It’s official! A Croatian is guaranteed to the lift the Europa League trophy on May 18th in Sevilla.
Joško Gvardiol, Kristijan Jakić, Nikola Vlašić, and Borna Barišić are all set to play in the competition’s semifinals with their respective squads, ensuring that a Croatian wins at least one piece of European silverware this season. Gvardiol’s Leipzig will face Barišić and Rangers, while Vlašić and West Ham take on Jakić’s Frankfurt.
Deep into the competition, this is a huge chance for some of Croatia’s youngsters to break into the spotlight. Although Gvardiol has already caught the eyes of football fans across the world, adding an early, valuable European cup to his trophy cabinet would be a fantastic way to begin a legendary career. Jakić, a routine starter for Frankfurt, is also presented a grand opportunity to boost his status after already defeating the mighty Barcelona. On the other hand, Vlašić and Barišić might need a bit of luck to crack their starting XIs in the coming weeks, as both players have recently spent many minutes on the bench.
CroatianSports predicts that Gvardiol and Red Bull Leipzig will hoist the trophy in May. Compared to the other remaining squads, Leipzig are surely the strongest and most capable of doing so. As for the Champions League, Luka Modrić (who else?) and Real Madrid are Croatia’s final hope in the hunt for gold.