“He isn’t good enough.”
“He can’t create his own shot.”
“He can’t score outside of 8 feet.”
Mandza’s critics may be loud, but there is a reason he’s always starting for the best teams in the world. Mario Mandžukić was a pivotal piece of Bayern Munich’s Champions League title run in 2013, where the German giants took the European treble, before being shipped to Atletico Madrid in 2014 for one season.
Since coming to Serie A in 2015, Mandžukić was the Shaquille O’Neal of Italy putting in everything within six yards of goal. However, with the addition of a more natural striker in Gonzalo Higuain, Mandza’s role changed with manager Massimiliano Allegri placing the Croatian on the Juventus wing. Mandžukić’s goal scoring has dropped, however, his overall play has been strengthened.
Mandza was near non-existent in the past two tournaments Croatia has played in (Euro 2016, World Cup 2014) after scoring three goals in three games at Euro 2012.
Will the resurgence at wing for Juventus play an integral part for Mario in checkers? My guess is yes.