It was all Real Madrid Wednesday night in London. Benzema scored a hat trick. Modrić had a wonderful assist. Kovačić for some weird reason didn’t get the start but came on immediately at halftime when Chelsea were down 2-1. It looks like a Real Madrid/Manchester City semifinal is upon us.
Wednesday night (3PM ET kickoff), we will witness the Master versus the Grasshopper in the most anticipated match of the Champions League quarterfinal round. Luka Modrić and Real Madrid are coming off a hot, come-from-behind win to knock PSG out of the tournament. But in their way of the semifinals, reigning European champions, Mateo Kovačić and Chelsea.
The 1st leg will take place in London with the return fixture scheduled to be played in Madrid on April 12th. The winner of this tie will more than likely face Manchester City in the semifinals.
The question is: who are we rooting for? And who has a better chance to knock off Man City – who defeated Atletico Madrid 1-0 in the 1st leg Tuesday night in England? (I’m obviously already writing Atletico off)
It’s probably a 50-50 toss up who moves onto the Final 4. Remember, a Croatian has lifted the Champions League trophy nine straight seasons! If Croatian blood does it again in 2022, the would make it an unbelievable 10-year run.
So are we rooting for the Master? Or the Grasshopper?
Looking like Musa is going to Benfica. Will be really interesting to see how he does for them, assuming Darwin Nunez leaves.
Yea, this would be much better than him going back to the Czech league on a team that doesn’t match his playing style (according to some reddit posters who watch Sparta Prague games).
Staying in the Portuguese league, and getting some Champions League/Europa League experience would be great for Musa.
What’s the deal with this khalina fellow from charlotte maminjo?
I saw he played a while in hnl
I guess we have to look at them all but we already know dalic is going to go with liva
I don’t know if he’s good to be honest.
His highlights are okay, and I remember him at Gorica.
But he’s probably in the same ball park as these other guys.
It’s just that none of our keepers (who play in foreign clubs) are even playing regularly like Grbic, Pandur, Semper, Maric, etc.
Even Sluga got dumped by Luton Town and now he’s on the bench somewhere in Bulgaria.
Karlo Ziger is on loan at some random club in Slovenia (where he’s splitting time with another keeper), which holds far less weight than anything in the HNL.
Kahlina is literally the only Croat keeper that is regularly playing in a foreign league, lol.
So, I guess we just have to look for players who are playing in the HNL…which leaves us with Livakovic, Ivusic, and I guess Kalinic.
Dominik Kotarski (who was a young prospect for us) is starting for Gorica this season. So maybe he’s worth a look. But I dunno.
I would just keep giving Ivusic and Grbic more chances I guess. Maybe Kalinic too, I dunno.
Livakovic has been getting a lot worse lately.
I think you are right
Ivusic has allowed 1 goal in three games on a clear cut breakaway
He for sure needs to play more
I Don’t know how his club play has been??? Anyone know?
Benzema did well for the hat-trick because he is fasting during Ramadhan ~
when people are wasting their time smoking and drinking alcohol …
Interesting. Is it permitted to help blackmail a team mate during Ramadan?
the prophet Muhammad ﷺ had a sleepless night after He woke up from his dream and He is amazed about the people from his nation (Ummah/believers) will mobilize an army (Muslim Army) to fight someone from his progeny (The Mahdi) |l
NOT all of them are Bad
– some came out with the army intentionally to fight against the Mahdi <– they are the people of the hellfire|
– there are some were "not sure" they just followed
– and others were forced to be in the army!!
… so God will bring them back in the hereafter and look for their attention – some will go to the paradise and some will go to the hellfire … [ this is the Major sign of the end of the times ]
Benzema could be someone in the Muslim Army who were not sure to fight against the Mahdi | but with the attention of the world posses | sure he belongs to hellfire! ~
if he committed adultery and did not repent it |l – [practicing Muslim because of people's attention], sure there is no way for him to get close to the God Almighty!! | he will go hellfire! |
In the group we have tied worst keepers imo unless courtois bono top 2 then its tie the cedo and us. Not having a keeper worries me most euro 2020 proved livi wasnt that great. For me its ivusic or grbic. Sucks that grbic is in dog house at lille. And ivusic like livi is hnl keeper. I dont know 2018 had had good feeling about us we had everything number 9 wings best midfield and a goalkeeper upuntil the finals suba was consistent. Vida Lovren were rock solid strina and plivaric played well. This time around we are still building its a cause of a wasted post world cup to now still no clear 11 and thats why if we make round if 16 thats an achievement
I still think somehow we can score as a committee
We have to hope ivusic stays strong
For me three solid games
Made a couple good saves
Was comfortable on the ball
Need to see him in nations league
He is going to be like ladic
Ivusic and grbic need to play national league. It’s simple
We already know what livakovic can and has given to us
Our team is much better than the Euro2020 team.
If Vrsaljko continues to play and remain in form, our backline will probably be the best we’ve ever had in a tournament.
Kovacic instead of Rakitic is a mild downgrade, but Lovro Majer instead of Rebic is a big upgrade (if we plan on dominating possession or add creativity).
Only weakness is our goalkeeper and no true target man up top (though Kramaric is no slouch).
However, some of this could be resolved if Musa continues his form and has a great debut for us…or if we go risky and cap Roko Simic.
Both players are scoring a lot of goals lately.
But we’re also being a bit harsh and ignoring the fact that Krama has been scoring for us. Though he does like to play deep, and it would be nice to have a true #9 pushed up further.
Goalkeeper…well, let’s hope that Ivusic gets more chances and he continues to improve on his form (which I assume he’s still not at 100 percent). Hopefully Grbic gets back into his club’s first team…or maybe the MLS guy (Kahlina) gets a callup. He’s apparently doing very well in Charlotte.
Disagree with you. Borjan hotdogs some saves but he is a solid keeper. Unless Livakovic can pull a Ladic in 1998, getting hot at the right time, we have the weakest link.
Well, aside from penalty shots, Subašić was pretty bad at World Cup 2018.
He faced very few shots on goal, yet managed to let the majority of them in.
We’re just going to have to outshoot our opponents in every game (like we did at the last World Cup).
Subasic was a solid goalie based on his stats from Monaco in the French Ligue 1. I don’t think it is fair to downplay what he did in the world Cup, his mistake was playing injured especially with the game with France. He simply wasn’t at his best for that game and due to the previous injury in the game with Russia he should have been benched…and was instead played and put in a position where he was not able to make certain saves, especially on those last two goals especially. Not to say they weren’t good, and it’s easy to say he should have done better when looking back but helping to carry the team and nation to their first ever final….he couldn’t have done better in my eyes. So I have to disagree, to date, and statistically he was our best every keeper even compared to Ladic or Pletikosa.
Yes, he got injured against Russia and was unable to move against France. As per the match report, he faced 4 shots that game, and all of them went in. I don’t fault him for that game, but he should have sat if he was injured. My guess is that he selfishly put himself ahead of the team, because he wanted to play in a World Cup final, and it cost us a trophy.
Also, you are correct, he was our best ever keeper and had good years in Monaco. Unfortunately, those years were a couple of years before the World Cup. He didn’t have a good season in 2017/18, and after the World Cup, he became their backup keeper.
In the World Cup…he faced no shots from Nigeria, was very shaky against Argentina, was at fault for the goal against Denmark, was badly at fault for the first goal against Russia, and barely moved for the England free kick.
He did extremely well against Denmark during penalties, and was okay against Russia’s penalties (he saved a failed panenka that was shot at him…but went the wrong way on every other one).
During gameplay, he made one good save, and one decent save. The good save was the lunge against Harry Kane…who took too much time to gather himself. The decent save was a low shot from Russia prior to penalties.
Every other half decent attempt on our goal went in…with Suba being way off his line or flat footed and unprepared.
He was the weak at the World Cup, other than the penalty saves.
Still, he was our best ever keeper. Unfortunately, he barely played for us, thanks to Pletikosa being given too much time to retire and costing us in 2014.
The Croatian stepped up again as he returned to London. He never disappoints on the big nights. It might be time to check his passport and birth cert.
Kovačić is key to Chelsea.
They need him to start.
Real Madrid should bring him back from Chelsea.
He played well there.
He just happened to be backing up the greatest ever at the #8 slot at both Real and Croatia.
See what a proper #9 is worth!?!
We need a tall guy who can head the ball and press. I think Budimir can do the job. Hopefully Dalic feels the same.
Bog i Hrvati
A proper #1 also, Courtois made some huge saves.
Lets keep giving Ivusic chances
So far so good
I have to admit at first I was thinking this way but after what Benzema did to PSG and now in the first leg with Chelsea…it’s pretty clear we need a number 9, to me at this point, and while we are at it a goalkeeper like Cortouis would be nice as well! Let’s face Livakovic is nowhere close to this and he is slowly reaching the twilight of his career. Times ticking and we need a solution…
I want Bilic as coach one more time really had some bad luck in 6 years as coach.
2008 eduardo turkey
2010 shift in generations smjena not to .any good hnl players and didnt go to wc.
2012 got worst possible group at euros.
I agree. He may get overly excited at times, but very knowledgeable about the game. Towards the end of his tenure, he was criticized for being more of a friend than a coach to players. I feel that wouldnt be the case anymore as he is getting older and a new generation of players has arrived. Met him in Zagreb the day before a qualifier against Ukraine in 2009. There is not many cooler, down to earth, nicer guys in the game.
@miki – spot on…couldn’t agree with you more …consistency yet variety when he needs to make subs..tactically he set up well compared to almost all other Croatian coaches
like u said bad luck…
Was outside stadium in Vienna ready to go bonkers and then just one of the worst mistakes other then France game 98 (possibly 18 final also) but that game still gives me nightmares lol wouldn’t of came to that for not that Fuckin Martin Taylor chriper whatever his name is who snapped du du’s leg- man we’ve had some real bad luck all throughout football history now that I think about it – could go on forever
Bilic seems to always start strong…but then fizzles out with every passing year.
He did it with us, with Besiktas, with West Ham, and with West Brom.
He’s not terrible or anything, but I wouldn’t consider him much better than what we have now in Dalic.
Bilic would still be a risky pick, and I would rather just take someone else if the risk is the same (but with a possible higher ceiling).
Coaches that are more intriguing than Bilic…
Ivan Juric – highly regarded in Serie A
Igor Tudor – doing very well with Verona, and they score a TON of goals
Nenad Bjelica – always does well wherever he goes
Vladimir Petkovic – a ‘buy low’ pick after being fired by Bordeaux
Goran Tomic – overachieving with Rijeka (interesting if this continues)
Valdas Dambrauskas – doing well with Hajduk, and previously Gorica
Matjaz Kek – always a good offensive-oriented overachiever
Igor Biscan worries me. He botched a few games for our U21 team. I’m worried that the HNS may have him groomed for the senior role. He hasn’t done much before this role. Not more than the listed coaches above.
Luka Modric-7.5: His ancient age only make his godly ability all the more glorious.
Interesting to hear and see Slaven Bilic in the CBS Sports studio. All I can think of is, what could’ve been had Turkey not scored that goal.
Having a number 9 striker in team always causes problems. We forget how that feels
Kova on the bench
So much for the student becoming the teacher, lol
Let’s just bank on Sucic instead 😉
I’m shocked because Kova was rested at the weekend. Kante and Pulisic getting the nod in front of Kova in 3-6-1 formation. We shall see.
He’s been rested a lot lately. He’s fallen out of favour it seems.
Kova will have more chances in the future…Real Modrić all the way!
If Luka wins the CL, and leads Cro to a deep run in Qatar, I think he gets the Ballon d’Or.
Unfortunately the World Cup doesn’t count for this years Ballon d’Or. They changed the award to a seasonal rather than yearly thing. So if Croatia do well in the WC, Modric needs to win the next CL too to get Ballon d’or chances.
Thanks for the info, I wasn’t aware.
We love Luka every Croatian does- no question but I say the grasshopper has his time and opportunity – will Mateo have the mental toughness to do it now and in Qatar- I say this will be his chance and he takes it- I say grasshopper
Luka all the way!!! Always!