25-year-old girlfriend, Georgina Rodriguez, dined at the exclusive Dubrovnik restaurant 360° last night and were joined by friends.

 

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The Chinese company, Z-Run WellTon, have announced that they will construct a new football stadium in the city of Velika Gorica, around 17 kilometres south of the capital Zagreb. The new sporting complex will not only include a 30,000 to 35,000 seater stadium but also a complete sports camp.

"The City of Velika Gorica presented investment opportunities in sports infrastructure, which includes a stadium with adjoining facilities...The Chinese delegation visited the plot of land which the stadium would be built on, and as a result, we formally signed the agreement today," commented the Mayor of Velika Gorica, Drazen Barisic.

According to reports the new stadium will be similar to the Astana Arena in Kazakhstan. As the local football club, NK Gorica, currently has problems filling an 8,000 seater stadium the business plan for the future still hasn’t been revealed. Clearly the local football team couldn’t make the stadium finically viable by themselves so the stadium would have to attract other major events.

"We know Croatian football fans expect more quality in the local sports infrastructure, especially the stadiums, and we are excited that we can be part of this important project," commented the Chinese construction company.

In fact, this is the second football stadium that a Chinese company will build in Croatia after it was announced last week that Rijeka Football Club have also signed contracts with a Chinese construction company.

Cristiano Ronaldo enjoyed a romantic Easter Sunday late lunch with his gorgeous girlfriend, Georgina Rodriguez, on the picturesque Dubrovnik island of Lopud. Fresh from winning the Italian Championship yesterday with his club Juventus the football mega star arrived in Dubrovnik late last night on his own multi-million-dollar jet and is staying in the luxurious Dubrovnik residence, Villa Seherzada.

According to reports Ronaldo and his Spanish girlfriend enjoyed a meal on the main promenade on the island of Lopud and were happy to have their photo taken with the restaurant staff. However, Ronaldo’s model girlfriend wasn’t in the photo as she actually took the photo.

The whole Ronaldo party dined in the recently renovated “Dubrovnik” restaurant, and it is believed that shrimps, lobster and pasta were on the menu. And reports suggest that after a traditional dessert the whole group were very satisfied with the whole meal.

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Dubrovnik restaurant on Lopud 

 

Easter traditions were once again respected in Dubrovnik today as tourists were treated to a display of egg painting and weaving of palm leaves.

The Dubrovnik Tourist Board organised a presentation of the Easter customs of the Dubrovnik region and the association “Dubrovnik Littoral Wedding” had their members dress in national costume and display just how to paint Easter eggs, a tradition that has been handed down through the generations.

And a vocal group “Klapa” brought harmony to the whole event as tourists from all over the world enjoyed a typical Easter Sunday in Dubrovnik.

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The Voice of Dubrovnik

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