Luka Modrić underwent successful knee surgery on Sunday which will see the Real Madrid star sidelined for a minimum of one month. And Los Blancos are already feeling the void of Modrić’s absence. On Sunday, Real Madrid drew their third straight La Liga match, this time 1-1 with Eibar. The droppage of points pulls Real Madrid level on points with rivals Atletico. Mateo Kovačić got the start in place of Modrić and played the full 90 minutes but was unable to get on the scoresheet. Kovačić will likely replace Modrić for Croatia during the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Finland and Kosovo next weekend.
It was an all around dull week for Croatians in Spain. Šime Vrsaljko remained on the bench as an unused sub in Atletico’s 2-0 win over Valencia. Duje Čop played the gull 90 minutes in Sporting Gijon’s 2-1 loss to Deportivo and Ivan Rakitić was not used in Barcelona’s shock 4-3 loss to Celta Vigo on Sunday. With the loss, Barcelona sit two points behind both Madrid clubs.
Liverpool are on a roll. The Merseyside club have won four straight matches and now sit only two points behind leaders Manchester City with their 2-1 victory over Swansea City on Saturday. Dejan Lovren played the full 90 minutes but did not cover well following a corner, which led to Swansea’s opening goal. Lovren had a poor rating in this match as he left holes all over the pitch. It was reported after the game that Lovren suffered a groin injury but should be available for Croatia during the upcoming international break.
Lovren (6) left in no man’s land
Inter lost 2-1 at Roma on Sunday night after an entertaining match as defending was optional. Ivan Perišić started on the left to show his top form as he started crossing from the beginning and kept going until the final whistle. The Croatian international assisted Candreva in the first half, but the former Lazio player’s conclusion ended wide. He then tried to score in the second half. In the 8th minute following a counter attack he targeted the far post but Szczesny denied. During injury time he almost surprised the polish goalie with a cross. The former Wolfsburg star came out as the most solid forward for Inter of the night as he collected 9 crosses and 4 shots.
Marcelo Brozović was not listed in the squad. Problems sounded to be solved after the former Dinamo star had a chat with the manager during the week and his re-installment was on the horizon. However, while Inter were succumbing in Prague during the Europa league second round tie Brozović posted a picture with his girlfiend on Instagram which De Boer did not like at all and subsequently chose to keep him out. “All of my players must realize that social networks might be important but they can be as much dangerous.” The former Ajax manager said. “They must understand when to use them and this is not the right moment. There are certain things that relate to the club. For instance I saw that some Ajax goalkeeper did snapchat during halftime, which for me is not right.” He continued, ” If one of my players had done so? A player ought to be concentrated on the game. Matches do not start with the whistle but the day before. From a professional point of view these behaviours are unacceptable.” Two public reprimands in two weeks need quite a lot of work to recover from. Time will tell whether Brozović will be able to turn things around, but as the mountain gets bigger shrewd people might want to check whether the odds for a move to Uk are shortening. Just in case.
La Gazzetta dello Sport rating: Ivan Perišić 6,5 “The best for inter in the difficult first half. A lot of crosses, one of which finds Candreva in front of the goal. Tries also on his own but finds a reactive Szczesny.”
Juventus beat Empoli 3-0 on Sunday in the day game. The bianconeri controlled the whole match but only went ahead in the second half with Dybala. In the following 5 minutes Higuain closed the match with a brace. Mario Mandžukić looked on from the bench. Marko Pjaca made good company to his international team mate until the 28th minute of the second half when he came on for Dybala. One minute later the former Dinamo star could have scored the 4-0 and his first in serie A when he was ready to tap it in following a counter attack but Lemina selfishly decided to hit the goalkeeper with a shot. Six minutes later the Croatian international won a loose ball and after a good run served Higuain who was anticipated. Lastly he made another run on the left, dribbled an opponent and went on to shoot but Skorupski was ready to deflect it over the top bar. A good performance for Pjaca who has always done his part when called in and always looks capable to create something when served.
La Gazzetta dello Sport rating: Marko Pjaca 6,5 “The ‘non substitute’. Comes in and builds chances. A bit solo artist though explosive. Allegri must find some space for him.”
Fiorentina came back from Torino with no points following a 2-1 defeat. Hrvoje Milić , Milan Badelj and Nikola Kalinić all featured in the starting eleven. Hrvoje did not get off to a good start but improved as time went on. The former Hajduk star ran back and forth and crossed in with good precision most of the time. One of his crosses landed on Babacar’s head and was worth the final 2-1 in the 84th minute.
Milan Badelj failed to give give substance and balance to the team. The former Dinamo midfielder made a lot of wrong passes in both halves and was eventually subbed off in the 68th minute. Nikola Kalinić was used as a lone striker until Babacar came on in the middle of the second half. The former Dnipro star squandered 3 potential good opportunities as he did find it difficult to escape the offside trap in the first 30 minutes. Kalinić then had the biggest chance of the first half but his header was too weak and easily saved from Joe Hart. He also tried a bicycle kick with no luck and had another chance in the second half but lacked confidence to bang it in. All in all the international striker looked lively the whole match which represents a small step forward though his goal tally is still largely insufficient.
La Gazzetta dello Sport rating: Hrvoje Milić 6 “Half guilty on the play that frees Iago Falque for the first goal. He’s better when going forward than when he plays as a fourth defender. Makes an assist.” Milan Badelj 5 “The weak spot: under rhythm, makes too many mistakes and forces his teammate Sanchez to run twice as needed.” Nikola Kalinić 5 “Never manages to score: see the header that hits Hart.”
Palermo surprisingly came out of Genoa with a point following to a 1-1 against Sampdoria. Josip Posavec looked concentrated and in good shape. The former Inter goalkeeper stopped Barreto and Muriel many times. His saves were almost worth 3 points but he had to eventually surrender to B. Fernandes and give away a deserved clean sheet.
La Gazzetta dello Sport rating Josip Posavec 6,5 “(MOTM)Can’t see the ball on the goal but he clearly sees shots coming from Muriel, Barreto and Skriniar which stops with important saves.”
Udinese lost 3-0 at home to Lazio. Stipe Perica was a starter and went the distance for the friuliani. The former Zadar star was paired up front with Zapata to form a powerful duo, the psychical presence of which would cause problems to Lazio according to Iachini. The U21 international started from the left to support Zapata and to put pressure on Patric and managed to attack the box without being marked by De Vrij and Hoedt. The former Chelsea striker eventually resulted the most dangerous player. Unluckily, both his headers were miraculously stopped by Strakosha. A lot of fighting in the middle and a dubious uncalled penalty that he might deserved completed another positive performance.
Andrija Balić received another free ticket to comfortably watch the match from the bench.
La Gazzetta dello Sport rating Stipe Perica 6 “Manages to conclude 3 times, which is not bad. Could have scored with a header in the beginning of the second half but Strakosha was better than him.”
Mario Pašalić , Marko Rog, Ivan Strinić and Ante Budimir all featured as unused subs for their respective teams.
Andrej Kramaric picked up another assist for Hoffenheim as they earned a 2-1 away win at Ingolstadt on Saturday. Kramaric assisted on the match’s first goal, as he put in a perfect cross, right between the keeper and the last defender in the 12th minute. Kramaric now has 4 assists this campaign, behind only Franck Ribery in the Bundesliga. He was all over for Hoffenheim in the match, with 7 shots, one of which came off the post, and two chances created. Hoffenheim are tied for 6th in the Bundesliga after 10 matches.
Assist: 0:15, Shot off post: 1:15
Alen Halilovic played the final 30 minutes for Hamburg as they fell 2-0 to Hertha Berlin on Sunday. He had one successful dribble and completed 23 passes but failed to generate any chances for himself or his teammates. Halilovic has struggled to make much of an impact off the bench thus far for Hamburg, though the team has been poor as a whole. After six matches they have just one point and sit on the bottom of the Bundesliga.
Ante Rebic was left out of Eintracht Frankfurt’s squad on Saturday as he continues to rehab a foot injury. Frankfurt fell 1-0 at Freiburg and are 8th in the Bundesliga after 6 matches.
Tin Jedvaj was not on the roster as Bayer Leverkeusen earned an impressive 2-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund on Saturday. Leverkeusen are 6th in the Bundesliga with 10 points in six matches.
Danijel Subasic was in net for Monaco Saturday as they went on the road and demolished Metz 7-0. Subasic made three easy saves in the match as he was largely a passenger. Monaco remain one point off the top of Ligue 1, with 19 points in eight matches.
Domagoj Vida played the full match at the back for Dynamo Kyiv as they won 2-0 at home against Zirka on Sunday. Kyiv sit six points behind Shakhtar, second in the Ukrainian Premier League, with 22 points through 10 matches.
Vedran Corluka played the full 90 minutes for Lokomotiv Moscow as they drew once again on Saturday, in a 1-1 contest against Arsenal Tula. Corluka was not at fault for the goal, as Loko’s keeper was caught in no man’s land on a corner. Lokomotiv have only won one of their first nine games, and are 13th in the Russian Premier League.
Croatia at Kosovo(World Cup Qualifier)(11:45am PST/2:45pm EST), Finland at Iceland(World Cup Qualifier)(11:45am PST/2:45pm EST), Ukraine at Turkey(World Cup Qualifier)(11:45am PST/2:45pm EST),
Croatia at Finland(World Cup Qualifier)(9am PST/noon EST), Kosovo at Ukraine(World Cup Qualifier)(9am PST/noon EST), Turkey at Iceland(World Cup Qualifier)(11:45am PST/2:45pm EST),
~Ante Kvartuč reporting from sunny Southern California, Zach Gilfix reporting from Minneapolis, MN and Salvatore Cagnazzi reporting from Italy
Maybe that explains the decision to bring up Domagoj Antolic. Hopefully, better players than he will be on the field.
Radosevic, Pasalic, Halilovic, Caleta-Car, Coric, Balic and other young players (Leovac? Milic?) probably will feature for the U21 side this week. I guess the U21 match against Sweden is going to be decisive and difficult for them.
Vrsaljko Corluka Caleta-Car Jedvaj
Halilovic Kovacic Perisic
I think we have to call Antonio Colak, did you guys see that second goal, it was better than Van Basten’s against Russia!
Naša Lijepa Hrvatska živi u nutra naša srce !
Looking forward to seeing the next wave of Croatian soccer super stars step forward this week.
6 pts this week in style !
shit, more injuries? we are FUCKED in these two games.. smh
Zach you’re doing a great job! Ignore the hater(s). Call me a homer, call me what you want but I really do look forward to hearing what other diaspora croats have to say regardless of their knowledge of soccer. We can’t be dumb and knock each other for Pete’s sake there is only 4 million and change of us!
If you wave the flag, kiss the grb and are proud to be Croatian then I respect that.
Thanks for the weekly posts, most of us truly do appreciate it!
If you attack one of the writers, you attack the readers.
Don’t come back no more.
Zach Gilfix ne slusaj majmuna, ako se ti osjecas kao hrvat onda ti niko nemoze nista
Kovacic has been in-form this season. He’s been aggressive lately for Real, so that’s very good to see. Doesn’t flop, and actually fights hard in his duels.
There is no excuse for him anymore. He will likely be starting for us against Kosovo, and I expect him to be very visible on the field for us (his biggest problem for the repka).
I’m hoping we go with Kramaric in the starting lineup too. I don’t think Mandzo will be good for us in this game. Pjaca and Perisic should tear things up though.
Zach does a lot more than you, so fuck off. He stays and you better go.
Zach is a nice Kid. Some college kid from St Paul MN.
Big time blessing to force the young legs onto the pitch.
Kosovo is going to feel great playing against big brother Croatia, there #1 ally in the region.
Finland run like horses all match.
Tired uninspired veterans would be a recipe for mediocrity.
All are ready to run!
Ante Coric should also be in the team.
Bring in Halilovic and Radosevic. I’m expecting a 0:0 with Kosovo and with Finland.
Why Domagoj Antolic instead of Josip Radosevic?
Totally agree Danny.
Best game we played in as long as I can remember was against Spain recently and how many changes were made to our lineup that day, seven?
Tell u the truth I’m pretty done with the old guard. As good as they can be I don’t mind seeing Modric Rakitic and Corluka having a seat. I often read on hear that those 3 have a bunch of tourneys left in them but I’d say they’re done after 2018.
Jedvaj hasn’t played for Leverkusen in ages! He’s always fun to watch, but where is he???
Ya these injuries are scary but does forced some fresh blood in line up
Hope a blessing in disguise
on another note
kovacic looks bouncy and ready
national team members falling like flies
modric, rakitic, lovren out
corluka hasn’t trained in a week
the only old guy whos still kicking is mandzukic! the one guy we need subbed!
perisic brozovic pjaca
strinic vida jedvaj vrasljko
man….that would be a really young team….average age of 25….would be exciting….not sure they are ready yet though
callejon was there who is good enough, but i rate Milik….star potential
“Gilfix” is not a Croatian name and it wasn’t mulattos who had the brains and balls to trek across the world from the east and fight for and hold the land that we named Croatia. Croatians didn’t grow out of the fucking dirt in the ground like Balkan shrubbery, the most important thing Croatians carried on their migration from the east to the west is their Aryan BLOOD.
This is what the italians were saying on their Napoli message board.
Milik may be the exception because they cashed in on Higuain and although Napoli is good, they don’t have depth, so it forces them to start him. It could also be because Milik plays in the špica which is a lot different than playing in central midfield like Rog does.
and regarding Napolis coach not playing new guys a single minute……Milik? maybe Rog just isn’t good enough to break into the side yet
@ Mr. Black
Lovren out as well.
This forces Cacic to bring young players into the squad and onto the pitch.
Kovačić starts for Modrić at Real Madrid then he can start for him for Croatia.
Rog needs some run and this is when NT can give a boost during club career struggle.
Kramarić is on fire to start the season and deserves to start some where on the pitch.
We can play a 4-4-2:
Ivan Rakitic will not play against Kosovo and Finland due an injury. He will be replaced by Domogaj Antolic.
It looks like Mateo Kovacic will have to step up.
We will probably play :
Vrsaljko Corluka Vida Pivaric
Pjaca Kalinic Perisic
Maybe we should put Vida left back and Lovren as CD since he’s doing well at Liverpool.
Our next superstar, 18-year old Josip Brekalo made his debut today for Wolfburg.
Subbed in for the last 30 minutes against Mainz today. Had a couple shots and made 15/15 passes (one of them a key pass). Dribbled out a guy successfully too.
Bukowski could drink like a Hrvat.
Modified dialogue from the motion picture Barfly.
Wanda: I can’t stand Ivan Strinic, I hate him.
Kit: Oh yeah?
Wanda: Do you hate him?
Kit: No, but I seem to feel better when he’s not around.
Croatia was also worst hit by the recession and took forever to get out of it. No growth since 2008. That’s crazy.
Thank God there is some hope with this new HDZ/MOST government. Plenkovic seems like a very smart guy, and a lot of those old seljaci seem to no longer be in charge.
Let me recommend a book I’m currently reading;
The Tao of Willie: A Guide To Happiness In Your Heart.
i find very high doses of zoloft to be useful too 😀
Croatia has one of the highest rates of depression in all of Europe. When a person always sees the glass as being half empty, they eventually become depressed.
I know because I used to be like that. Only after I changed my attitude did I start to find happiness in life.
How is saying the glass is half empty more “realistic” then saying it’s half full.
When someone says that a young player has “potential” to be good or great, they are usually not saying they will be good or great for sure. Nobody knows how any young prospects career will turn out for sure. Many times young talent do not live up to their potential. Sometimes they do.
Did you know that Modric, Perisic, Srna, Mandzukic, Rakitic, Brozovic, Petric, Prso, Olic, Boban, Suker, Boksic, Jarni, Simunic etc.. where going to turn out to be the players they did. Did you pipe up and say “I was wrong about these young prospects”.
When you are always negative, you will be right some times. However, why don’t you admit when you are wrong.
If you are always so negative about Croatian Soccer, why do you even bother following it? Nothing can make negative people like you happy.
Tin jedva igra is funny!
This dude is harder on our own than my old man!
untrue. no relations to turkey. I am the biggest hrvat and domoljub out there.
for those diaspora hrvati, a hrvat is a Croatian. you add the I to the end to make it plural
a domoljub is a patriot
but as part of my domoljub duties, I need to make sure the Croatian population, especially the diaspora, remain realistic about our chances
the media has way overhyped these youngsters. and it is caused by the new transfer rules that cause so many of these young transfers to occur. And everytime they occur, we claim the next great player is down the pipe. when sadly, its just not to be
Oh god on that Pjaca clip, it hurts my ears the way the pommy bastard commentators say his name..
Also it wasnt a re-bitch 2.0 peformance cos he didnt get a red card 😉
The Truth is Turkey. A Serb who finds following Croatia a lot more interesting than his own team for obvious reasons.
As the Napoli coach is right to do
Truth, is ziva istina!! Are you people blind?? Ignore the prick.
Jesus, always about the national team. Any updates on how the boys did this weekend for their respective clubs?
nice try. all I see is 0 goals. 0 assists. also known as a re-bitch 2.0 performance
the truth is an idiot.
Every single Juve fan loves Pjaca. They watch the games, and you can see for yourself online how much havoc he creates in the few minutes he receives.
Being 20 years old and not starting ahead of Higuain and Dybala is obviously going to happen. Wouldn’t be surprised to see them cash in on Dybala next summer.
Also, re: Marko Rog…
Napoli’s coach is crazy and never plays any new players a single minute until they have completely mastered the system they play and doesn’t believe in giving them in-game minutes to learn.
He already said that he’s not playing any of the newcomers (Rog included) until January.
Sorry for the typo on Pjaca
Here’s what placards did in 30 minutes:
well its time for the weekly does of reality
first up: luka modric . injured again. this reminds me of wc qualifying 2010….we all remember how that ended up right?
young Croatian stars around Europe V
Fabian benk-oh-shit-I-take it back changes his mind about playing for Croatia. I bet rakitic wishes he had been this smart
alen halilo-shit finally makes the hamburg roster again. managing to play the last 30 minutes and do absolutely nothing
tin jedva igra – more like tin jedva on the roster….doesn’t even make the roster for Leverkusen. wow, so excited for this guy to start at center back for us
marko pee-ass-A : plays twenty minutes and does nothing
ante re-bitch: does nothing in 0-1 loss
marko rog: sorry don’t have a nickname yet. i’ll make one as soon as he plays a minute. which he did not
d-oh-my-god “can you believe he’s playing” vida : was cold in ukraine
Niko Kranjcar scored a goal for Rangers yesterday.
Vrsaljko, Corluka, Vida, Pivaric
Pjaca, Rakitic, Kovacic, Perisic
Subs: Badelj, Mandzukic, Ziva Istina
Toljan was never asked by the HNS to join our team.
The US tried to get him on their team (due to his dad being American) but he declined.
He’s still on Germany’s U21 squad too, so it’s not going to be easy to snag him.
I’d call him up, but he’d probably pull the same thing Benko just did.
Good move on his dad’s part for sure. What ever happened to Jeremy Toljan playing for us?? I feel strinic has his days numbered regardless
Unless it’s for the ‘A’ reprezentacija, I can understand Benko’s family’s position.
It’s way too early in his developing career to know how good he will become, and playing to our junior team closes the door on any Germany callups (new rules).
It would suck for him if he committed to our National Team this young, and then suddenly his development doesn’t become a top priority for Bayern anymore. Say what you want, but Bayern Munich definitely would prioritize the development of a potential German international over some Croat.
You may think it’s a business and it shouldn’t matter to Bayern…but Germans are crazy, and they would put loyalty above business. Look at how Borussia let Lewandowski walk as a free agent over to Bayern because they did not want to sell him to them and made him play out his contract. Pretty much threw away tens of millions of dollars just for that.
This is probably on Benko’s dad’s mind and it could end up costing the kid a career, and he would be no use to us anyway if the kid ends up rotting on the bench for Bayern during these next few critical years and becomes just another Radosevic for us.
I still think he will pick us over them. They’re just being strategic about all this.
If it were me, I would still jump ship and join the Cro junior team…but I’m a mindless nationalist.
@Maminjo-I hope he gets well. He was fun to watch at W Bremen.
Maybe just maybe I will get my 442 with Modric out.
I thought Kit made a pretty good case (he provided plenty of evidence) for no more Strinic.
No Mandzukic is good, I like that!
Looks like Fabian Benko is not coming to play for Cro…his old man has halted the move.
Hah, Armada, my work blocked this site about 2 years ago ! So you held out longer than mine
Oh no that’s terrible news about Klasnic, poor guy : (
Except I’d go with Subasic in net..
I dig that lineup!
‘Još je rano za priključivanje Hrvatskoj, moramo razmisliti’
Mislimo da je priključivanje Hrvatskoj još prerano. Imamo još tri godine za razmišljanje o budućoj reprezentaciji i Fabian će se sada posvetiti karijeri u Bayernu, rekao je Fabianov otac Miljenko
Ivan Klasnić is relegated to a hospital now and is critically ill.
He needs another transplant.
been a long time – apparently my work network blocks this site now LOL hence my lack of posts.
this kosovo game will be a big one. we really need to get the full 3 in this game so we can start separating from the pack.
Perisic rakitic pjaca
Strinic vida corluka vrsaljko
Corluka wearing the captain armband for a competitive match would be great. With Kranjcar not on the NT radar anymore & Modric being adored by everyone, I will take the role of being Corluka’s number one fanboy on the site.
Kovacic has to be inserted into the starting line up.
Pivaric has enough game to be solid against Kosovo and Finland.
Kramaric should start over Mandzukic based on movement need and club form.
Curious to see who will be captain ?
Lovren is injured too.
modric out against kosovo and finland
Love that your Fantasy handle is now Lakers in 2018.
Pretty sure the Lakers are still 2 years away from being 2 years away.
Please tell me they don’t play rog over kovacic… They already sold rog
Kramaric with another assist and dangerous game all around
No Modric for upcoming qualifiers, Rog his replacement
I like the young studs rallying around the u21 team.
Big first place match verse Sweden on the 10th.
Hopefully Espn 3 will be broadcasting it.
lol us playing kosovo in albania… i would love to see the serbs try something
Good game for Serbs to try and sabotage
fun fact….we’re not actually playing in kosovo
the game is in albania since kosovo has no stadium that meet necessary standards
but yes, the atmosphere will be crazy. 17000 ticket supposedly sold out in an hour….they seem to be pretty excited about this
Obviously gonna be nuts playing in Kosovo
Gonna be hard for sure
Besides the fans
What can we expect from their actual team?
@erdogan you’re an idiot…don’t post dumb shit please
Sigh. Who is this guy that keeps coming on here to tell us that Halilović is playing for Kosovo?
He has no Kosovar ancestry, and even if he did, him playing for the junior team ties him to our national team under the new rules.
Halilovic playing in the U21 game I believe.
it had apparently been planned for a while. but because halilovic wasnot called up for the croatia-kosovo game, he will exact ultimate vengance and switch to kosovo for this game
this was foretold
Croatia head coach Ante Čačić has presented the squad list for the upcoming qualifiers away at Kosovo and Finland.
On 6 October, Croatia visits Shkoder to play Kosovo, and three days later faces Finland in Tampere.
Croatia internationals will arrive in Zagreb on Monday, with head coach Čačić holding a press conference. On Wednesday, the national team travels to Tirana, and the Thursday match at Loro Borici Stadium kicks off at 20:45 CET. On Friday, Croatia travels to Finland to play the hosts at Tampere Stadium at 18:00 CET.
Goalkeepers: Danijel Subašić (Monaco), Lovre Kalinić (Hajduk), Ivan Vargić (Lazio)
Defenders: Šime Vrsaljko (Atletico Madrid), Vedran Ćorluka (Lokomotiv Moscow), Domagoj Vida (Dynamo Kiev), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool), Ivan Strinić (Napoli), Josip Pivarić (Dinamo), Tin Jedvaj (Bayer Leverkusen)
Midfielders: Luka Modrić (Real Madrid), Ivan Rakitić (Barcelona), Ivan Perišić (Inter), Milan Badelj (Fiorentina), Mateo Kovačić (Real Madrid), Marcelo Brozović (Inter)
Strikers: Marko Pjaca (Juventus), Duje Čop (Sporting Gijon), Mario Mandžukić (Juventus), Nikola Kalinić (Fiorentina), Andrej Kramarić (Hoffenheim)
Welcome back Zach.
In case anyone’s needing a really good laugh, Qatar beat Serbia 3-0 today..
Not that surprising I guess but still awesome!
we have potential players every 2 years to win the tournaments. yes they can absolutely. So why we get slump? Don’t blame for the referee guys, our manager team don’t know how to create v11 strategy, they don’t know how to push players into their limits and banish their ego, they don’t know who deserve the position and select the correct players! neither Biilc nor stupid Cacic. Only me professor LAknat!”
Alot can happen in two years.
Look at our team in 2014, and you see stark changes…
Jelavic, Sammir, Pletikosa, Olic and Pranjic all started games at the World Cup. Olic, Pletikosa and Pranjic are now retired. Sammir and Jelavic are playing second division Chinese league football.
Also, we had guys like Rebic and a very inexperienced and weak Brozovic as our first guys off the bench.
Today, Brozovic has improved tremendously. A guy like Pjaca comes seemingly out of nowhere. Same goes for Rog.
Don’t be surprised if guys like Kramaric, Caleta-Car, Jedvaj, and Pivaric suddenly improve over these next couple of years and cement themselves in the starting lineup.
Lots of the younger guys can suddenly experience a positive spike in their careers (ie. Pjaca, Rog, Pasalic, Kovacic, Coric, Halilovic, Brekalo). This is the age where at least a couple of these players will make tremendous strides and challenge for a regular starting spot.
Goalkeeper age should not be included.
Also, Mandžo and Strinić won’t be starting in the World Cup.
Ćorluka and Modrić will be the only guys over 30, and even Ćorluka is not a guarantee to start. A lot can happen in two years.
Statistical evidence shows players reach their peak at approximately 27.5 years of age. The average age of world cup winners over the years has been 27.5
the oldest team to win the world cup was italy in 2006 (29.6 years)
based on current starting line up, croatia’s average starting age at euro 2016 was 27.5…..perhaps it was no coincidence this is the best the team has looked in years
if the current starting line-up stays the same in the world cup, we look at an average age of 29.75….. older than the oldest team to ever win
not a good sign
as a result, croatia is poised for a good qualifying campaign but flat world cup, unless young legs are injected in to bring the average age down.
you can sub some young legs in….kramaric for mandzukic, kovacic for badelj, and brozovic for rakitic. that stll only gets you to 28.8 years
the bottom line…this team as currently composed will be too old come the world cup to effectively compete.
New coach? I think he’ll be the old coach soon. He’s about to fired. If Inter hadn’t won against Juventus last week, he’d be out of job already.
New coach of Inter didn’t start Perisic, inter goes diwn 2-0 early…Inter is dogshit w/o him.