CroatianSoccerReport.com was created for the purpose of getting the important news to the Croatian soccer fan without them having to search the Internet aimlessly. It’s all here with one click. In recent months, it has also turned into a place where devout and extremely loyal supporters of the team can come and voice their thoughts and opinions on the team and how they are playing.
This has been one of my favorite things about the site. To see all these educated people on the game of football and the Croatian national team voice their opinions and have their ideas bounce off each other. Well with that, I would like to share with you a comment that loyal CroatianSoccerReport.com reader, John Prpić, left us after the Croatia-Turkey match. I thought it was genius, well-written and could not put it better in my own words. I welcome these kind of high caliber rebuttals and thoughts in the future from all our readers. Thank you once again John; for the beautifully written comment and the opportunity for us to run it.
Croatia got ‘snake-bit’ in one of the most memorable games on record.
People will be talking about this game for a long time to come. I don’t know that I have even seen such a goal, regardless of the dramatic timing of it. The sheer force of the shot, the deflection, two defenders in front of the ball, and then to the top corner. All with the last kick of the game. Wow.
Everyone knows that Croatia was the better team despite the fact that they did not perform optimally. Although, here we must also give Turkey credit, as they did very well to neutralize Croatia’s many strengths.
However, the better team does not always win, as the Turks have dramatically proved in their last 3 games. That’s ok; let them have their day in the sun, as Croatia’s will surely come down the road. The fates are fickle, no doubt, but they are also not indiscriminate. Croatia’s involvement in such a “fated” match signifies to me that the fates have identified Croatia for bigger achievements down the road (i.e. in the upcoming World Cup). This type of loss, surely signifies that bigger things are in store for this team.
Also, although the Turks were unbelievably lucky, let’s also give them credit where credit is due. Their strategy was perfect and largely nullified Croatia’s midfield superiority.
Terim taught Bilić a lesson in coaching strategy last night, and being the bright and unassuming individual that he is, Bilić and his staff will surely realize this in the next few days, and be stronger for it, in the future.
First of all, Terim knew exactly what Croatia would field for the game. Croatia’s strategy for the game was too predictable and transparent. Terim knew that Croatia would field it’s “Germany line-up”, and prepared for it masterfully.
Bilić had no plan “B”. Surely he believed that he didn’t need one, and he was right, except for the intervention of fate. He will now realize that you must not give fate a chance to intervene. And if fate does intervene, one must intervene right back. Case in point, see Terim’s substitution of Nihat after Klasnić’s goal, which served to create the last minute of extra time, in which Turkish luck came to the fore.
For example, before the shootout, Bilić might have gathered the team, and stressed the context of the situation. He might have told them that actually they were in the perfect situation, and that if someone had told them before the tournament that all they had to do was execute penalties against the Turks to advance to the semi’s, they would’ve readily accepted the chance. Nonetheless, this is much easier said than done, but with experience, this type of leadership develops, and becomes a natural instinct.
Also in hindsight, Bilić might have fielded a novel variant in the first half, with the simple goal of nullifying the Turkish preparations, while keeping his “Germany variant” for the second half, if needed.
Further to this point, it was obvious from the get go (with the Turks effectively playing 5 in defense) that they were worried about the Croatian attacking prowess.
After the 1st half, it was obvious that the Turks pulled-in defensively, even further, and were at that point playing to get to penalties. At this point, and for the rest of the game, Croatia played into Turkish hands, by continuing to run at them. This is where plan ‘B’ was needed, not in terms of substitutions only but in terms of the plan. The only way to counter this is to mimic the strategy, and draw them forward, and at the same time not expend energy fruitlessly.
Anyway, I hope that Bilić and Co. realize this on their own, but if not, we need to send them the link to this site.
Final note, R. Kovač, & Joe Šimunić played “out of this world”.
Anyway, I’d love to hear any of your comments on my analysis.
If Cvitanich gets the call up for the national team… then Dudu plays up front and Cvitanich a little bit behind him as the second forward.
That would no doubt be a very dangerous proposition for teams to handle. Both are proven goalscorers.
Cvitanich will surprise everyone.
Dugandzic is now playing for the Dinamo Zagreb reserve side and apparantly he’s playing really well and scoring some goals. They hope he might get a start in 08/09 season for Dinamo.
If we have to wait a while for Cvitanich, who do you think should start as strikers when Eduardo comes back?
Hahahhahahaha!!!! I like that… Agent Argentina… very good handle. We’ll keep that one.
OK… fate, karma, luck, destiny… last thing I will say about football and these words. Football is unpredictable… that’s the point of playing a match. To enjoy the spectacle which ultimately has a defining result. OK… enough about that.
Agent Argentina, now I think I know Pisculichi… as you mentioned he played for Argentina Juniors previously… good player and as I remember quite fast.
I’ve never heard of the kid in OZ, Mate Dugandzic? Like to know more about him. Yes and Cvitanich is already on the radar because Zorislav Srebric from the Croatian Federation has already spoken to Cvitanich but the Federation is moving slowly because they felt burned by the whole Boludo Bilos drama. In hindsight, it’s a good thing they didn’t get Bilos. But let’s see how well Cvitanich does in Europe now with Ajax? It should be interesting…
Agent Argentina, Mr. Anonymous and JP.
I’m having a blast reading all your stuff on the site. Ill remember you guys in the future when CroatianSoccerReport goes big and Ill hook you guys up some way somehow. But back to business. I dont like anything in life being funneled down to fate and destiny. I dont care if its soccer or personal lives or diasasters, whatever. You can call it fate when the Germans or Spaniards win on Sunday, but ask them that same question. Im sure hard work and staying in shape had nothing to do with it. Germany was the tourney favorite and now theyre in the Final. Is that fate or just humans being able to predict instances based on what they see and not put it in the universes hands. Thats all Im saying. Id rather you call certain stuff karma. Like when English keeper Robinson let that ball hop over his foot in Zagreb. I call that karma for England calling Croatia an inferior country. I just dont like the whole fate aspect and us telling ourselves that we have no power over our own lives. – Thanks for the time. You had the choice not to read this.
Agent Argentina, Joze, and Anon, you guys are good fun. Keep up the great investigative work.
With regard to Cvitanic et al., I’m fairly sure that Bilic’s crew is on it. I’ve read about him at the Jutarni, and therefore he is on the radar. Although to my ears the other two, (the guy from Oz, and the other Argentine in Qatar), are fresh prospects to me.
btw. In regard to the “fate” issue, since I am partly responsible for its mention, I thought that I would add a few words to the discussion.
Although, I am not a philosopher of any standing, I’m sure that there are probably numerous books that can be read on the subject of defining human made mental models such as luck, fate and destiny etc.
Ultimately it is a semantic problem that can never be solved.
Anyway, my opinion that fate was involved, was in the sense that fate is much bigger than dumb-luck Luck expires, it comes and goes. Fate, once it occurs, is permanent, and therefore can be instructive for the future.
Croatia was not “destined” to lose to Turkey, rather the mix of timing, luck, talent, choices, etc from that day manifested what became a fated set of unique conditions, which can never be repeated. But they can be learned from.
Anyway, all in all, the team had a tremendous “fated” learning experience during this tournament, due to the confluence of events in which they were significant actors. That this experience will serve all of them very well over the next decade, was really my main point.
Haha, Thank you Anonymous, rather you pick a name other than that, because Anonymous could be anyone.
Leonardo Pisculichi played for Argentinos Juniors, I remember he scored two goals against River as they went on to win 2-1, good player, like I said 24, went to Mallorca to replace Ibagaza but Ibagaza stepped up and kept his place giving Pisculichi no room, so He took off to Qatar to make money, typical dumb move (Mauro Zarate followed, big prospect! or was At least!) now Pisculichi wants to go back to Argentina to get some good football in and hopefully go to europe, thing is he makes too much money, so Not a lot of teams in Argentina can pay that much!
Bilos was never or will never be near Dario’s skill level or Leonardos, Bilos was an Alright left mid or striker when you needed him to be, but not starting material today.
Not alot of people know about Piscu because the dumb Qatar move and because I guess his name doesn’t stand out to croatians like Cvitanich.
Well if Piscu gets out of Qatar he will be an interesting guy to keep an eye for!
Keep it coming, enjoying reading everyone’s opinions
By the way, I am adopting the Agent title to my name making myself Argentina, Agent Argentina.
Ante, I’m not sure if you understand what I meant when I referred to fate in such tournaments. There’s always a variable element in tournaments that affects the teams participating.
In fact, that’s the reason people watch football… because of that element which has nothing to do with who will win the tournament. Nobody knows the answer to that question.
That’s why the world will tune in on Sunday to see if the Spaniards or the Germans will lift the cup in the end.
And Argentina… don’t cry for me or Cvitanich… cry for Daniel Bilos. We all know that Cvitanich is fully aware of the how to do everything wrong and make bad decisions by Daniel Bilos. Cvitanich is too clever that way. The Argentine Federation screwed Bilos’ potential career… he has none now… and Bilos’ big mistake was to use Croatian interest as a bargaining tool to get picked for the Argentine selection but essentially all that Argentine Federation wanted was to have him play one official game and no longer be eligible for a Croatia call up and that’s exactly what happened.
Cvitanich on the other hand isn’t going to fall for that Argentine tango move because he’s already stated that a call up for Argentina would be impractical because they have 6 or 7 players of world class calibre at his position. He knows this and I don’t think he’ll believe them. But it sounds like you’re his agent or something and what you really want is Bilic to call him as well… but don’t cry for Cvitanich Argentina… and Leonardo who? Never heard of him… Why does Independiente want him now? And how did he wind up playing in Qatar? Somebody must have brought him there? Argentina… I think you’re an agent or manager or something along those lines… your information is too precise for that of a fan only…
but regardless, I enjoy your comments and this site.
It’s not 100% the Cvitanic deal, because he did not get the call, and Argentina might call him just to take him away fom you guys, but if Croatia calls him up before he is all in, saying this, if this does happen I will be very mad, Being Argentine and all I don’t want him on my team, because I want him on Croatia because he can help us out ALOT!, but if it does turn out that way then there is only one person to blame…Bilic! for not calling him up earlier.
Forgot to mention the other Argentine-Croat now playing in Qatar who is about 24 years of Age, wanted by Independiente right now, great player, probably doesn’t have a spot on the team but its a good alternative, name is Leonardo Pisculichi (in croatian the Last name would be Piškulić).
of course jp…im just glad you like the site and throw in your 2 cents when you can….and anonymous…lets wait to see who gets crowned euro champs and then talk about fate…
Ante, thanks for posting my post.
I’m glad that you found it appropriate. And if nothing else we got some comments “rolling” on the blog which, after all, is the point.
In regard to today’s game, as they say, “live by the sword, die by the sword”. I think this describes today’s outcome very well. From what I saw, Turkey outplayed Germany for the most part, and lost. C’est la vie right?
Wouldn’t it be interesting if Germany and Russia meet in the final?
Is it almost certain that cvitanich will sign?
There is also another guy that Croatia will most probably use in the next few years. This player called Mate Dugandzic, he played for the Croatian club Melbourne Knights in Australia(same club Viduka, Simunic played for). He was born in Australia but he recently signed for Dinamo Zagreb and HNS have been trying to tie him to Croatia for a while. I read that someone at Dinamo Zagreb said that he is the most talented youth player to come to Dinamo since Zvonimir Boban. So hopefully he lives up to the hype!
Ante, re read what you wrote here… things that happen that either make you or break you in life?
That’s Life? You can absolutely get this far at the European Championships on fate. Football is full of tricky little thanks that happen.
That’s fate Ante. That’s the pure definition of fate my friend. And fate has nothing to do with fairness or justice. Fate is that X thing… that special thing… that thing Greece had back in 2004 and was inherited by Turkey in 2008.
Would love to leave a name but for professional reasons it’s best to be anonymous for now. Cheers.
theres a lot of fate talk going on here…i love it guys…but you can’t get this far in a european championship just on fate…theres instances where tricky little things happen that either make you or break you but thats life…life is not fair and we must all create justice for ourselves….i have fun reading your comments guys…its be nice if you can leave your names next time though….CANT WAIT FOR CVITANICH TO SIGN!!!
Dramatically Tragic losses can be turned into Great Successes. What better to have Bilic and Company already saying that they will come back bigger and stronger as he has been quoted as saying.
Hey readers, how many Croatians do you know who have already done that in their lifetime? Turned great loss into great success.
Croatians are warriors. I’m sure Bilic and his players will come back… some new players and a little tinkering here and there for about two years…
and it’s off to South Africa to fight their way into History. But this time, Fate might shine it’s light a bit further than a quarterfinal.
Croatians never accept failure as an option.
I think Bilic is a little bit more special than the
“Special one” at Inter Milan. Bilic beat footballing
giants England twice… not once… but twice and did it in style…. in front of the English Prince… and beat a very strong German side that pushed out heavy favored Portugal with their ‘best player C. Ronaldo”. And when I say beat… I’m being kind. The Germans were never in that game. Croatia dominated and never let the Germans get into a rhythm. And the Turks are still thanking Allah!!!!
And why shouldn’t they? If Croatia scored I’m sure we would thank God, Allah, The Dali Lama, the Easter Bunny…
I look at it like this: If Germany goes to the final and wins and that makes them the European Champions and Croatia beat them handedly does that make Croatia better than the European champs?????? Or maybe if it’s a German and Russia final… and Russia wins… who Croatia tied twice in qualifications… does that make the Russians and Croatians the same??????????
Think about it folks!!!!! Take a moment and think about it.
Croatia exited the tournament a bit prematurely. And I think Germany is quite happy about that.
Because the World has been put on notice.
Bilic and Company have a very talented group of players and as a team have many weapons at their disposal. There are many more songs to be written by Bilic in Croatian Football. He knows exactly what he’s doing… and he knows that he has the biggest opportunity with Croatia. I’m sure he misses DUDU right now. But I’m sure in time all wounds will heal and you would never even know they exsited.
We have much to look forward to folks!!!
Although well written, I would have to disagree with many of the conclusions drawn by John about the loss to Turkey.
First of all, football as opposed to other popular sports has a greater degree of so called “FATE” or as some have said, “LUCK” built into the game. Football is a game of chances taken and chances missed and all of these decisions are made in the moment on the pitch. If this wasn’t the case and thank God it is, then football would be as predictable and boring as a weather forecast.
There are subtleties in a game that always betray predictions and so called expert analysis. Football is a game of high pressured situations the longer the game goes on and how individuals deal with that pressure. A game of highs and lows and desire and passion that defy tactical analysis.
No one better understands this than the players participating at Euro 2008 or any other tournament.
Ask the Greeks. They know all about FATE and it’s not something that can be explained away.
As far as the overtime was concerned I think Bilic’s approach was correct. Croatia was patient as Turkey pulled back and Modric pounced on the opportunity given by Turkey’s Rustu which you can also call FATE as well.
It makes for interesting debates for football lovers worldwide, but as Bilic tried to make his third substitution and Rustu drove the ball into Croatia’s penalty area and it ricochet’s off two players and lands in front of Semturk who fires the ball first time into the goal. I mean football doesn’t get much better than that does it? It defies logic and explanation. Again, ask the Greeks, they know all about this FATE.
A tough loss. Absolutely. But I think it’s a bit reaching to say that Bilic had no Plan B, because after all, we can neither say that Terim planned or had great insight into Turkey’s late goal.
No, they had a set play, created a diversion and they hoped that FATE would once again be on their side… and maybe their great lesson was that they didn’t lose hope and how can anybody not appreciate that? That’s what makes football the greatest sport in the world. Hopes, dreams and FATE are and always will be an innate part of the game. See Olic’s second goal against Germany and tell me whether it was Bilic’s tactical strategy or FATE that had Olic positioned between two German defenders for the easy tap in.
So I guess we see the game differently John and I think it’s too simple and too easy to second guess Bilic for the loss or the effort that the Croats put in. I think that lessens their accomplishments at Euro 2008.
Point taken, one’s fate in football entirely depends on how many times the ball hits the back of the net. No ifs ands or buts about that hard fact. Otherwise I could say that IF Olic scored in the first half from Modric’s brilliant pass then Turkey’s last second goal would not have had the sting that it had.
If anything, Croatia did not display the finishing it was used to in qualifications. IF only Dudu was on the pitch but I guess FATE had other plans.
So now what? Qualifications for World Cup 2010. Oh and by the way, Dario Cvitanich, the leading goalscorer in the Argentine clausura this year is heading to Ajax of Holland. In case anybody wants to see lethal finishing go to YOUTUBE and type his name. Dario has already expressed his interest in playing for Croatia and if Dudu and Dario star up front for Croatia maybe they will tip FATE in the direction of Croatia. The future is bright and I would not be so quick to judge Slaven’s leadership capabilities. He’s done very well and the world has taken notice of him and his team.