*This year’s “Croatians Around Europe” segment will be more streamlined compared to previous seasons. It will be more of a “Top Plays” from the weekend rather than reporting on every Croatian international. Goals and top assists will always make the list as well as serious injuries, red cards, rough tackles and transfer news.
The La Liga season kicked off this weekend with Real Madrid and Barcelona both winning easily, but the Real Madrid bench was noticeably short one Croatian. Mateo Kovačić was not listed on the Madrid roster due to a random “knock” which put him on the injured list. This can only mean that Los Blancos are still shopping Kovačić to other teams with 10 days remaining in the summer transfer window.
On the other side of the transfer coin, and amid speculation that he could leave Inter Milan for Manchester United, Ivan Perišić scored Inter’s final goal Sunday and added an assist in a 3-0 win over Fiorentina. No matter what happens in the next week, Perišić is only adding to his value with performances like these. It has also been rumored that Inter will be giving their Croatian winger a €90,000/week raise to keep him in Milan. We shall see.
Perišić header vs. Fiorentina
‘Super Mario’ Mandžukić got the party started for Juventus, scoring the club’s first goal of the season Saturday in a 3-0 win over Cagliari. In the 12th minute, Mandza one-timed a sidewinder kick to beat the Cagliari goalie just inside the left post. Mandza was moved to the Juventus left wing last season with the addition of Gonzalo Higuain to much success. Let’s see if he will be able to do it for a second season running.
Mandžukić scores 1st goal of the season for Juventus
Alen Halilović just can’t catch a break. The 21 year-old is starting a full season with Las Palmas; coming over from Hamburg in the last winter transfer window and picked up a straight red card in the first half of the first game of the season. It looked pretty light to us, but nonetheless, Halilović was still given his walking orders. Was the red justified?
Halilović Red Card—Pretty Soft If You Ask Us
Andrej Kramarić redeemed himself on Saturday after a penalty miss in Champions League Tuesday against Liverpool. The penalty would have given Hoffenheim a much needed goal in the two-leg tie, but it gave Liverpool all the momentum they needed for the 2-1 victory. In Hoffenheim’s Bundesliga opener, Kramaric scored the lone goal of the match in the 84th minute off a huge deflection to defeat Werder Bremen. Hoffenheim will need to score a minimum of two goals at Anfield this week if they have a chance of making the Champions League group stage.
Kramarić scores winner for Hoffenheim
Domagoj Vida scored his first goal of the season for Dynamo Kyiv in a 4-1 win over newly promoted side Stal Kamianske, heading home from a corner in the 41st minute. Vida has played the full 90 minutes in 7 of Kyiv’s first 8 matches this season. After exiting Champions League qualification early this season, Kyiv will hope to qualify for the Europa League this Thursday in their 2nd leg playoff match against Portuguese side Maritimo.
Vida Goal: 3:24
Written by Ante Kvartuč and Zach Gilfix