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Croatians Around Europe XXVII

March 11, 2018

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Luka Modrić vs. Eibar

 

 

Luka Modrić returned from injury Saturday to help Real Madrid get past Eibar 2-1 with a fantastic assist to Ronaldo to open the scoring in the 34th minute. The Croatian midfield magician sent a long ball with the outside of his foot directly to Ronaldo’s chest and the eventual breakaway to goal. Modrić lost nothing while out the past few weeks and Real Madrid will need him at his best as they make another run at the Champions League trophy. La Liga and Copa del Rey hardware are already out of their reach. Mateo Kovačić sat and watched from the bench.

 

 

Modrić assist to Ronaldo

 

 

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Lovren (6) had a rough day vs. Manchester United

 

 

Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren was on a hot streak of late but it came crashing Saturday in a 2-1 loss to Man United. Lovren got the start and played 90 minutes but only received a 4.5 player rating as  “He is capable of doing this sometimes, and so it proved again. Started well enough but was soon reduced to rubble under the pressure of Lukaku. Beaten in the air twice by the Belgian, and it resulted in Rashford’s double.”

 

 

When Lovren is off his game; it hurts the entire team. As of right now, should he be one of Croatia’s starting defenders in Russia?
 

 

Man United-Liverpool Highlights

 

 

Ivan Rakitić played the full 90 minutes in Barcelona’s 2-0 win over Malaga which helps the club keep their 8-point lead on second place Atletico Madrid. But the big test comes this Wednesday as Barca host Chelsea in the second leg of their Champions League Round of 16 battle. The first leg ended 1-1 in London.
 

 

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Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 68 comments





  1. BZ says:

    …and don’t forget the games in the Bundic Liga, where our wingers go to blossom.

    Me first Kramaric vs Bustaload’s Wolfsburg!

    Rebic slap a goalie vs B Dortmund-Rebic will remind benchwarming Pulisic what a top 5 Croatia winger looks like.



  2. Ivan says:

    WHy did they take kramaric out 65th min only 1-0 he was playing so good and could’ve broke some record they just said



  3. Maminjo says:

    Lovren fucked up again.

    Gifted Man United with the 2-1 victory.

    There is a pattern here. Whenever Lovren plays in a small stakes game against inferior competition, he does okay.

    But whenever faced against stiff competition, in a high pressure situation he ALWAYS screws up.

    He will be the reason if we fail to progress at the World Cup.



  4. Soul Champ says:

    “Luka was out for almost three weeks, came back and played very well,” he said.

    “He is a very important player for us. When you have problems in a game, he never gets nervous. Normally he should not have played the entire game, but in the end he played it all and did well.”
    -Zidane

    @ Maminjo

    Lovren got ZERO support from his RB in taking on Lukaku.

    I call BS on selling out Lovren as if we are the English press.

    Vrsaljko would have covered both “mistakes.’

    Other than Vida, who is playing better than Lovren at CB?

    Full respect to Ćorluka as his tactical awareness is world class but he was slow at 22 and now after multiple Achilles injuries how fast can he be at 32?

    I’ll say this, Ćorluka’s ability to read the game transcends his foot speed and he is naturally big.

    But man with Messi, Nigeria and Iceland running for 90+, are his legs up for it?

    Lukaku is the most powerful striker on the planet.

    He is a handful for anyone.

    Lovren gets a pass for today.

    Klopp got out mannered today by the mastermind of Mourinho.



  5. Maminjo says:

    …”Other than Vida, who is playing better than Lovren at CB?”

    With Croatia’s Centerbacks, it’s a special case.

    Vida, Mitrovic, Corluka all have first-team football issues with their clubs. So, did guys in the recent past (like Schifo, Simunic, etc), yet whenever they played for the National Team, they stepped up their game and play well for us.

    Lovren is not like the rest.

    Lovren has messed up more often than not when he plays for us (especially in our most critical games), and this has always been the case (even when he was playing well at Southampton).

    It’s only now that he’s getting a lot of attention because he plays for a big club who pay him a massive wage…but he has always been a problem, dating back to when he kept getting own-goals, handballs and red cards on our Croatia U17/U19/U21 teams and when they called him the worst defender in the world back in France (when he played for Lyon, and they were happy to get rid of him).

    Vida, Corluka, and Mitrovic do not have Lovren’s physical gifts, but all three of them have played well for us when given the chance. It may seem foolish for them to start ahead of a Liverpool player, but I’m sure if you asked any Liverpool fan, they would probably play any one of Vida, Corluka or Mitrovic over Lovren (with the minimal info they have on these three). I bet you that if Nizic got a chance with us, he would impress and be a better option too.

    It’s just political at this point.
    If Lovren gets put to the bench, he will be a locker room problem, and lots of uninformed media would jump on it (as it would hard to justify benching an EPL player over any of these other three).

    But anyone who actually watches the games can see that Lovren is nothing but a fraud who plays extremely poorly for Croatia, and the ones with real knowledge would applaud the benching.

    Issue is also all the other factors too like Lovren’s agent, and possibly other relationships Lovren has within the team (i.e. teammates, Mamic, others) that would make things even more difficult for a coach to make such a controversial call.

    Dalic doesn’t strike me as someone who would start of controversy, even if it’s for the betterment of the team. He will call up and start Lovren with the hopes of masking the weakness…however, it will be too tough to mask this weakness in a World Cup against teams like Argentina, Nigeria, and likely France.



  6. Poglavnik says:

    Spot on Maminjo!
    If he’s not starting he should be nowhere near our team. We’ve seen the type of teammate he can be when he’s benched.
    I hope Dalic has the balls to leave him out of the squad. Cacic should’ve never brought him back so soon.



  7. Soul Champ says:

    Vida has earned his stripes as our starting CB.

    Question was who is playing better than Lovren now?

    Mitrovic is big and strong but can be clumsy and looks out of shape on the bench.

    Corluka if healthy partners well with Vida.

    Lovren is NOT world class but he is not the scrub that he gets portrayed as here.

    He played well against Ukraine and Greece.

    All crunch games.



  8. Poglavnik says:

    Caleta Car.
    Got the start for Red Bull Salzburg against Dortmund in the CL and looked better than Lovren’s ever looked to me. One of the only times I’ve seen him play too.



  9. gbvh says:

    Rating from managingmadrid.com:

    Luka Modric—9.5: The Croatian just doesn’t lose match rhythm even if he’s been injured for a couple weeks. Madrid’s back were against the wall for the opening 30 minutes, but then Luka worked a little bit of his magic. Using the outside of his boot, curled an inch perfect pass to play Ronaldo in behind and the Portuguese doesn’t miss in his current form. Modric was everywhere covering for Casemiro and Carvajal, while creating openings in attack and nearly slicing his way through to a goal in the first half.



  10. Zee says:

    Ya pog. Me too about caleta car. Let’s take a look maybe a good look about him. Use his ass in the friendlies and see what he brings to the table.



  11. Zee says:

    @gbvh. Nice article about letica but i hope he doesn’t turn into the next matej delac. Still Chelsea ‘s longest serving player. Lol. And never played a game.



  12. Maminjo says:

    @Soul

    Lovren didn’t face any real pressure against Greece, and he was still completely at fault for the lone Greek goal in that game.

    On a related note, he was at fault for BOTH Greek goals when we lost 2-0 to Greece back in Euro 2012 qualifying.

    All I do (when Croatia plays) us watch what Lovren is doing. He does everything wrong, even when hes nowhere near the play. Trust me. He’s awful for us.



  13. LAknat says:

    There are many better players in defense post than Lovren, but this is not a point matter, because as a defender you try to complete all clearence ball, bumping your oppenenents without getting fouls at least neither in the penalty area nor in the edge of it, prevent the opppenent getting a clear sight of goal- without worry Lovren can do these at his peak! Corluka and Vida could be like Buffon and Chielini’s partnership.

    The problem for us actually lay on our midfielder, because we need to have fixed combination. Midfielder itself do both in defense and offense as they try to outrun their oppenent. They give effectiveness for our formation with their duties.

    I just have these questions for our midfielder:
    1) Could Perisic give a good cross to our striker, or maybe just don’t waste the ball too often by direct shoot in such unclear sight of goal?
    2) Could Kovacic track down the oppenent without thinking of leave it to defender?
    3) Could Rakitic be consistent with his passing or at least try to run like a beast?



  14. Maminjo says:

    Our biggest weakness right now is Lovren. Next biggest weakness is LB.

    After that, it’s just a matter of finding the best combination in our midfield and strike partnership (not a weakness, just trying to maximize our potential).

    The Lovren weakness is EASY to fix.
    The LB weakness will require some creativity.
    The midfield/forward combos will need to be assessed on a game by game basis.

    But absolutely fix that first obvious weakness, because it will kill our team no matter how well we do in the other areas.



  15. BZ says:

    If we even have an inkling that Lovren would become a cancer in the locker room if not starting, then the answer is clear. Tell him to stay home.

    if Vida & Corluka are healthy, Lovren is a big downgrade.

    And quit saying Mitrovic is not playing, he is starting every game for Club Brugge in Leko’s 3-5-2(which we should try.)



  16. Anonymous says:

    @Zee – When Lovren is on, he’s good.

    The problem is he can be on for 89 minutes and fall asleep for 1 minute and completely fuck everything up.

    His focus has always been an issue. Vida and Corluka aren’t as strong, fast or athletic BUT mentally they are there for 90 minutes and do a good enough job. I think that’s what makes Lovren such a liability. Hopegully Corluka’s achilles isn’t too bad.



  17. Maminjo says:

    I don’t recall him ever having a single good game for us.

    Our only hope is that he gets further exposed in these Croatia friendlies along with a lot of high profile gaffes in big games during EPL and Champions League play.

    Unfortunately, Dalić seems like he wants to help out Lovren, proven by the fact that he started Lovren in that first Greek game in our two legged playoff with them (shortly after Lovren had that horrible game against Tottenham).

    Lovren rewarded Dalić by gifting Greece a goal with their only chance in the game. We’re just lucky that the game was so one-sided, so it didn’t matter but he was complete shit in both games.



  18. Anonymous says:

    A lot is going to depend on Radojka’s little boy Luka at the World Cup, if he isn’t at his absolute best even without Lovren and Strinic we wont get out of the group stage.

    I was watching Maradona on beIN sports the other day and he said, “I always put the Argentina shirt ahead of everything else,” and it made me wonder would any Croat player feel that way about the Croatian shirt? I don’t think there would be one.
    Think about it, Modric is half Serb, so I can’t imagine him putting the Croatian shirt above the Madrid shirt, and he is our best player.



  19. Maminjo says:

    LOL

    I love it when these Serb trolls come on this site and push the false story of Modrić being half Serb. It’s been debunked to death.

    Tesla is more Croatian than Modrić could ever be Serbian.



  20. Anonymous says:

    I have been on other Croatian sites where I have seen it mentioned that Modric’s mum is Serb. No one has ever said it’s not true.
    What do you know Maminjo?



  21. CroatianPerson85 says:

    Agreed Maminjo, well said.

    I know that my father is from Zaton not far from the selo where Modric is from and he is NOT half Serb no matter how much you wish he was, now it would be best if you went elsewhere to troll and got the fuck off this site.



  22. zlatna dolina says:

    Lovren is terrible at reading what the opposition is doing. He has great.skills but much too soft. A body of a central defender but a mind of a figure skater.



  23. Maminjo says:

    LOL, yes, Modrić’s mom is Serb and that’s the reason why the Serbs killed her father.

    Get the fuck outta here Čedo.



  24. Maminjo says:

    Re: Lovren…

    My worry about him is that he is drawing so much attention to himself in EPL news that teams will try to expose it.

    The news is now saying that Mourinho actually planned around isolating Lovren and ensuring that their attack went through him.

    This is bad news for us.

    Kinda like when Shevchenko tried to attack our Left side (because it was a very well known weakness) but Dalić covered it up by benching Pivarić and Vrsaljko weathered the storm on that left side.

    The same has to be done with Lovren.



  25. Bogdan says:

    It’s true actually about modric. With so much connection in that former Yugoslavia for so long, there is a ton of mixing. Here is a list of current national players with some Serb ancestry

    Modric
    Corluka
    Subasic
    Perisic
    Rakitic
    Vida
    Rog
    Brekalo



  26. Anonymous says:

    Josip Elez Hannover 96
    Marin Pongracic RB Salzburg
    Lorenco Simic SPAL
    Andrej Lukic Braga
    Filip Benkovic Dinamo Zagreb
    Duje Caleta-Car RB Salzburg



  27. Anonymous says:

    Yes ^ they should cap Dario Maresic now. Kid looks like a future star, only 18 and starting for one of the best teams in his league.



  28. Maminjo says:

    @ Bogdan

    Only Subašić on your list has some ancestry on his dad’s side.

    Everything else is just misinformation spread by desperate Serbs hoping to be associated with Croatia’s quality squad.



  29. Anonymous says:

    @maminjo
    Modric’s mum is a Serb, and the ancestry on Subasic’s father’s side is his dad himself, his dad is a Serb.



  30. Anonymous says:

    - Volio bih da ovu pobedu poklonim mojoj porodici i ljudima koji su bili uz nas. Mom pokojnom treneru i učitelju Tomislavu Bašiću, ali i ljudima iz Hrvatske, BiH i Srbije koji su stradali u poplavama. Nadam se da će im ovo barem malo doneti sreće – rekao je Modrić.

    I wonder why Modric thinks him winning the champions league would bring the Serbs some happiness? Those that answered his mum is Serb you are correct. His dad is also a Red Star fan.



  31. CroatianPerson85 says:

    Don’t you guys have your own site, you’re so hurting. Show up on a Cro site to tell us which of our players are Serbian. You made the World Cup, be happy with your team and that you made it. Celebrate FFS.

    Srna – muslim, Rapaic, Prso, Prsoinecki, Subasic – part Serb or Prso full Serb I believe but from Croatia. I don’t go on Serb sites talking about Mihaljovic being half Serb because I don’t care. Miralem Sulejmani and Ljajic are Gorani, from Sandzak, Albanian, Turk or something definitely not Serbian. Again I am not on your sites writing that because again I don’t care. I’m sure there are very few Croats who do that.

    What’s with your fascination with us? Honestly speaking. Did your parents train you to believe everything in former Yugosmerdija is Serbian so you came here to remind us?



  32. Stef T.O says:

    I believe Lovren was also at fault few years ago versus Mexico at the World Cup. He screwed up on both headers. He’s terrible at crosses. No way he starts at the World Cup he’s a liability!



  33. Dannyj says:

    We trade Lukas serb side for djovkovic Croat side
    It’s the same ole argument on lovren
    For the many wonderful things he can do the rewards don’t outweigh his risks
    Vida is a shoe in corluka I still think it’s his job to lose to be honest
    The water polo cap incident is more heart then most soccer players show



  34. Dannyj says:

    There Will always be some mixture of Croat and Serb blood
    But if u pick up the checkers u pick up the checkers
    If all the sudden Luka could switch sides to Serbia and did then he was never ours to begin with



  35. NK Susak says:

    Sorry if anyone’s mentioned it already, but interesting to see Badelj handed the captains armband by Fiorentina after the sad passing of Astori. Not sure if it’s a permanent move or just a nice gesture for him after stepping up and representing the Fiorentina players at the funeral. Not an easy spot to be put in. I know he’s not the sexy pick and everyone wants Kovacic to play that position this summer, but it says a lot about the guy being a foreign player and taking on such responsibilities at a Serie A side. Having a guy like him on the squad this summer whether he starts or not can only be a good thing. He has quietly went about playing his role effectively for both club and country when called upon.



  36. BZ says:

    @Nk Susak-I am usually hard on Badelj, but I truly believe he can play the role Brozo played in our games vs Greece. Rakitic holding and Modric attacking with Kova, or Badelj, or Brozo linking them up.

    On a random note, Rog gets into game in the last 7 minutes. Brozo immediately tackles him hard. Rog wasn’t happy.



  37. Maminjo says:

    @STEF

    Yes, Lovren did mess up against Mexico on one of the goals at that World Cup.

    He was also at fault for the Brazil penalty.

    Yes, yes we all know it wasn’t a real penalty…but anyone knows that this ref was just looking for a REASON to give Brazil the win at their opening game at home. If course Lovren didn’t get the memo (while all our other players we smartly being careful when near the box). We should have tied Lovren’s hands behind his back for that game.



  38. Maminjo says:

    @Lika

    Lol, everyone knows that.
    It’s just a troll that is doing a good job in getting a reaction from everyone on this site.

    :)



  39. Razbijač says:

    Corluka got the full 90 in Lokomotiv’s 0-2 victory over Ural today.

    At this point, if we have a fully fit and healthy Vida and Corluka, I can’t see Lovren starting over them.

    Also, with Corluka’s calmness and intelligent passing outta the back, combined with our midfield possession, Croatia should be seeing more of the ball than their opponents.

    Now if there was only a way to transplant Corluka’s brain into Lovren’s body…



  40. Anonymous says:

    Vrsaljko has replaced Srna so we can go

    Subasic
    Vrsaljko Corluka Vida Strinic
    Modric Badelj
    Brozovic Rakitic Perisic
    Mandzukic

    Lol!



  41. Anonymous says:

    “Lovren got ZERO support from his RB in taking on Lukaku.
    I call BS on selling out Lovren as if we are the English press.”

    Maminjo gets his opinions from This is Anfield and the Liverpool Echo, I doubt he even watched the game.
    Blaming Lovren for both goals against Man Utd is rather simplistic and what I expect from Maminjo.

    Some morons believe that the first goal is Lovren’s fault because the RB shouldn’t be expected to do anything.
    But to blame Lovren for the second goal is pathetic.

    On Modric, does anyone know what religion his mum is?



  42. Anonymous says:

    Like when Portugal beat the shit out of us at the Euros, yes, yes, everyone knows there shoulda been some fouls called, but everyone knows when you get bullied you fight back you don’t just take shit. What sort of man would allow himself to be bullied? Of course, the answer is a weakling Croatian footballer.

    If the Nigerians are smart they would play a physical Portugal style game against our weakling footballers, we all know Croatian footballers would shit their pants Sergio Ramos style.



  43. Anonymous says:

    Whenever Croatia is faced against stiff competition, in a high pressure situation they ALWAYS screw up.

    Turkey 2008, Spain 2012, Mexico 2014 and Portugal 2016, there’s a pattern here, I’ll get back to you when I figure out what it is.



  44. Kruno says:

    Please do not acknowledge anything “Anonymous” says. He/she/they is only here to antagonize and your responses just fuel him/her/they. Therefore, just IGNORE!



  45. Andrej L says:

    Lukaku got a running start towards the midfield to beat Lovren for those two headers. Not too worried about Lovren losing that duel against a guy like Lukaku. Very few would do better on a consistent basis. Would’ve been different if had Can been positioned further back to try and win those headers too. I almost blame Lovren more for following Lukaku out there and getting out of position. More credit should go to Rashford’s footwork and placement. I definitely acknowledge his tendency for rookie mistakes but he has been in form since Virgil arrived.

    I just hope Corluka gets his form back because I can’t stand Vida’s poor passing ability.



  46. crnkovic says:

    its true that any defender would struggle with lukaku in those situations. its also true that lovren should have had more support, the RB should not be letting rashford in there and the DM should also be contesting the header or at least sweeping behind. that is one of the reason liverpool concede a lot of goals, klopp doesnt like to commit numbers to defence as it compromises the ability to counter attack. it was a poor liverpool performance in general. however, lovren should have been smarter in those situations. its that stupid macho gung ho streak he has. masking his inner cowardice by jumping into lukakus back with his eyes closed. he should stop trying to be a tough guy.



  47. BZ says:

    @Andrej L- so you are saying if Corluka is healthy, you bench Vida for Lovren?
    Vida is our best performing back. It is Lovren’s horrible passes, and worse passing choices that concern me most.





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