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Croatians Around Europe *XXIII*

March 10, 2017





Andrej Kramarić scores stunner for Hoffenheim

Andrej Kramarić scored a stunning goal to give Hoffenheim a 1-1 draw wiith Freiburg on Saturday. Kramarić picked up the ball on the edge of the area in the 60th minute, shifted it onto his right foot, and curled it beautifully into the far corner from about 20 yards out. In addition to the goal, Kramarić had 4 other shots and created three chances before being subbed off in the 75th minute, despite being arguably the best player on the pitch. Hoffenheim are 4th in the Bundesliga after 24 matches, 1 point behind Borussia Dortmund and two ahead of Hertha Berlin.

Goal: 0:25






Ante Rebić played the full match for Eintracht Frankfurt and was one of their few bright spots in a 3-0 defeat to German giants Bayern Munich. Rebić had a hand in 8 of Frankfurt’s 10 shots, firing away 3, one of which hit the post, and creating 5 more. Despite the impressive performance, it was Frankfurt’s fifth consecutive defeat, and leaves them clinging onto the final Europa League spot, 1 point ahead of both Koln and Freiburg.




Tin Jedvaj was an unused sub in Bayer Leverkusen’s 1-1 draw with Werder Bremen on Friday. Leverkusen are 10th in the Bundesliga with 31 points in 24 matches.





Alen Halilović in action vs. Espanyol



Alen Halilović was named ‘Man of the Match’ Friday night as Las Palmas were defeated 4-3 by Espanyol. Halilović played 88 minutes and was subbed off minutes after his chip pass assist to Mateo Garcia in the 84th minute. Halilović was crisp with the ball and was given respect from the Espanyol defense. With the loss, Las Palmas remain at mid-table with 32 points.



Halilović highlights vs. Espanyol




Rakitić (left) in dismay after Deportivo go ahead



After a miraculous Champions League comeback against PSG on Wednesday, Barcelona were brought back down to Earth on Sunday, losing 2-1 to Deportivo la Coruna. Ivan Rakitić came off the bench in the 58th minute but it looks as if Barca could have used the full services of their Croatian midfielder on the day. The loss now puts Barcelona two points behind leaders Real Madrid, who have a game in hand on them. Nonetheless, it was an unforgettable week the way Barca qualified for the CL quarterfinals, overcoming a 4-0 first leg loss.



Luka Modrić played the full match for Real Madrid on Sunday in a 2-1 victory over Real Betis. Madrid needed an 81st minute Sergio Ramos goal to put them back in first place in La Liga. Mateo Kovačić remained on the bench. Šime Vrsaljko came off the bench in the 86th minute for added defense as Atletico Madrid skimmed by Granada 1-0.



Čop goal at 5:45



Duje Čop got the start for Sporting Gijon and scored the lone goal for his club, cleaning up a rebound in front of the net with a simple put back. The goal wouldn’t be enough though as Valencia would score in the second half to force a 1-1 draw. Sporting are now seven points deep in the relegation zone and look to be headed out of La Liga next season.







Danijel Subašić was in net for AS Monaco as they kept their hot streak alive with a 2-1 win over Bordeaux on Saturday. Subašić made one easy save and his blunder was at fault for Bordeaux’s goal, after he received a back-pass and kicked it at an onrushing attacker. Monaco are up to 68 points in 29 matches and remain three points ahead of PSG atop the Ligue 1 table.



Goal: 2:30







Domagoj Vida played the full match at the back for Dynamo Kyiv as they lost their penultimate “round 1″ game of the season 2-0 at Zirka. After their match next week, they’ll begin a 10 match “round 2″ schedule, where they play the other top 6 sides home and away to determine the Ukrainian Champion and European places.




Marko Pjaca played well in a rare start against AC Milan on Friday

Marko Pjaca played well in a rare start against AC Milan on Friday

PHOTO: Juventus
Juventus got 3 contested points following a dubious penalty in the 95 minute as they hosted Milan on Friday night on the verge of the second leg of Champions League last 16 round. As Mario Mandžukić was forced to desert the big match following a last minute abdominal colic, Marko Pjaca got the start.
The former Dinamo star was involved a lot in the game as the bianconeri kept possesion for most of the night. His dribbling skills and velocity were often a problem for the opposite defence though his finishing was substandard for the whole night having missed at least 3 good opportunities.
With only 4 minutes in the match Pjaca was stopped by a prodigious Donnarumma. Four minutes later the Croatian international concluded not far from the post. He squandered the best chance of the night which came in 14th minute of the second half when from a good spot his angle was too open and his shot ended wide, at such missing an easy goal. With Juventus looking to find the net for a deserved victory he was subbed in the 89 minute.
Mario Pašalić was a starter for the rossoneri. The only positive thing of his night happened when he served Deulofeu for the play that was worth the 1-1 at the end of the first half. The former Monaco midfielder was almost a ghost for the remainder of the evening and picked a yellow card that forced the manager to replace him with 20 minutes to go.
La Gazzetta dello Sport Ratings:
Marko Pjaca WOTM 5 “Should have been sidelined but has a last minute chance. Starts well, but then he first receives some scolding by Higuain for his lack of pressing then misses 3 chances. He has skills, big skills, but easily forgets his duties.”
Mario Pašalić 6 “Only saved by his pivotal involvement for the equalizer. Too many mistakes for someone with his feet.”


Ivan Perišić in action against Atalanta on Sunday

Ivan Perišić in action against Atalanta on Sunday

PHOTO: inter
Inter are now fourth in the league having destroyed their rival for an European seat Atalanta 7-1 on Sunday. Ivan Perišić was a starter for Pioli and left in the 82nd minute with the final result already set.
Being up 3-0 in the 26th minute, it was rather a chilling afternoon for the former Wolsfburg star. Perišić served an assist to Icardi and managed well his energies for the rest of the match. Nothing to write home about but overall a sufficient performance in what was became a friendly match quite soon. Marcelo Brozović returned to the squad but remained sidelined for the whole afternoon.
La Gazzetta dello Sport Ratings:
Ivan Perišić 6,5
“Catches the eye less than his forward teammates. More tactic work than technical. Had he put on his usual show it would have probably ended 10-1.”


Ivan Strinić(far right) walks back after celebrating Napoli goal on Sunday

Ivan Strinić(far right) walks back after celebrating Napoli goal on Sunday

Photo: ilnapolista.it


Napoli have easily the best out of Crotone on Sunday with a neat 3-0. Ivan Strinić replaced Ghoulam on the left side of the defense and went the distance. As Crotone did not really pose any threat for the whole match the former Hajduk left back made a good impression going forward. His crosses being rather imprecise, but his offensive support never was missed. Hit the external part of the net too.
Marko Rog played from the first minute but struggled to stay in the game. Not a good performance for the former Dinamo Star as he gave away too many possessions. His aggressivity and will to win the ball back resulted in too many fouls that cost him a yellow card and almost a red. At that point he was wisely subbed off in the 55th minute.
La Gazzetta dello Sport Ratings:
Ivan Strinić 6
“Runs a lot for the whole time.”
Marko Rog 6
“Less shiny than recent performances. Gets away from a deserved red card.”

Nikola Kalinić is mobbed by teammates after scoring game winner for Fiorentina on Sunday

Nikola Kalinić is mobbed by teammates after scoring game winner for Fiorentina on Sunday

Photo: ilnapolista.it


Fiorentina struggled to beat Cagliari 1-0 after an ugly match. Full 90 minutes were needed for la viola to have the best out of one of the worst defenses in the league. Milan Badelj started from the bench to come on in with 11 minutes to go without leaving any mark. Nikola Kalinić was a starter and went the distance. The former Dnipro star had 2 to 3 chances in the first half which he squandered. Then completely disappeared in the second half to come afloat in the last minute to bang the decisive one in and gift the team with 3 points and turning a bad performance into a triumph. Hrvoje Milić looked on from the bench.


Nikola Kalinić goal


La Gazzetta dello Sport Ratings:
Milan Badelj No vote “Tries to playmake.”
Nikola Kalinić 6,5
“A true striker. After being at the service of the team for the whole match he saves the team from the fans protests.”


Following a disastrous performance and a season full of highs and lows even in the same match, Josip Posavec who thought he had no competition was benched for the first time as Palermo hosted Roma on Sunday night. Loosing the duel with a young and uknown Fulignati should hopefully sitmulate a reaction.
Udinese got 3 points away at Pescara following to a 3-1 neat win. Stipe Perica and Andrija Balić remained sidelined for the whole afternoon.
Bruno Petković’s Bologna surprisingly won in Sassuolo 1-0. The former Trapani Star was left on the bench.Sampdoria won the Derby Della Lanterna on Saturday night 1-0. As usual Ante Budimir warmed the bench. The former Crotone Star has only played 7 minutes in the new year.



Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 45 comments

  1. Zee says:

    Kramaric with a goal. Good job. Glad that earlier post about hajduk taken away. That was sheer lunacy. Person needs some real help. Don’t need that kind of idiocy

  2. NK Susak says:

    After what went on at Poljud today, i wish our game against Ukraine was behind closed doors again. Its sad that our own fans are more of a threat to our qualifying chances than Turkey, Iceland, or Ukraine are.

  3. Poglavnik says:

    Decent hi-lights from Haliliovic.
    Still plays very selfishly.
    He needs to quit trying to do so much by himself and move the ball a lot quicker. The skill set is definitely there though.

  4. Zee says:

    Ya man. Poglavnik. He going to be good. We see. Rog i really like. Anyone know know about that south african kid who pledged allegiance to us? Nikola tavares?

  5. Green says:

    The Boers gave away the country they built so their soccer team could play internationally. Stupidity has always been a capital offense.

  6. Fc says:

    @nk Susan
    What do you expect? These fans in split are animals. No respect. Embarrassing to say the least.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Anyone been keeping an eye on Ivan santini in the French ligue he’s got 12 goals, any chance for him to be called up???

  8. Dannyj says:

    First time in a while where we have multiple scoring threats who are actually scoring the depth is sure growing

  9. Slavonac from Canada says:

    I can’t remember which one of our members was a Russell Teibert fan but I gotta chime in on him. I watched approximately 45 minutes of the game the other night…he’s still terrible and doesn’t belong in professional soccer. He might be decent enough for Vancouver Premier League but he’d be an average player at best! good lungs doesn’t equal good and effective player…the guy is terrible!

  10. Slavonac from Canada says:

    “multiple scoring threats”…maybe!

    not easy to tell until we start playing international matches.

  11. Mario says:

    Zee re: Tavares…Young kid with Portuguese dad…I grew up with his mom in SA. He just signed a pro contract with crystal palace according to his mom’s Facebook posting…

  12. Andrej L says:

    Pescara v Udinese; Muric (21) gets 0 mins…Balic (19) gets 0 mins…Shame… their future is looking closer to Mocinic, Radosevic, and Andrijasevic. Hopefully, one of them eventually turns it around.

  13. Lazio says:

    I’m hoping Santini makes this next squad, at the very least he should play the friendly against Estonia, he’s in form and it’s good for Mandzukic to see we have another big forward waiting for his chance!

    I think Cacic should drop Cop and bring in Santini.

  14. Bilo says:

    Fuck santini he plays for average club in the least of the top 5 league! Čop atleast shows technique in Spain( amuch tougher league than french) by scoring from set pieces which can meet be a useful tool for us considering our best set piece taker is retired.
    He is a valuable asset of the bench, as is Santini,
    Iam just suggesting we don’t start jocksniffing ;)

    Also think Kramarić has proven the doubters wrong, he could have a big year and prove everything he is really worth, pjaca less so coming off an injury but still talented to the bone. Pun intended loll. We take care of ukraine and handle the vikings
    At their place then plan for russia. I might go, idk about you sissies!!

  15. NK Susak says:

    The Ukraine game is in 10 days, has anyone seen the list of call ups from Cacic yet? Usually it comes out 2 weeks before. we know 95% of the players that are gonna be called, theres always one or two that are interesting, like whether or not he and Lovren have kissed and made up.

  16. jm says:

    on a side note, i’ve read that kramaric continues to deal with a debilitating heel injury on both of his feet…which at times has explained recently why he has not started or comes off early despite doing something positive seemingly every time he plays

  17. Anonymous says:

    I would play,

    Jedvaj Corluka Lovren
    Vrsaljko Kovacic Rakitic Pjaca

  18. Lazio says:

    Eintracht have lost five in a row, but they were pretty good against Bayern.
    With Fabian back they should get a win this weekend against Hamburg.

    Idemo are you trying to suggest that this form slump is somehow Niko’s fault?

    I’m a Hoffenheim fan now, but still keep an eye on how Eintracht are doing, and I wont celebrate if my team Hoffenheim score a goal against Eintracht when they next meet.

  19. Croatianperson85 says:

    4 – 5 – 1 OR if Lovren could play to his potential and we had a left back 3 – 5 – 2


    Vrsaljko Lovren (Jedvaj) Corluka Vida

    Modric Badelj (Pasalic/Rog)

    Pjaca Rakitic (Kovacic) Perisic

    Mandza (Kalinic)

  20. Razbijač says:

    Ok, the dust has settled in the Round of 16 of Champions League Play…..and FIVE of the eight teams in the Quarterfinals has at least one Hrvat on the side (Real, Barca, Atletico, Juve, Monaco)…..

    ….Which means we gotta pretty good chance of seeing a Hrvat win the Champions League for a 5th year in a row!

    I tell ya, every time I see a Hrvat lift that Cup, with the Croatian flag wrapped around his waist…it brings a tear to my eye.

  21. Slavonac from Canada says:

    when Lovren is good, he’s very good…but I think he has mental lapses and periods of inconsistency. at this point right now, I do not feel he’s a solution but he could be down the road.

  22. CroatianPerson85 says:


    I agree. I guess it’s wishful thinking on my part that he becomes that solution sooner rather than later because I can’t think of any established centre backs right now. Jedvaj is young and I don’t know how Simunovic is developing at Celtic. I can’t see Corluka aging like Modric considering he already moves like a 50 year old and I don’t think Vida is a leading centre back but a decent supporting centre back.

  23. BZ says:

    @Jm solid lineup.

    I would go
    Kovacic Modric

    Given Kramaric’s apparent injury he comes off the bench

    Otherwise I might start him in place of Pjaca, who has been having trouble finishing since the Euros last year. Stage fright.

  24. Horvat says:

    I would like to try Rog instead of Rakitic.

    Rakitic appears lazy when playing for us.

    Rog is a true warrior.

  25. Slavonac from Canada says:


    Corluka has been the topic of our discussions for at least the last 3 years and yet, he’s probably been one of our most reliable players. I agree he’s slow, but he is effective…knows how much distance to keep between himself and his opponents, he’s a good distributor, he’s smart positionally.

    Lovren has tools but he’s mentally weak. he can be your best player and then make a real bone head play that will cost us…this is why I’m not overly confident in him.

    Jedvaj is strong, tough, sturdy…he’s fearless and plays a safe style for the most part. this is why I’d rather take him, even if he doesn’t have Lovren’s tools.

  26. Croatianperson says:


    I agree completely. Lovren has mental collapses which can cost us dearly. I hope Jedvaj can be our starting centre back shortly although he is young. Corluka as you mentioned has excellent timing and plays to his strengths. I just don’t know how much longer he can contribute although we’ve been (at least I know I have) thinking he wouldn’t have done as well as he has given where he plays.

  27. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Corluka should stay until we see he can’t do it anymore…or until someone younger and better can step in. I think a National Team isn’t the place for experiments…or an area where we try things, thats what a club team is for. one bad result can hurt us in qualifying, I’d hate for that to happen to us.

  28. Lazio says:

    @Slavonac from Canada
    You acknowledge that there’s a problem in our back 4, and that Lovren isn’t the solution to this problem, and I don’t believe anyone’s suggesting that Lovren should be our LB, so, problem with Vida?

    My preffered CB pairing would be Lovren and Jedvaj.

    NT team friendly matches is were you can experiment in my opinion.

  29. Croatianperson85 says:

    I think Vida is a decent centre back and even left back as he’s played before but not a top top level. I hope I am wrong.

    I don’t know who else can or would be decent at LB . Pivaric? hasn’t impressed but he’s been injured the last while and hasn’t had chances to show if he’s good enough (unless you consider the games vs Chile and China which I believe he played and not well). Leovac? 28, vice captian of PAOK, 2nd in Greece but still, it’s Greece and he’s 28.

    I don’t know if we have any kids coming up at LB or CB. All I can think of is Jedvaj and Simunovic from Celtic.

    There’s also that 18 yr old Nikola Tavares who was signed by Crystal Palace and plays CB but starting 11 defenders are usually not very young especially at CB. Seldomly does it occur.

  30. Lazio says:

    CB Mitrovic played the full game for Besiktas in their second leg 4-1 win against Olympiacos the other day. Besiktas was also down to 10 men from the 39th min in that game.

  31. Zee says:

    Mitrovic is solid. I would start him. He fine boy from my parts. Vida is good too. Corluka leaves me woth no fingernails but somehow gets job done.

  32. Slavonac from Canada says:


    I’m not so sure I’d say we have a problem with our back 4, I’d be more inclined to say we have a problem with our left back. With that said, I think many of us believe that because Vida doesn’t play at a big club and in a bigger league, we are all a bit concerned about his quality…so we keep wondering if he is a good solution.

    As far as I’ve seen, Corluka is still solid and maybe the pairing between him and Vida make us all nervous?!?! If Lovren was more consistent then I’d like to see him fill in for Vida because he has the tools to play there…he just needs consistency.

    On another note, so far we’ve been good with goals against during this qualifying cycle. Form means a lot, so does playing time, especially for a defender.

    If we solve our left back issue then centre back shouldn’t be as much of an issue. Jedvaj and Lovren can both do well with Corluka…and maybe some day them two without Corluka?!

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