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Croatians Around Europe *XVIII*

January 8, 2018


Atletico Madrid defender Šime Vrsaljko



Atletico Madrid is back in form and rumored Croatian transfer Šime Vrsaljko is flying high. On Saturday, Atletico defeated Getafe 2-0 to take sole place of second place in Spain; sitting nine points behind leaders Barcelona. Vrsaljko played the full 90 minutes in the clean sheet victory and assisted on Diego Costa’s 68th minute goal with a long cross into the box from the right flank. After the goal, Costa ran into the crowd to celebrate with fans which resulted in a second yellow card and ultimate sending off.



Vrsaljko has been in the starting XI mix for Atletico, but is it to raise his value or make a run at Barcelona?



Vrsaljko Assist To Diego Costa






Real Madrid continue their downward spiral in La Liga as they once again dropped points in a 2-2 draw at Celta Vigo on Sunday. The result now puts Real Madrid in fourth place; 16 points behind leaders Barcelona. Dreams of a back-to-back La Liga title are all but gone as Los Blancos will surely invest their time into Champions League during the final run. Luka Modrić got the start for Real Madrid and played 76 minutes in a game which saw Gareth Bale score twice. Mateo Kovačić came on in the 77th minute.



Mario Mandžukić came on for Juventus in the 60th minute in a 1-0 win over Cagliari. The win keeps reigning Italian champions Juventus one point behind leaders Napoli.




Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 29 comments

  1. CroatianPerson85 says:

    If Van Dijk plays, Lovren or Klavan may not start if Klopp opts to go with Matip at CB. Something tells me Lovren will be playing better with better competition and now he HAS to perform whereas before he felt he had the CB spot. I hope he performs well.

  2. BZ says:

    @Soul – Happy New Year. For Christmas we got Pjaca back on Juve bench, then a much needed transfer.

    For New Years we got Halilujah back on Las Palmas bench.

  3. Maminjo says:

    Dani Olmo is an Arsenal target and Spain’s U21 team is planning on calling him up to prevent him from playing on Croatia’s squad.

    Looks like the plan worked.

  4. idemo says:


    I thiught Pjaca would play at Juve this spring? And that he didn’t need a loan?

    Maminjo u21 caps ties you down?

  5. Soul Champ says:

    @ BZ

    I am going with Kovačić has his explosive wheels back in effect for best present yet .

    Real Madrid would be crazy to let him go?

    Then again they sold Morata and kept Benzema ?

    Kovačić is the real player to watch over the next 6 months.

    It’s time for him to seize that World Cup opportunity to fulfill his potential as an elite central midfielder.

    Too bad he has no one to learn from at his club … oh wait …


    The Luka effect LIVES!


  6. Maminjo says:


    Rakitic played for Switzerland’s youth team before the rules were changed.

    The new rule is that if you’re capped in the youth team for one country PRIOR to you receiving citizenship of another country, then you cannot represent that new country at any level.

    This is what happened with Gregory Sertic.
    He played for France’s U21 team a few years before he received Croatian citizenship, so he couldn’t play for us.

    Dani Olmo has already played for Spain’s U16 to U18 teams…but I guess this rule only applies to the U21 team (which he hasn’t played for yet).

    If so, then him playing for Spain’s U21 right now wouldn’t affect his ability to represent Croatia, since he already has Croatian citizenship PRIOR to representing Spain. However, I would assume that him accepting a Spain U21 callup would imply that they have some sort of verbal commitment to having him as a part of their future.

  7. The truth says:

    Inter was looking unstoppable before their winless spell. It’s amazing. With Icardi and Perisic trsnsfer gossip…maybe that is distracting the team?

  8. Soul Champ says:

    @ Poglavnik

    30 – Benzema vs 25 Morata ?

    Benzema was excellent for Real Madrid and probably never will get the appreciation he deserves.

    But right now a 25 year old Morata is better and will be better for the next 5 years.

    You can’t have Ronaldo 32 and Benzema over 30.

    Ronaldo needs young legs to support the twilight of his career.

    Morata is also the young Spanish stud that Real Madrid want to market.

  9. gbvh says:

    Nice pass just now by Vrsaljko to set up a Diego Costa goal.

    (Then Costa goes into crowd to celebrate and gets a red.)

  10. Poglavnik says:

    @Soul Champ
    The 30-25 argument makes sense but Madrid have offloaded him twice and Juventus ditched him as well. He looked far from good in his last match against Arsenal. Was in alone twice and couldn’t finish and just looked uncomfortable on the ball to me.

  11. Zee says:

    Olmo I’m guessing won’t play for Spain. Just an educated guess. He is Catalonian. Is he politically motivated? I don’t know. But he could always tell Spain to screw off. It’s his prerogative.

  12. Maminjo says:


    Juventus didn’t ditch Morata.

    Morata’s original sale to Juventus had a 20 million Euro buy-back clause which Real activated. Juventus would have kept him otherwise. Probably better they kept him than dropping 60 million on Higuain.

  13. Poglavnik says:

    ^ ^
    Sounds about right.
    Either way I’d say he’s a bit overrated.
    He’s great in the air and I like the way he carries the ball for a big man, but he’s not quite elite. He’s just a bit inconsistent for me. Thierry Henry the other day was talking about he takes to many touches to control the ball. For me Madrid and Spain should have a better #9.

  14. The truth says:

    Olmo says he still dreams of playing for Spain. He’ll still likely accept that call if he gets it. He won’t be good enough likely to be a Spanish regular so maybe he won’t want to in the end. But Spain will likely try to tie him up

  15. BZ says:

    Olmo might be good enuf for his first choice Spain, but our loaded NT wouldn’t even touch his useless ass.

    Starting to look like a stud like Mandzukic, Pjaca, Kramaric, or Kovacic will be forced to sit on bench while we stick to our 442 to accommodate Strinic.

  16. Soul Champ says:

    Players who NEED to be first 11 for Real Modrić.

    “Mateo Kovacic. Toni Kroos as been poor this season and he is not useful if the team can’t control the possession of the ball like it happened during the second half against Celta. His assist to Gareth Bale for Madrid’s second goal was brilliant but he’s not being as consistent as he should and is not helping Los Blancos at dominating games.”

    Weak links are making life tough for Modrić and Ronaldo for that matter.

    Kovačić is back and now needs to be starting.

    Zidane has to build around Modrić if they want to beat PSG in February.

    Kroos – Benzema – etc … need to be dropped.

    It’s like he forgot RM=Real Modrić.

  17. The truth says:

    I never understood the hype behind Kroos’ free kicks and corners even when he played for Bayern.

    Zidane needs to unleash Kovacic so he can play like he did at Inter. He had game like Pjaca.

    That assist by Vrsajlko was amazing, right by two defenders. Threaded the needle.

  18. Dannyj says:

    When does the transfer window close?
    What Croat will move? Vrsaljko starting to get his form again
    He keeps it up we will have another world class debate by tomorrow season end
    Pjaca gonna find his form prob quicker then vrsaljko did
    After injury At least I hope so

  19. Soul Champ says:

    It is clear that Modrić has eclipsed Kroos for sometime now.

    If Kroos was Croatian he’d be transferred to Frankfurt back in August.

    He is slow, stiff and these days does not seem interested in tracking back and playing some D.

    Modrić has been carrying him in the midfield for years.

    Real Madrid look like Čačić repka where they ask Luka to run all over the place because of stale tactics and tired ass players.

    At 32 you have limited time left for Luka to be at his peak powers.

    Put in Kovačić to add his explosive speed in the middle and push Modrić father up to create.

    Business end of CL and La Liga is played at quick pace and Real Madrid have too many non performing veterans.

    Kroos is lucky that Benzema is bumming it up even more than him.

    Zidane is at a crossroads…

  20. Stipe says:

    What is more shocking? That Real Madrid is playing like shit? Or that Croatia are actually playing meaningful friendlies for the World Cup ? I mean like wow, we play Peru, Mexico and now Brazil ???? I’m surprised we aren’t Armenia, Bulgaria, Ivory Coast and last but not least NK Zadar lolol. I’m glad though. I just bought my tickets for the Peru game. I’m flying down to Miami from New Jersey. I just hope Croatia will bring some of their first team players. It’s going to be my first time watching the Repka play live. So hoping to see some starting players and then finding some hot Peruvian girls!!!!

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