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Croatians Around Europe *XXVII*

April 14, 2017




Kovačić (2nd from left) celebrates goal with Real Madrid teammates



Luka Modrić was given the day off after playing against Bayern Munich midweek in Champions League with countryman Mateo Kovačić replacing him in a less competitive Real Madrid starting XI without Bale or Ronaldo. Kovačić played 89 minutes but did not impress offensively as his defensive duties overshadowed his play up the field. Spanish press gave him a 6.5 rating as “James and Isco did well in offense but did not have much to offer in defense. The whole burden fell on young Kovačić’s shoulder, who did just okay to hold the midfield together.” Real Madrid needed an injury time winner from Isco to scrape by Sporting Gijon 3-2. They remain three points and a game in hand on Barcelona.



Sporting Gijon’s Duje Čop scored the opening goal of the match against Real Madrid in the 14th minute when he came in sprinting toward goal to one-time a lobbed ball over the Madrid defense to beat goalie Francisco Casilla. However, Madrid was too much and Isco would steal the show on the day to deny Gijon any points.


Čop goal



Ivan Rakitić played the full 90 minutes for Barcelona on Saturday in a 3-2 win over Real Sociedad. Lionel Messi would score twice inside 40 minutes but Sociedad would not go away. Late in the game, Rakitić fired away multiple shots looking for an insurance goal but tagged one right at the keeper and the other wide of post. Barcelona are still keeping things tight in La Liga with the win. Alen Halilović came on in the 71st minute for Las Palmas as Marko Livaja played the full match up top in a 5-1 loss to Athletic Bilbao. Halilović has under performed since coming back to La Liga from Hamburg in the winter window.








Andrej Kramarić played the full match for Hoffenheim in a wild 5-3 win over Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday. Kramarić assisted on Hoffenheim’s final goal and had three shots, one of which hit the woodwork in yet another productive afternoon for the 25 year-old. Hoffenheim remain third in the Bundesliga, one point ahead of Borussia Dortmund with five matches left to play.



Jedvaj Red



Tin Jedvaj picked up two yellow cards and was sent off as his Bayer Leverkusen side held on for a 0-0 draw against leaders Bayern Munich. Jedvaj had a solid match before he was shown his second yellow in the 59th minute, when he held back Thomas Muller and prevented him from getting on the end of a throughball. Leverkusen defended admirably down a man for the final half hour, and had some luck on their side as Bayern failed to convert several huge chances. This was Jedvaj’s second time in his career being sent off and he will be suspended for their next match. Leverkusen are 12th in the Bundesliga with five matches left to play.






Ante Rebić made an appearance off the bench for Eintracht Frankfurt in their 3-1 loss at Borussia Dortmund on Saturday. In an attacking move with his side down 2-1, Rebić came in for center-back Andersson Ordonez in the 56th minute. Rebić wasn’t able to make much of an impact, registering one shot off target and completing 12 passes. The loss leaves Frankfurt 10th in the Bundesliga, three points out of a Europa League spot with five matches to play.









Danijel Subašić started in net for AS Monaco as they stuck to their winning ways with a 2-1 win at home to 19th placed Dijon on Sunday. Subašić made four saves and will have liked to have done better on Dijon’s goal, where he initially made a good stop on a header, but then let the ball get away from him where Cedric Varrault snatched it to give his side the lead. Monaco has now won six straight in Ligue 1, as have PSG, leaving for an exciting stretch run for the title. With six matches to go, Monaco remain three points above the Parisians, and will have a very tricky tie at fourth place Lyon next Sunday.








Domagoj Vida played the full match for Dynamo Kyiv as they won 1-0 at third place Zorya on Sunday. The win all but secures 2nd place in the Ukrainian Premier League for Dynamo, who are 14 points clear of Zorya, and 11 behind Shakhtar.






Zagreb, 03.07.2012 - Nogomet: Slaven Bilic odrzao popodnevni trening sa igracima FK Lokomotiv Moskva



Vedran Ćorluka returned from his hamstring injury for Lokomotiv Moscow in their 3-0 win on Sunday at relegation candidates Arsenal Tula. Ćorluka played the full match at the back with no issues, which is good news for Croatian fans. They are now four points out of the last Europa League position in 5th place.







Dejan Lovren played the full 90 minutes Sunday in a 1-0 clean sheet victory at West Brom. With the win, Liverpool remain in third place, which is an automatic Champions League berth for next season, although both Manchester clubs are right on their tail with games in hand. Lovren was given a poor rating of “6” as he was “very sloppy with his passing in the first half, and couldn’t dominate his area in the way his centre back partner did. That said it wasn’t a bad display from the Croatian, but Liverpool will be hoping for better in the future.” Liverpool only have five matches remaining in the season. Will Lovren and the Reds finish strong?




Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 43 comments

  1. ZDS Lifestyle says:

    Kovačič playing horribly……running around never touching the ball. He doesn’t belong on Real.

    Isco is man of the match, commanding the game.

  2. ZDS Lifestyle says:

    Isco scores! What a game.

    What’s the deal with Mateo?…….can’t even shine on the B team.

  3. Idemo says:

    Prepare your self the Mateo played good and you’re a self hating hrvat if you don’t think so comments are upon us

  4. LAknat says:

    as we know since Estonia game some prospect players that we assume they are our future and will play better along the way, surprisingly out of perform then what we get now, huh?
    would we think for a contest between some players for NT or get stuck like that? consider the existence of Pasalic, Halilovic. I think stupid Cacic may retain with the current squad. what a dummy@.@

  5. Lazio says:

    “I think stupid Cacic may retain with the current squad. what a dummy@.”

    I hold the same fears.

  6. Brkic says:

    Mateo played well. He was given more defensive responsibilities, so we didn’t see as many attacking opportunities, but he was solid. Isco was from another planet today, but you can’t judge on one performance.

    Cop also has a nice goal for Gijon to put them up 1-0

  7. Brkic says:

    Here’s a good summary:

    Quietly efficient, Kovacic was second only to Danilo in tackles made and topped the pass completion rate for the team alongside Isco. The Croatian midfielder probed the Sporting defence with several driving runs and provided decent cover for the back four when needed.

  8. Soul Champ says:

    Sretan Uskrs Svima.

    May Krist fill your heart.

    Isco was a revelation!

    There is no such animal as Ream Madrid “B” team when you play for the #1 club in the world, competing for La Liga and Champions League.

    @ Brkic

    Stop sharing so much sound sense, you will scare the children.

    Of course Mateo played his role. He was solid as a CDM.

    Isco on one side and James on the other ?

    At 22 years of age, Mateo Kovacic has more experience in the top flight than any other Nogomentas.

    His biggest problem at Inter was his lack of tactical awareness.

    Ultimately Real Madrid may not be the best place for him but he has grown as a young man and a footballer.

    His next stiop should be to play a role as a central attacking mid. His speed attack dribble gives him the ability to flourish in the attacking third.

    Seems to like the creative genius of a Luka Modric to flourish as a central mid.

    CDM seems to be his least favorite. He has improved but seems to lack the extra bite you need to be a destroyer.

  9. Dannyj says:

    So where does kovacic go?
    Has there even been rumors of him leaving?
    Mosaic ya it alls over the net but haven’t heard bout kovacic
    Last year they were every where
    Remember when Ronaldo was trashing him

    Real gonna make some money on kovacic and surely he picked up and grew a lot there

  10. Lazio says:

    At half-time in the Dormund vs Eintracht Frankfurt game I switched over to the Gijon vs Real Madrid game (saw Cop’s nice goal and Isco’s classy goal in the first half), and when the Dortmund game finished I watched the last 35mins of the Gijon game, and I gotta say from what I saw, Kovacic didn’t do anything to get excited about.
    Isco on the other hand was magnificent, besides scoring 2 goals he also had one George Best type run into the box that unfortunately didn’t end in a goal, great game from Isco!
    It’s obvious to me that Idemo wants more from Kovacic, but Brkic and Soul Champ are satisfied that Kovacic played his role, which for me isn’t a role I’d like to see him play for the NT.

    Marco Fabian scored a great goal for E. Frankfurt also!

  11. ZDS Lifestyle says:

    He is not a defensive midfielder. Without Modrič he should have commanded the ball. He hasn’t been the same player since he was bitch slapped by Lakaku in the Belgian qualifier.

  12. Soul Champ says:

    @ Group Think Hrvati

    @ GTH

    Idemo are you the spelling UDBA? Am i going to Goli Otok?

    Perfectionism is life Hating …

    So we see Kovacic performance differently and you are convinced that I do not watch the games?

    Lukakau muscles WVERYONE off the ball and a teenage Kovacic is ruined for life ?

    Group think all you want.

    Kovačić is a natural attacking midfielder who is competing day in and day out at Valdebas with the best players from each footballing power countries.

    Isco – Spain
    James – Columbia
    Modrić – Croatia

    Etc …

    Please tell me your Soul stunted self will own up to your bull shit posts when Kovačić makes a slalom run to win a big game for us down to 10 men … Oh wait …

    He did that already v Iceland !

    No matter what I will support you on your path out of the group think tank you are stuck in.

    Come out of the fish bowl and jump into the greater Adriatic Sea.

    Or you can call it Jadran for those who enjoy being Veliki Hrvati .
    ZDS is for people who love Croatia.

    Everyone needs to jump into the Adriatic Sea and then you will be able to SEE Croatian people as they truly are.

    Uvijek Vjerni

  13. LAknat says:

    Even The God of Halilovic nowdays outrun his abilities.
    Some playerz get cursed by Estonian’s game and especialy with this kovakid. he needs exorcism and let’s settle him for the outcast. But ddon’t worry he will comeback qs good as new. He just need lost for a while, and become better later. I will recommend R Muric Halilovic to fill his post!!

  14. Soul Champ says:

    @ Faux

    Indeed he did !

    He is not tough like Niko Kovac and he is not creative like Luka Modric.

    He is explosive attacking midfielder.

    At 22 he is doing great at REAL MADRID!

    Not sure what the expectations are for him when he is playing in middle flanked by Isco and James.

    The genius of Spain and the captain of Columbia (selfish).

    I’ll say this, the Real Madrid politics aside.

    Mateo does need create his identity as an attacking goal creating beast.

    He should become a true #10 for club and Croatia.

    If he has to move on from Real then so be it.

  15. Idemo says:


    he should never play holding, he sure did make some runs against Gijon, and coughed it up at the end of every run, i was looking for him to have the Isco performance this game and he should have, look who was on the pitch with him.

    @ soul the expectation is for him to shine thats what. If you’re gonna use one croatian word in a sentence at least get it right.


    i copied and pasted your comment into google, word for word from espnFC……awkward

  16. BZ says:

    @Idemo- Brkic pointed us to a good summary, and clearly indicated it was not his own in his original post. Not awkward at all.

  17. Idemo says:

    I didn’t see it that way, his previous comment makes it seem as if he watched it, bit contradicting to give us Alexi Lalas opinion

  18. Soul Champ says:

    @ Idemo

    I am calling BS on your whole thread with Kovacic.

    Zidane gives him the Casemiro role and he plays it solid. Yes he wasn’t Andre Herrera for Man U against Chelsea.

    But Isco was in the zone and James dominates the ball has well.

    The kid is 22 year old NOGOMETAŠ at Real Madrid.

    There are fighting for La Liga and yet another CL.

    Calling out Brkic for offering cited summary of solid play as “awkward?”

    Come on, the spelling commentary is petty but that other shit is simply corny.

    Can we at baseline respect each other as Hrvati?

    Or is it more important to be a “Big Croat?”

  19. Idemo says:

    You literally talk to talk who said anything about being a big Croat? This is up there with your fathers heritage

  20. Faux Cro says:


    Coughed it up at the end of every run?

    That is completely and utterly factually incorrect.

    I as well as any match analysis I have read disagree with you.

    Are you watching the game on an IPhone3 with a cracked screen?

  21. LAknat says:

    Pulisic is a decendent of croatian and would be wroth to play here with some Barca Madrid n3xt gen but he choose another right country that make him able to become an ace. quite said i think he got flashy things around of him, meanwhile his compatriots like Halilovic Pasalic Pjaca Kovacic R MURIC (real talent) should endure the hardest obstacle so called opinion come from team manager. Sure this kid gets a lots of benefit from media because US only have one talent in their decade!!

  22. Poglavnik says:

    Fuck that Pulisic kid.
    He used us for a passport and never considered representing us. There’s almost nothing about him thats Croatian. Even his father goes by “Mark” and not Marko.

  23. Idemo says:

    I never even considered him an option for us; he choose early and you have to respect that……poglavnik I bet you have an American passport

    Regardless, the kid can play and is easily the best American player

  24. Bobby V says:

    Robert Muric reminds me of a young Gheorge Hagi – left foot and all. Let’s hope he can become half the player.

    The other uniquely skilled player we have is Stipe Perica.

    I hope these two make it big.

  25. Faux Cro says:

    Pulisic is good, but he would just be another talented young Croatian player if he chose the HNS.

    The US is so lacking in technically and tactically proficient players that he looks like Pele in comparison.

    If the USMNT had Pjaca or Perisic on it, the US media would wax poetic about them too.

  26. Andrej L says:

    Muric gets no PT on one of the worst teams. Seems like a bit of a bust. Lets just hope it’s a confidence thing or some other distractions.

    Kovacic played decent on the weekend. Looked a little rusty at times but so did James. Neither get enough PT to be sharp. His defensive duties and strength was quite impressive though. If he goes somewhere like Liverpool, where he could get PT, I would almost start him in a middle three with Badelj and Modric over Rakitic playing CAM. Not sure what’s going on with Rakitic but his form has been just a bit sub par all season.

    I completely agree with Soul Champ; Kovacic seems to have some poor tactical awareness both on offense and defense at times. Poor positioning and passing choices. But that could also be due to new positions all the time and lack of PT. PLus he’s only 22! Didn’t Modric only leave Dinamo at 22…

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