(During the next 30 days, starting May 10th, CroatianSports will be giving “season grades” to 30 of Croatia’s most important football players: Starting XI, bench, fringe, prospects. Grades will be given on preseason expectations vs. actual season performance; not stats.)
Day 6: Dominik Livaković
Season Grade: A+
Grade for Croatian NT: A+, an absolutely heroic World Cup, historic in penalty shootouts for the Vatreni.
Grade for Dinamo Zagreb: A, very solid season, lead his weaker-than-normal side to another league trophy.
Penalty shoot-out masterclass against Japan (3 saves, only two other keepers in the history of the World Cup have made that many saves in PK)
Man of the match performance against Brazil and penalty shoot-out hero once again
Statistically the best goalkeeper at the WC (despite not winning the trophy)
Team next season:
Transfer to Manchester United.
Stay at Dinamo and become a club legend, arguably most impactful goalkeeper in club history.
What to improve next season:
Although he is a stellar shot-stopper, proving many of his haters wrong, Livaković can always improve on his decision-making on balls high up in the air. His positioning is oftentimes subpar, and his reaction time has room for improvement. Improving this will ensure his superstar status as a goalie.
What the future holds:
We all know how Livaković rumors end. Chances are, he’ll end up staying at Dinamo for another year, and likely the rest of his career. Fantastic keeper, just too scared to exit his comfort zone.