After going scoreless in his past two games for Everton, Nikica Jelavić ended the season on a high note, scoring in the 27th minute against a tough Newcastle United team in a 3-1 win. Jela made the run down field and had the ball put over the top to him. He appeared to handle the ball with his arm before he fired strong towards net. Newcastle keeper Tim Krul made the initial save but the ball bounced back in Jelavić’s direction and in an unorthodox fashion, he right-footed into an open net. He was subbed off in the 84th minute.
Jelavić has scored 11 goals for Everton in only 16 appearances since coming over from Rangers during the 2012 winter transfer window. He won the 2012 Barclays Premier League Player of the Month award for April and is hitting on all cylinders going into Euro 2012.
Jelavić goal vs. Newcastle on final day…was it a handball?
Luka Modrić and Tottenham did what they had to do this season: finish in the top-four. Spurs’ 2-0 win over Fulham on Sunday confirmed the finish but they will have to wait until May 19th to see if they will play Champions League football in September. Since only a maximum of four teams can qualify for Champions League from one country, should Chelsea defeat Bayern Munich in the Final on Saturday, they will receive an automatic berth into next season’s tournament as defending champions alongside the top three finishers from England. This would bump Tottenham to Europa League.
With the offers he received last transfer window, Modrić will surely leave White Hart Lane in the summer if Tottenham do not secure Champions League football. But what if they do? The Croatian midfielder will once again become part of the transfer circus after Euro 2012 with European super clubs Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City calling his name.
In the last match of the 2011-12 season, Modrić once again played the full 90 minutes for Spurs as he pulled the strings in the midfield. He only managed two shots, none on goal, and was given a ‘7’ grade from SkySports.com. Is this the last we see from Luka Modrić in a Tottenham Hotspur shirt?
Niko Kranjčar has been shut down for the club season due to a knee injury but should be ready for Slaven Bilić and Croatia for Euro 2012 duty.
Photo: Empics Sports
Ivan Klasnić and the Bolton Wanderers needed a win vs. Stoke City on Sunday and help from Manchester City to avoid relegation and stay in the English first flight next season. The help from City came in one of the most dramatic and epic season finales in all of sports history. Manchester City scored not one, but two extra time goals Sunday afternoon to defeat relegation candidates QPR 3-2 and claim the English Premier League crown over city rivals Manchester United.
With the QPR loss, all Bolton needed to do was defeat Stoke City to remain a Premier League club. Klasnić got the start in this must win match and made the best of what was possibly his last action in England. Killer rocketed a shot towards goal in the first half but Stoke keeper Sorensen made a fantastic save. Later, Klasnić set up the play which lead to Bolton’s first goal. He played strong in his 69 minutes on the pitch and Bilić made a big, big mistake by not taking Klasnić to Euro 2012.
Two late first half goals by Mark and Kevin Davies gave Bolton the lead going into the last half of the season, but a 77′ penalty for Stoke would deny Bolton in the 2-2 draw. Bolton will now be relegated to the second division next season, but what will happen to 32 year-old Ivan Klasnić? Killer was Bolton’s leading scorer this season with eight goals and played the majority of 2012 coming off the bench.
Surely he will not play for a second division English club next season. Where should Klasnić queue his swan song?
Ivan Perišić covered himself with the Croatian flag for the second time this season after Borussia Dortmund captured the German Cup on Saturday, defeating Bayern Munich 5-2 in the DFB Pokal Final. Perišic came off the bench late to only play the last six minutes of the match but has been a fantastic substitute for the Bundesliga champions this campaign. With much of Dortmund’s talent reported to be bought in the offseason, Perišić may receive a starting role next season.
Although Borussia Dortmund had Bayern’s number this season, winning the German double, Bayern Munich will have an opportunity to have the last laugh with a win over Chelsea on May 19th to capture the Champions League crown. Ivica Olić and Danijel Pranjić remained on the bench in the Cup final on Saturday and look to play the same role against Chelsea. Olić is heading to Wolfsburg in the summer while Pranjić has been rumored with a move to China.
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Photo: Youtube Screengrab
After suffering a right achilles injury in the Coupe de France Final, Dejan Lovren wrote on his official Facebook page that his foot is still a bit sore but it feels much better and he is expecting to return within the next 15 days. The timeframe insists that Lovren will be ready to join Croatia for their two friendlies against Estonia and Norway before facing Ireland on June 10th in their Euro 2012 opener.
Ivan Rakitić and Sevilla’s final match of the year was truly a microcosm of their entire season. Despite being the better side on the road against Espanyol, they had to settle for a 1-1 draw in their La Liga finale. Ivan played the entire match and took two shots, assisting on Sevilla’s lone goal just before halftime with a nice lob over the top to release Perotti. Sevilla finish the season in a disappointing eighth place and will not play in Europe next season. Rakitić will be extremely disappointed with his season as he scored five goals in his first 13 appearances for Sevilla last season but was unable to find the back of the net this year in 18 starts. However, he managed to produce five assists this campaign, mostly from corners.
Rakitić plays a nice lob to set up Perotti
Real Zaragoza won a crazy match over Getafe on Sunday to secure their spot in La Liga next season. It was only two months ago that Zaragoza were in the basement of Spain with relegation looking more likely than not. Their season finale featured four red cards, with three being for Getafe. Up two men with half an hour to go, Zaragoza took advantage and were comfortably on their way to winning, although their task got slightly harder thanks to Tomislav Dujmović’s red card in the 83rd minute. Tomo was subbed on in the 64th minute and his only significant contribution to the game was his sending off for a reckless tackle on Abdel Barrada. With Zaragoza up for next season, will Dujmović get signed by Zaragoza or will La Liga remain a league yet to be cracked by Croats? He was loaned out by Dynamo Moscow in the winter transfer window.
Pletikosa guesses right but can’t grab PK (Remix Edition?)
Rostov lost 2-1 to Tom Tomsk Sunday on a stoppage time penalty, ending a successful season for all involved with the club. Stipe Pletikosa was not at fault for either of the two goals conceded and nearly saved Tomsk’s penalty goal. Rostov needed a win in this match to avoid the relgation playoff. They will play a home-away series against Shinnik, from the Russian second division for a spot in the 2012-13 Russian Premier League. Rostov is home for the first leg which will be played on May 18th with the return leg on May 22nd, three days before Croatia plays Estonia in a friendly.
A special thanks goes out to Zach Gilfix for taking the time to contribute to CroatianSports.com by covering Spain and Russia the entire season. Croatians Around Europe will return in August.
Sime & Petar . It is about time somebody saw what a beautiful event this was . Two of the most legendary teams to hook-up like they did was epic !!! Bog,Hrvati,i Hajduk !!!
@ Sime – The Hajduk/Barcelona game was a beautiful moment if you were a supporter of Hajduk. I will give you one simple reason why; When will you ever see the most dominant team in the world, possibly the most dominant club team ever come to your own backyard and play your local club. It hardly ever happens.
I have been a Barca fan since I was little. I was a Hajduk fan from birth. Many may argue about the Ajax team of the 70s, the Milan side of the early 90s, the Real Madrid side which dominated the early European Cup. Most seem to all agree that this is by far the prettiest team to watch. I would agree wholeheartedly.
The game itself was a snooze fest. Friendlies are quite often nothing more than an exercise in stretching the muscles for the players and getting your timing and technique down after a few weeks of rest in the off-season..
The Hajduk – Barcelona game was beautiful & entertaining . You guys are fools if you do not agree .
@Ziva-so I will take it that you feel pretty strongly about Pleti over Subasic!I am not having a go,but the Barcelona thing was a exhibition match,at the end of the day,these are all pretty meaningless.I wasnt sure if they did or didnt,but you say Hajduk made some $$$$,so I will take your word on it.If you are a Hajdukovac that has issues with the club,can you not say that making some $$$$ is atleast a half decent thing??
@Peter…..agreed.. Just one thing to add: Hajduk did make $$$ on the Barca game. It was still meaningless, but they did make some cash.
A 50 year old Pletikosa on his death bed is better than serb Subasic.
@ Hrvat – Also, the current Hajduk goalie, Blazevic was not on the team, nor was he in net that day. Subasic (Playing in Monaco) was the goalie and I would rather have a mid 30s Pleti over Subasic in net for the National Team.
@ Hrvat – Do you think Barcelona really cared all that much when they played Hajduk? You wont find a more passionate Hajduk supporter than myself. Even I must admit that game was nothing more than a PR stunt. For Hajduk its a chance to piss away more money and also satisfy the enormous ego of those in charge.
For Barcelona, they get paid pretty well and maybe sell a few shirts, all the while extending the Barcelona brand in a new country. All Barcelona cared about was trying to finish the game without picking up an injury to one of the players. School boys during lunch break exhausted more energy than the Barca team that day.
@ivica,not bad detail bud,I agree with some of the detail,but tournaments arent as scripted as you think,so maybe a bit of a time waste.could you maybe try picking some winning numbers for me.
Are you taking the Euro2004 route? 😉
– First game: Boring and disappointing scoreless draw against a team that lacks creativity (ie. Switzerland).
– Second game: Inspirational 2-2 draw against a quality side (ie. France), but mixed feelings as a win is what was required to erase the disappointment in the first game.
– Third game: Two-goal expected loss in final match against the better squad (ie. England).
I remember proposing this in an old thread. If we go by history alone, it seems very likely.
We always seem to struggle in the first game of every tournament regardless of the competition (ie. Turkey, Jamaica, Mexico, Switzerland, Brazil, Austria)…
We have never lost in our second game regardless of the competition, with some very notable wins (Denmark, Japan, Italy, France, Japan, Germany)…
and the third game has almost never been a win (Portugal, Argentina, Ecuador, England, Australia, Poland).
Our record in the 1st game: 3-1-2
Our record in the 2nd game: 4-2-0
Our record in the 3rd game: 1-1-4
However, I was very pleased when I found out we play Italy second.
Italy can never seem to beat us (0-2-3) and we always seem to do well in the second game of every tournament. Our progress to the quarterfinals is going to be determined by the result in that game.
I actually don’t think a draw will be enough, as Italy tends to do very well against the Spanish and there is a good possibility that they draw in their first game (giving Italy a very valuable point).
I’m not as concerned about beating Ireland, as I am about beating Italy. We will need at least a draw against the Irish, and a win against the Italians to progress. I don’t think if we reverse those results, that it will be enough as Italy’s likeliness to pull a draw against the Spanish is much higher than ours (especially if the Spanish don’t have first place clinched before the final game).
Our best case is if Spain wins their first two games and if the Irish somehow manage to tie Italy. Ireland has a favourable record against the Italians in competitive matches, so who knows what will happen.
Aside from the group of death, this will be next most interesting group to watch.
Hajduks goalie is amazing and barcelona couldn’t score on him
Soon to take over pletikosa
3 and out for mr Bilic At the euro and then all the best to him in Majka Rusija!
Ireland Croatia 0-0 nomination for worst match of tournament with group A matches.
Italy Croatia 2-2 a hard draw but no result.
Spain Croatia 3-1 If spain rest starting 11 if spain need point 5-1 Spain.
“That looks like a mistake in the article on Modric.”
Although it could be a mistake at the same time it might not be. You know what I am saying and you know who you are.
It is better to look good than it is to feel good.
You look marvelous!
@Mihovil……I would be shocked if Zuti has any formal role during the Euros.
That looks like a mistake in the article on Modric.
Check the bottom of this article in regards to the Modric being assigned the new captain question and there are many more links of that nature.
Croatia coach Bilic to step down after Euro 2012
I don’t have any web link info about Mr. Prosinečki added to the coaching staff for the Euros but a few people have mentioned it to me and I thought I would ask.
It’s part of a plan………some lower-level EPL teams were interested, but what are the odds of making a top 5 run with one of those clubs. There are better odds of being fired/removed than making a top of the table run.
Bilic was always going to take a job that paid first (Russia, Ukraine or Turkey). If he does well in Russia, he will be able to get a better job in England than a low-level EPL side. He is still regarded high in England from his playing days (unless you are an Everton fan) and will always be remembered as the coach of tiny Croatia, the country that knocked out England (in Wembley) from Euro 2008.
For the last 5 years years, Bilic has been making less than 300,000 per year. One year in Russia will pay him what it would take him 10 years to make as the coach of the national team.
Why Lokomotiv???? Why not. Decent history, but no long tradition of winning titles.
Still don’t get why Bilic and most of his coaching staff are going to a Russian team that hardly ever plays in Europe? Didn’t him and his staff get better offers? I remember a few years back, some EPL team was interested. Why Lokomotiv? Is he just taking the money and running?
Mihovil, where are you getting your info from. I have heard nothing about Zuti joing the staff again. Maybe he and Bilic will have some contact, but nothing in an official capacity. That is all new regarding the Modric rumor you posted.
If Zuti were to join, I don’t think its a conflict of interest. Zuti coaches Zvezda, not the serb national team team. He does know Mihajlovic, but he is not as tight with him as he is with Bilic. There might be more of an uproar with our fans because he took over at Zvezda, but there is no conflict.
I was told that Prosinečki will be added to our coaching staff for Euro 2012? After checking the web I could not find anything about this. Can someone confirm or deny this please?
Also, if this information is true, would that not be considered a conflict of interest considering who he currently manages and our upcoming WC qualifiers? He knows Mihajlović quite well and would be in easy contact with him.
Just curious as to everyone’s thoughts if confirmed.
Just finished watching the call in show from last night and someone mentioned that Luka Modric has been named captain for our team going forward? Has that been confirmed or is this a falsehood?
Kicker: Magath planira prodati Mandžukića
GPS Kelava> serb Subasic> Ante Kvartuc
Mladen Petric > Stipe Pletikosa in goal for PK’s > Dead prostitute > GPS Kelava > serb Subasic
I’m happy Bilic got this out of the way. Now he has 2 months to focus and hopefully make some magic happen.
Mladen Petric > Stipe Pletikosa in goal for PK’s
Pletikosa is Best gk in 2008…so many world class saves
Klasnic and Pranjic should go to West Ham if they earn promotion!
euro 2012 http://www.google.ca/imgres?q=anas+sharbini+croatia&um=1&hl=en&sa=N&biw=1366&bih=667&tbm=isch&tbnid=0PToDDU6O383vM:&imgrefurl=http://newshopper.sulekha.com/anas-sharbini-magdi-abdulla_photo_1005348.htm&docid=h4dY29gS-Zb_2M&imgurl=http://nimg.sulekha.com/sports/original700/anas-sharbini-magdi-abdulla-2009-10-8-14-41-40.jpg&w=640&h=635&ei=yAmxT5OjIubv0gG18Py7DA&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=405&vpy=300&dur=45&hovh=224&hovw=225&tx=71&ty=85&sig=109936130295591697913&page=1&tbnh=163&tbnw=156&start=0&ndsp=19&ved=1t:429,r:7,s:0,i:86
Pletikosa’s a bum
He won a penalty shootout with Hajduk 😀 Since then probably never lol
I dont remember seeing Pletikosa ever save a pk.
BREAKING NEWS: Bilic to coach Lokomotive Moscow
Great money, can’t blame him.
pletikosa always guess right direction on penalties…but almost save it…
He will be a great gk for penalty kicks in euro 2012
***a fun FACT for everyone
Here’s a fun for everyone in: Chrisiano Ronaldo scored against EvERY team he faced this season in all competitions EXCEPT Dinamo Zagreb. That’s right. They might as well have won the cup. 🙂 Not to mention that they were the only team that were able to score on Madrid in the group stage.