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Kovač eyes Sertic for 2014 debut

December 27, 2013

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Earlier in the week, Croatian national team manager Niko Kovač said he would scout 24 year-old Bordeaux midfielder Gregory Sertic once he finalized his Croatian papers in 2014. Sertic has already been capped five times by the French U-21 side, but never by the senior team. His birth country of France seems to be his priority for international football, but with that said, do you want him on the Vatreni as a Croatian supporter?

 

 

Sertic has scored four goals in 73 appearances for Bordeaux in Ligue 1 and could bolster the Croatian midfield. Is Kovač merely putting pressure on the current squad to step up their game months away from the World Cup or would he really bring Sertic to wear the red and white checkers?

 

 

Sertic: Faux or Cro?

 

 

 

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Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 77 comments





  1. nepoznat nepoznat says:

    Hvala Ante! Do you have a link? I missed this

    I would welcome Sertic into the squad if he gets his paperwork and has enough skill. I think he at least has enough skill to try in training and a friendly or two to find out how he would do in international ball



  2. KING BRONK says:

    Bring him on board. Always a home for any Croatian players who want to play. We can’t say no to good talent because he initially wanted to play for France. He’s young and people make mistakes. He’s Croatian, he want to play for Croatia now, he has the talent, bring him on board.

    What do you guys know about him as a player?
    I know he’s a defensive MD for Bordeaux but nothing more than that.



  3. IvicA says:

    Surprised that Kovac would even mention this to the media.

    He usually keeps information like this close to his chest.



  4. Ziva Istina says:

    Any time you get a chance to bring in a non-croatian speaking frenchman whose first choice was to play for France, you have to do it.

    So much for Niko Kovac brining some diaspora integrity to the coaching position. Looks like we should be prepared to watch a bastardized version of the repka in Brazil.



  5. IvicA says:

    Well, Kovac didn’t say he was planning on bringing Sertic into the team.

    He just said that once Sertic receives his papers, then he will watch him play just like any other player with a Croatian passport.

    But he said that until this happens for Sertic, he’s not going to waste any time talking about him or even watching him play. He was also asked about Sammir, and he reiterated that he will monitor all players who have a Cro passport (Sammir included) but he also mentioned that if a player does does not feature regularly for his team, like Sammir right now, then he cannot play.

    This seems like your typical robotic German response.
    It makes logical sense to look at things this way, as it wouldn’t be effective to deny yourself additional talent options if it becomes available to you simply on the basis of ‘emotion’ and ‘identity’ (ie. Sertic seeing himself as French first and Croatian second).

    But many of us feel different since we care about what the word ‘reprezentacija’ literally means. Who knows, maybe Kovac doesn’t feel this way.



  6. Clive Palmer Kangaroo Joe says:

    He’s not ideal but I’m OK with Sertic.

    He’s ethnically Croat.

    He will acquire passion and the language when he starts playing.

    We need to scout all the players we can within appropriate moral parameters.

    Sammir is a mercenary. He just happens to be passing through Croatia and has fulfilled residency requirements.

    Sertic has an intrinsic bond to our soil.

    He passes my test.



  7. Soul Champ says:

    @ Kangaroo Joe

    Well said.

    I caught a highlight of Sertic unleashing a holitzer from 30 meters off the volley. You can you tube it.

    I like Kovac being straight forward with us.

    Can’t stand when a Hrvat in power attempts to be clever only hiding him being a simple smotan!

    Surely the kid when he does a bit of soul searching must realize that his destiny is with Croatia. France’s set up makes Croatia’s look like it is Germany!

    Love the message Kovac is sending to all the non-starters who need to rise to the challenge to secure a place in the squad and the first 11. Step up or step off!

    If Sertic can indeed play that DM role then he is bringing a much needed skill set to the squad.

    We will need as much quality and depth as possible in Brazil.



  8. nepoznat nepoznat says:

    Also on Hrvatski I believe I read that he has been taking lessons for months now so he is showing an effort already to learn the language and to me that is a good sign how serious he is about playing for us



  9. Ziva Istina says:

    Thanks to those of you defending Second-choice Sertic (or is it Sertich). I wonder if you guys really feel that way or just feel that way because this rent-a-hrvat can help the repka.

    Second-choice Sertic was asked a while ago (approx. 18 months ago) what repka he preferred to play for. He answered France without hesitation. Door should have been slammed on him at the point. Hrvatska should be nobody’s second choice. It certainly is not Ziva Istina’s second choice.



  10. U boj says:

    Agree, why even bother with this guy. If France asked him today guess where he would be going. (not Hrvatska)

    If they bring him in what is next. Bringing back Sammir because he know the language.

    Bringing in Sammir caused a rift among some of the players. Hopefully they think about this long and hard. Our midfield is just fine and stacked. Kovac needs to worry about our strikers and what will work for us in that regard.

    Just six months away for Brazil.



  11. za E-U spremni says:

    For Ziva, who apparently goes to church

    The Parable of the Lost Son

    11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

    13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

    17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.

    “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

    21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

    22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

    25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

    28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

    31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

    <<

    >>



  12. Colin O'Haravic says:

    I’d really really like to hear the player’s input on this. If they say they would like him to join the team, then so be it, but if they feel as if they are not playing with a true Croatian who is honored to be part of the repka, then forget him. Same goes with Sammir. If foreign players do in fact cause a rift among the team, the players should be able to sit down and discuss this with Kovac.



  13. Soul Champ says:

    @ Spremni

    Wow.

    Time for some soul searching !

    Appreciate the biblical reference as it may make a difference to some of sanctimonious veliki Hrvati .

    Croatian roots run deeper then a generation or two. Folks here make it sound like this kid is a cetnik.

    I am not consigning this self hate in the name of pure Hrvat.

    The kid gets a look and Kovac will discern if can add to our success.

    It is the World Cup not the best team in the Balkan basement!

    Dobro jutro Svima ovaj godina je 2014!



  14. Ante B. says:

    Even with that passage, many of you are still lost looking to be found. Let’s go ahead and flip it on its ear shall we?

    I’m not mad or angry he chose to play for France, far from it. I’m sure Joe Simunic loves Australia like I love America. But, if I go on the record saying I’m American and will only play for America and then choose Hrvatska out of convenience then I only look like the hypocrite at the end of the day.

    Most of you are lost, one day you’ll be found. One day.



  15. Karadžić je Heroj says:

    Guys, cut the kid some slack it is a pretty difficult decision. If I had to choose between a team of a bunch of negroids or catholised Serbs I’d have a problem myself.



  16. anonymous says:

    I thought the serb team did not make the world cup. ,,,,,,,, Just checked and correct. They failed to make it.



  17. Petar Radman-Livaja says:

    I would never want to be someones second choice. It is sad that with open arms the HNS will allow Croatia to be someones second choice.



  18. Chupe says:

    He did say he wanted to play for France and when he saw he doesnt stand a chance for France comes running to Croatia getting paper work done. Idk about this guy needs to clear things up with fans and nation i know Croatia only have so little players to choose from thats why he gets a pass.



  19. Chupe says:

    Question rumor has it Halilovic is going to BVB to Klopp just asking would you guys like him to be 23 man squad if he plays well in Spring?



  20. IvicA says:

    When it comes to where a player is born versus what his ethnicity is, I tend to prefer the ethnicity.
    You lose credibility when your team is comprised of players who are not at all ethnically tied to your country (ie. Switzerland).

    I’ve never had a problem with foreign born Croats like the Kovac brothers or Simunic playing for us. Heck, I even sometimes forget that Mateo Kovacic is foreign born as he was born in Austria when his parents took off from the war. If we count Croats from BiH as diaspora, then we can increase that count some more.

    However, Sertic is only 1/4 Croatian with his father’s father being the Croat. Not sure if that passes the ‘ethic Croat test’.

    Maybe if he was called “Grgo” instead of “Grégory” and he moved that ‘kvaka’ from the letter ‘e’ in his first name to the ‘c’ in his last name then he can qualify. I dunno.



  21. IvicA says:

    @Chupe

    If Halilovic can break into that Champions League caliber squad in Borussia Dortmund with that Nazi of a coach in Jurgen Klopp then absolutely he deserves a spot on the 23-man roster.

    I highly doubt he could play regularly on that team. Not saying he doesn’t have the talent to one day make it. Just not today. That is a top-10 European club right now with a very disciplined coach who’s only concern is winning and could care less for sacrificing game minutes to developing a teenager right now.



  22. Poglavnik says:

    @IvicA
    I don’t think it’s about his ethnicity or where was born.
    It’s about us being his second choice.



  23. anonymous says:

    Difference is that Kovac brothers, kovacic and simunic picked Croatia first. Croatia was not the second choice for them.



  24. IvicA says:

    @Poglavnik & anonymous

    Ok. Let’s just say that Croatia is Sammir’s first choice.
    I assume you guys are fine with him on the squad then?

    Is it really all about us being a first or second choice?



  25. Poglavnik says:

    ^ ^
    It’s a combination of both.
    He’s gotta have some Croatian blood, and a desire to play for us above his birth country.



  26. IvicA says:

    Then what’s your stance on Eduardo? :)

    No Croat blood, and would’ve probably pick Brazil over Croatia had the opportunity arose.



  27. Poglavnik says:

    I wasn’t crazy about it at the time.
    He did become a naturalized citizen.
    Also I’ve never heard who his preference was for.



  28. Ziva Istina says:

    Say no to French-speaking wannabe hrvati, say no to Brazilian-born wannabe hrvati. It’s that simple.



  29. IvicA says:

    I ask this question because there are a lot of contradictions in people’s views on these boards.

    Most people love Eduardo being on this team, but are not okay with Sammir and Sertic.

    IMO, Eduardo falls into the same category as Sammir & Sertic when it comes to desire for playing for Croatia (I think they would all choose their birth countries over us if given the opportunity).

    When it comes to ethnicity, Sertic actually has a leg up on both of them.

    I do believe that living in Croatia (or being raised in Croatia) for a period of time should count as well. So, that would favour Eduardo & Sammir over Sertic. However, this would exclude diaspora Croats like the Kovac brothers and Simunic.

    I’m just curious as to what people think the minimum qualifier to play for Croatia is. Since it seems to vary greatly every time the topic is discussion.

    Based on what I read here, I sometimes think the attitude of the player influences acceptance the most.
    People like Eduardo’s friendly smile and humble personality. They like that he never mentioned that he’d pick Brazil over us (even though he most definitely would). People don’t like Sertic saying that he’d choose France over us, and people don’t like Sammir’s crnac attitude and personality.



  30. IvicA says:

    @Ziva

    What about Aussie-speaking wannabe Hrvati?

    Joe Simunic didn’t speak Cro too well when he first played for us.

    Both Sertic and Simunic can claim Croatianhood based on their ethnic background. Neither are born and raised in Cro, and I’m sure Sertic (with his lessons) speaks it as well as Simunic did when he first played for us.

    The only real difference, again, is the attitude of the player. Simunic was probably a die-hard diaspora Croat nationalist prior to playing for Cro, versus Sertic who probably considered himself French his whole life.



  31. U boj says:

    Ziva and Ante B. called it correctly. We were second choice and Sertic made that clear to the media. Worse is that he had Croatian blood.



  32. Zagorac says:

    The Vatreni’s motivation comes from the passion they have for Hrvatska as well as the need to prove themselves, their skill, to the world and their clubs.
    Sertic has become one of the most solid players in the French league which is probably because he wants to prove he’s good enough for the world cup. And has been proving that.
    It be stupid to think Kovac wants him only so he can fill the defensive midfielder sized hole in the Vatreni.
    Sure we have Badelj, Radosevic, and Ademi. Badeljs skills are mostly fit for a position where he can launch attacks from deep while making some defensive tackles and interceptions. Unfortunatly we need more defence than that in the deep midfield. Ademi and Radosevic are both inexperienced and most likely wont be ready for the WC.
    So yes Sertic can fit into the team.

    Him originally wanting to play for France is probably true and its understandable considering he grew up there and didnt have much Croatian influences. But he has the blood, if he has the blood he has the pride. Its just unlikely it’ll be entirely present by the World Cup in 2014. If he plays though, he will find the pride quicker allowing him to play with actual heart in future competitions



  33. Ziva Istina says:

    @Iviaca………..diaspora hrvati (the non 91ers) are true hrvati and greater hrvati than someone like a french-speaking wannabe hrvat. As for Simunic and his language barrier when he initially committed to Cro. What can I say other than his parents failed him early on by not teaching him the language. But, in their defense they did a good enough job that he wanted to play for Cro. So, I guess we can’t say they are total failures, only partial.

    One thing that should never be questioned is the croatian-hood of the diaspora hrvati in Australia. They can teach much of the diaspora hrvati in N. America a thing or two about what it means to be a hrvat.



  34. blajo says:

    My stance is this what country produced you you should play for that country. Simunic screwed aussies they payed for his schooling and he chose cro.
    All the ustase on this site did we light a candle for Pavelic today.



  35. Brane says:

    Diaspora think of cro diffrently because you live in nice democratic countries you come to cro spend money eat drink fuck for 2 months in summer and leave.Fuck croatia its a shit whole try living and working here you will see what is this veliki hrvat crap. Croatia is run by jugos just like some diaspora parents whonpeft cro and are big ustase now. Man please.live in cro and you will see what im talking about a fake war hero is worse than udba to me a fake vitez who are yugo sons and fake branitwlji are ruining croatia so pleaee i know some serbs who love croatia nore than some hrvati.



  36. Ziva Istina says:

    @blajo….not only did we in the diaspora light a candle for poglavnik, we also paid for a handful of masses in hardcore Croatian communities throughout the diaspora.



  37. IvicA says:

    So from what I am reading here, it really only comes down to the attitude of the player toward playing for Cro.
    Where you are born and what your ethnicity is, doesn’t really matter after all.

    So to summarize, based on what I am reading here, you are allowed to be called up to the Cro National Team:

    - If you openly display strong signs of pride and love for Croatia whether you are or aren’t an ethnic Croat OR if you are born in Cro or not (ie. Sertic vs Simunic)
    - if you never verbally say that your country of birth is your first choice, even if it likely is (Eduardo vs Sertic)
    - If you are born in Cro, and although might not fully be an ethnic Croat, but dismiss playing for any other team the second the media questions you (ie. Halilovic vs Ademi)
    - If you are part of the Croatian diaspora from a highly reputable part of the world with more recent Croat immigrant arrivals (ie. Australian/German/Canadian Croats vs South American Croats)
    - Bonus points: If you are a likeable and modest character even though you were pushed onto the National Team by Mamic (ie. Eduardo vs Sammir)



  38. MelbCro says:

    @ Ivica

    “What about Aussie-speaking wannabe Hrvati?”

    wannabe Hrvati? Oh I get it, you are a douchebag. All makes sense now.



  39. IvicA says:

    Personally, I only partially agree with the definitions above.

    I think ethnicity is huge. I was never a fan of Eduardo playing for us, and am not a fan of Sammir playing for us. I think we lose credibility, and I would prefer not to have either of them on our squad.

    However, if you are born and raised in Cro but might not be an ethnic Croat, you shouldn’t be denied playing for Cro (ie. Ademi, Halilovic, Maloku). You’re probably still more Croat than many of the diaspora Croats think they are.

    Outsiders who move to Cro and gain citizenship by playing soccer professionally in the HNL should NEVER be allowed to represent the National Team. I’ve always found this to be cheap, and hated seeing National Teams poach talent like this from other countries instead of looking at their own (like Poland kept doing with guys like Olisadebe and Guerrero and such).

    Attitude is important, but some guys are introverts or are not as outwardly nationalistic as others. Doesn’t make them less Croat. It sure doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be called up.

    However, my opinion on Sertic is that it is better we go without him. Ethnically, he’s barely Croatian and he’s probably never spent that much time in Cro at all.

    BUT… I would still prefer a Sertic over a Sammir or Eduardo. None are born or raised in Cro, and all would rather play for their birth countries. It may sound harsh toward Eduardo after all he’s been through with us, but I have no doubt he would have dropped us like a hot potato if Brazil had ever come calling back in 2006.

    This is why I have mad respect for England and the way they will never lose credibility with their squad in my eyes. They have rules set out in their ‘Home Nations Agreement’ that prevent things like this from happening. I remember England being starved for some more midfield flair, and Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta being open to play for England after gaining British citizenship. But he was denied despite being a possible major boost to their National Team. Same goes for that Albanian kid Adnan Januzaj today. But they still keep the door open to any diaspora English (ie. Hargreaves) if they ever want to represent.



  40. IvicA says:

    LOL @ MelbCro

    I was just paraphrasing Ziva’s comment and substituted French with Aussie to discuss a point.

    I consider Aussie Croats to be as die-hard as any.

    It’s a shame the comment went completely over your 15-year old head.



  41. MelbCro says:

    ivica, that’s what I call a great back peddle. Makes a shit comment, then blames ziva for it. And then you top it off with that classic internet come-back of claiming someone is still in their teens. Buddy, you truly are one of the intellectual elite. keep it up douchebag.



  42. Karadžić je Heroj says:

    Ok time to lay down some truth. The kid is 1/4th catholised Serb, so he isnt really a catholised serb (i.e. croat). I don’t think you guys understand how non Croats look at “lijepa nasa” People think that you are a bunch of barbarians with a couple with a folkish backround and a couple nice beaches (beaches suck compared to Crnagora’s) so obviously the kid wants to play for France, and hey France’s team is entirely comprised of immigrants so bing boom you have friends



  43. MelbCro says:

    “People think that you are a bunch of barbarians with a couple with a folkish backround and a couple nice beaches”

    Who are these people, the same ones the ordered the NATO bombing of Belgrade?



  44. Soul Champ says:

    @ MelbCro

    Appreciate the intelligence you are bringing on behalf of the community !

    @ ovce

    You wonder why we have attracted our resident cetnik on our threads?

    We spew our old veliki Hrvati sranje and we smell like dubre!

    Some of you sound like Mali po sranci. Like you have been dumped by your HS girl friend.

    If the kid has papers he gets a look. If he can add value Kovac will make the move or not.

    You blink and we can be Hungry talking about Suker like he was puskas.

    Who on God’s green earth do you think you all are to deny return to the homeland of a fellow Hrvat.

    I have seen so many bums over the years suit up for the Repka. If this kid is the real deal and can support the cause then dobro dosio u Hrvatska !

    Za duh.



  45. Mitch says:

    Ziva said:

    “Hrvatska should be nobody’s second choice. It certainly is not Ziva Istina’s second choice.”

    Do you not see the irony or hypocrisy in that statement given that you choose (yes, you choose) to live in the USA? Just like I choose to continue lively in Australia.

    Sell up and move to your parent’s selo and then tell us that Croatia is your first choice.

    As for Sertic, if he is good enough, has an ethnic connection, and wants to play for Croatia, then he should.



  46. Aussie says:

    Joe is no wanna be Hrvat. If we want this bs comparison he is more Hrvat compared to Ivica or Ziva. He speaks Croatian, lives in Croatia, pays taxes in Croatia and has a Croatian wife.



  47. Ziva Istina says:

    Paying taxes and living in cro does not make one more of a hrvat. I can make more money living outside of cro than I could inside of cro, so I chose to live outside of cro. Paying taxes in cro argument is invalid. I probably pay more in sales tax for the time I am in cro in the summer than I would pay in taxes if I lives in cro year round. He’ll, by that logic the commie infested government are true hrvati because they live and pay taxes in cro.

    Let there be no debate…..the diaspora hrvati (the non-91era) are the real deal. So what if half of us butcher the language.



  48. Ziva Istina says:

    I’ve said it once and I have to say it again……..the best part of summers in Cro are sitting at the cafe and listening/watching the diaspora hrvati try to order drinks and food. Some of the diaspora may butcher the language, but damn it, they love their country.



  49. za E-U spremni says:

    @ ziva . you insult the catholic church buying masses for pavelic , the head of an organization that engaged in mass murder.



  50. Faux Cro says:

    Ante K: Faux or Cro? Very clever. LOL

    @Soul Champ: Nice links

    @ za EU spremni: LOL a prodigal son reference.



  51. dannyj says:

    i have to agree karadzic je heroj comes up with some good funny lines… leading me think even more he is a croat to have some humor… serbs are like an extremely watered down version of a cro… 3rd best at everything..
    first it goes normal cro’s, then maybe a cro who was dropped on his head as a baby, then albanians then serbs lololol

    at least sertic has cro name… i am torn… if he is good to help us great but doesn’t sound like his heart will really be in it at the start, but i bet when he hears the anthem sang by cro fans and not some africans singing frances anthem then he may see the light

    dunno, glad im not in kovac position… there is one thing we know, kovac knows the DM position like diaspora croats know how to swear in croatian and not much else, we should trust in him

    hey, maybe in 10 years, its sertic grabbing the mic, yelling out srbe na vrbe in zagreb!



  52. Mitch says:

    @ Ziva

    I get why you live and work in the USA, but that makes HRV your second choice. When you put your efforts into making HRV a better place by your presence and not just by paying taxes, then it becomes your first choice.

    I love my ethnic roots but there is no way on earth I would go back to live there on a full time basis. That experiment has been conducted by many diaspora Croats and ended in tears almost every time. It’s a pity because those in the diaspora could teach the real Croats a thing or two about hard work.

    All that said, I would have loved to have pulled on the chequers and given my all for Croatia.



  53. Croatia vs. Antwerp says:

    Well Sertic has to do a couple of things to “Croatianize.”

    Change his name to Grgur Sertić. Move to Croatia. Get a couple of blood transfusions over there. And he’ll have croatian blood running through his veins in no time.

    :)



  54. Kroatien ZG says:

    I say let him play he has Croatian heritage more so than Eduardo Alves Da Silva and Sammir. We all know Eduardo and Sammir would have chosen to play for Brazil if they called them up in the squad. So Croatia was their second choice at least Gregory Sertic was being honest. What about if Eduardo and Sammir came out in the media and said Brazil was my first choice think about it.





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