What Grade do you give Croatia at the World Cup?

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Cardiac Croatians In Top Form To Topple England, Make World Cup Final

July 8, 2018

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And then there were four.

 

 

Although Croatia are cutting it close, needing two penalty shootouts in order to make the World Cup semifinals, they are in top form going into Wednesday night’s clash against England, with a World Cup Final berth on the line. Here’s why:

 

 

1. The Vatreni navigated the first five matches of the World Cup without having a player suspended. No Croatian player was ever booked twice, and with yellow cards resetting after the quarterfinals, that means Croatia will have a full team to pick from for England.

 

 

2. It really has been a team effort from Croatia this entire World Cup. Although Luka Modric has been playing out of this world in the midfield, every single starter and sub has contributed. The whole team is truly playing AS A TEAM. And players who should have their names on the scoresheet are making it happen.

 

 

Only Luka Modrić has scored multiple goals in Russia (2) with one of them coming from the spot against Nigeria. Croatia has scored a total of 10 goals (one was an own goal by Nigeria) and the other seven have come from Rakitić, Perišić, Rebić, Mandžukić, Badelj, Kramarić and Vida. Those are all guys you need scoring for Croatia. And they have been spreading the wealth all around.

 

 

3. This Croatian side has finally figured out their penalty kick woes. Back-to-back penalty kick shootout wins to earn a semifinal berth is quite an impressive task. Only Argentina in 1990 have done the same. On top of that, this Croatian side finally defeated a host at the World Cup. The Vatreni lost to France in 1998 and Brazil in 2014. The demons are being exorcized!

 

 

4. Team Chemistry is at an all-time high! The team has been all business during the matching but celebrating like kids once the final whistle blows. They’re having fun. They’re taking years off of ours lives. And we’re all loving it!

 

 

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5. Croatia could have one final flight out of Russia, the question is, when will it be? The team and staff will move to Moscow for the first time this tournament. Both Wednesday night’s semifinal and the World Cup Final on Sunday will be played at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. Hopefully Croatia’s flight back to Zagreb will be 6.1 kilos heavier; the weight of the World Cup trophy.

 

 

6. Has England had a real test yet? They played Panama and Tunisia in group play before facing a Belgium “B” side who weren’t looking for a result either in order to be placed on the weaker side of the draw. A penalty kick shootout against a “James-less” Colombia and a 2-0 win over Sweden got them to the semifinals. Luka Modric owned England midfielder Jordan Henderson in the Champions League Final. Croatia has made it tough on themselves the past two matches, but they will never have an easier road to the World Cup Final. And that still holds truth with England in their way.
 

 

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Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 25 comments





  1. Iggy Iggy says:

    I’m not sure if i dare to dream about winning but goodness me it’ll feel real good down me panties if we could knock engerand out and shut them up about this “it’s coming home” business. How about “you’re going home empty-handed” ya pack of cunts?



  2. Tom in WPG says:

    Hey AB, fans used to gather at Smitty’s on Henderson, just inside the north perimeter. Im not sure if they still do.



  3. Brkic says:

    Forgot to mention, some of the vid is obscured because of copyright, but the studio commentary is there.



  4. Bobby V says:

    Can’t say enough about Modric and Rakitic. They are carrying us through situations that we have never been successful against.

    Subasic penalty saves and more importantly and not mentioned here his positioning and saves in extra time against Russia were outstanding.

    Props to Dalic. The only two things I’d point out is not starting Badelj again after his performance against Iceland is puzzling. He was our best player in that game- the rest of our players looked more relaxed in that match than in any other.

    I think our last two games would have gone easier with him in the lineup.

    The other us the early substitutions of Perisic in the last two matches. Unless he’s hurt or not fully fit, it makes no sense.

    Proud to be Croat. The messages from all my friends showing support has been awesome. Just wish there was something organized as far as viewing parties around Boston, but, truly awesome to see clips from around the World.



  5. Billy Stemhovilichski says:

    @Bobby V

    I guess I’m buying my playoff tickets in……

    Mother Russia!!



  6. KRO says:

    Diego Maradona is calling most of the players for Belgium, France and England Africans. SUBASIC was lucky that one Russian missed a penalty altogether and the first one was hesitated and took a weak penalty.



  7. Poglavnik says:

    @Truth
    Maybe if u bought someone a flight and a match ticket they’d hangout with you?
    Nevermind..



  8. Maminjo says:

    One big thing Dalic has done incorrectly (twice) is starting Kramaric in the midfield with Modric and Rakitic which is incorrectly billed as being a more “offensive” lineup.

    This is completely false, and actually produces less offense, because having Kramaric in there, takes away from the offense that both Modric and Rakitic produce when they are allowed to venture forward.

    Kramaric is a natural forward, and does not provide the defensive cover for Modric or Rakitic when they push forward…so when Kramaric plays with them, they simply do not push forward at all. It’s only when BROZOVIC comes into the game, then they venture forward and our offense steps up a gear.

    Kramaric also scored when he ran forward with Mandzo (with Mandzo playing the wingman and Krama being the center forward, where he nicely headed the ball in). He also scored both goals in the Ukraine qualifier when he switched to center forward as well, and scored two goals immediately after. Simply put, if Krama plays then he needs to play in that centerforward spot.

    When it comes to our midfield, Dalic NEEDS to stick with the midfield trio of Modric, Rakitic and Brozovic from the beginning of this semifinal match, and we will be fine.

    Krama can only play as a center forward…but since we need Mandzo for the high-press defense he provides to disrupt the other team…you bring Krama on as a sub to replace Mandzo (when Mandzo has gassed out). Mandzo NOT being subbed from the Russia game caused him to be too tired to properly mark the Brazilian-Russia dude (Fernandes) who headed home the equalizing goal in extra time.

    Since Krama is our best penalty taker, we need him in the end of games as well. Dalic needs to start Mandzo, have him pressure the opposing defenders all game, then sub him out once he’s all gassed out (as he cannot help us anymore, and you bring in a penalty kick specialist in Krama at the end of the game as well).

    Also, I don’t like Perisic coming off every game like he has been. He seems like he still has the energy to play and is always dangerous. He also seems like he would be a better penalty kick taker than guys like Modric, Kovacic and Pivaric (who were all taking PKs for us). We really need to ensure that Brozovic, Kramaric, Perisic and Rakitic are there at the end of games to ensure they can be our penalty kick takers.



  9. Maminjo says:

    One big thing Dalic has done incorrectly (twice) is starting Kramaric in the midfield with Modric and Rakitic which is incorrectly billed as being a more “offensive” lineup.

    This is completely false, and actually produces less offense, because having Kramaric in there, takes away from the offense that both Modric and Rakitic produce when they are allowed to venture forward.

    Kramaric is a natural forward, and does not provide the defensive cover for Modric or Rakitic when they push forward…so when Kramaric plays with them, they simply do not push forward at all. It’s only when BROZOVIC comes into the game, then they venture forward and our offense steps up a gear.



  10. Maminjo says:

    Kramaric also scored when he ran forward with Mandzo (with Mandzo playing the wingman and Krama being the center forward, where he nicely headed the ball in). He also scored both goals in the Ukraine qualifier when he switched to center forward as well, and scored two goals immediately after. Simply put, if Krama plays then he needs to play in that centerforward spot.

    When it comes to our midfield, Dalic NEEDS to stick with the midfield trio of Modric, Rakitic and Brozovic from the beginning of this semifinal match, and we will be fine.

    Krama can only play as a center forward…but since we need Mandzo for the high-press defense he provides to disrupt the other team…you bring Krama on as a sub to replace Mandzo (when Mandzo has gassed out). Mandzo NOT being subbed from the Russia game caused him to be too tired to properly mark the Brazilian-Russia dude (Fernandes) who headed home the equalizing goal in extra time.

    Since Krama is our best penalty taker, we need him in the end of games as well. Dalic needs to start Mandzo, have him pressure the opposing defenders all game, then sub him out once he’s all gassed out (as he cannot help us anymore, and you bring in a penalty kick specialist in Krama at the end of the game as well).

    Also, I don’t like Perisic coming off every game like he has been. He seems like he still has the energy to play and is always dangerous. He also seems like he would be a better penalty kick taker than guys like Modric, Kovacic and Pivaric (who were all taking PKs for us). We really need to ensure that Brozovic, Kramaric, Perisic and Rakitic are there at the end of games to ensure they can be our penalty kick takers.



  11. Iggy says:

    I think England is pretty English but for sure France and Belgium are more than 50% migrant (France is above 70%)



  12. Anonymous says:

    African’s also know they need to play for such teams as Belgium, England and France to have the possibility to win a world cup, how else are they gonna win a world cup, by choosing to play for their respective motherlands? Lol!

    Black players can’t win world cups by choosing to play for their respective African teams, that’s a fact.

    Just look at Kevin Prince Boateng, loyal to his motherland, and his brother from another mother Jerome Boateng chasing the thrill of a world cup win, where loyalty gets ya?

    Belgium, France and England have a lot of black players that are willing to whore themselves for a world cup win, it’s within the rules, so there’s not a problem with it at all.

    But I prefer Kevin Prince Boateng, a man of character, loyal to his culture regardless of the fact that African teams don’t win world cups.

    We need more players like Kevin Prince if we don’t wanna see international football become like club football, or just get rid of international football all together.



  13. KRO says:

    Club football is getting boring the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Look at Real Madrid theyhave won like 4 Champions League Titles in the last 6 years. I think Croatia could play either Badelj/Brozovic with Modric, Rakitic.



  14. Anonymous says:

    Fuck me according to Marca Vrsaljko will miss the England game. If we play four at the back our fullbacks will be a large liability.



  15. Anonymous says:

    ^
    Vrsaljko is good, but I’m not worried if he misses because we have Jedvaj.
    Or we can go Vida Lovren Corluka Pivaric, that’s how we finished the Russia game, or Strinic at LB.

    We have options.



  16. Ivo says:

    My Mexican friends are cheering for Croatia at the top of their lungs. One was a sexy female in a bar full of Russians but she screamed Hrvatska at them lol. Bless our Catholic brothers and sisters!



  17. Bobby V says:

    Vrsaljko is out. Word is something not quite not right with Mandzukic as well.

    Vukojevic has been sent home for the pro-Ukraine video he and Vida released.





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