What Grade do you give Croatia at the World Cup?

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Santini Scores 7th Goal Of Season…It’s August 12th

August 12, 2018

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29 year-old Ivan Santini scored his seventh goal of the season for Belgian club Anderlecht, in just their third game of the season. After posting back-to-back hat tricks in his first two games, Santini had an easy one Sunday night as he tapped in the game winner in a 2-1 victory over Sporting Charleroi.

 

 

Santini was scrapped from Croatia’s final 23-man World Cup squad after making the preliminary list. Now the long-time Belgian striker, who played in France for Caen the past two seasons, has started hot in Belgium, for arguably the country’s best club: Anderlecht.

 

 

Can Santini find a second wind and make a push as Belgium’s leading scorer this season? And will Zlatko Dalić take him for Croatia this fall when the World Cup finalists take on Spain and England in the UEFA Nations League?

 

 

With Nikola Kalinić leaving the team in Russia, signs point to yes.
 

 

Santini Tap-In

 

 

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Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 31 comments





  1. Maminjo says:

    Strikers should be Mandzo, Kramaric, Santini.

    No point in calling up any other center forwards, since Rebic and Brekalo can play up there if needed.

    I really don’t wanna see another Duje Cop callup, lol.



  2. Slaven says:

    Not to be too negative but Perisic dominated the Belgian league. Even Pranjic was a stud left back in Belgium. Jelavic also dominated the Scottish league FWIW. Since when did both leagues win a CL title?



  3. Maminjo says:

    Pranjić was never a stud LB on any team.

    He was a high scoring winger at Hereenveen (Dutch league). Never had to defend anything.

    Santini scoring at this clip, even if it’s only Anderlecht, definitely deserves a call up. Doesn’t mean that he will actually play, lol.

    Also, at 6’3″ he is a about as Italian as Nina Morić.



  4. Soul Champ says:

    @ Ivo

    Lmfao .. Zara.

    The Venetian influence and Roman before is an integrated flavor for Zadar.

    @ Svima

    Ivan “the great” Santini has earned his spot for UNL.

    Poetic justice that he takes Kalinic spot.

    No need to be world class if you filling a void in the squad.

    Rebić filled a RW hole that’s why he is so valuable to the team.

    Plus Santini is 6’3” and compliments are quick with wingers and creative midfielders.

    It is great for a 29 year old to be getting better and better.

    @ Poglavnik

    Humble pie is a blessing to have!



  5. NK Susak says:

    Speaking of powerhouse European leagues, Borna Barisic is getting praised for his play in his debut for Rangers. I read that he assisted on one of their goals and was a threat throughout. Picked up a yellow and was subbed off in the 2nd half, but one website gave him an 8 out of 10 rating. Would be nice to see him step up and lock down that left back role in the next year or two.





  6. Idemo says:

    Pretty sure 99% of you were shitting on him last year

    Wish we took him instead of kalinic

    Hindsight 20/20



  7. Anonymous says:

    Anyone know much about Kristijan Bistrovic? 20 year old midfielder who’s been starting consistently for CSKA Moscow, Nikola Vlasic’s future club.



  8. Andrej L says:

    I’m still shitting on Santini. If Halilovic gets some playing time, I’d rather have him there. Krama and Rebic can play CF.

    Good to see that Barisic is getting recognition from his manager.



  9. Razbijač says:

    Santini’s haul of goals so far this season is impressive even for the Belgium league. To put things in perspective, last year’s league leading scorer had 22 goals, while Santini has 7 in August. If he continues at this rate, surely he can compete for the European Golden Boot.

    I would like to see Santini in the UNL. I think Dalic won’t call up some of the older veterans such as Mandzukic for this competition. So Ivan can fill the role of the Big Man CF in the squad.



  10. Maminjo says:

    Do we get money out of this deal?

    I would take the Kinezi to the cleaners on this deal (and not one of them dry cleaners).

    Without large sums of money coming our way, any football related partnership agreement with China is worthless.



  11. Maminjo says:

    @Andrej

    It doesn’t have to be an “either or”.
    We were already short on wingers at this World Cup so we will definitely be adding a couple to the squad no matter what.

    Brekalo should definitely be on the squad, and probably even Halilović (especially if Pjaca is still out of form). Both those guys are wingers who would be the direct backups to Perišić and Rebić anyway.

    Also, we now have additional spots opening up since Nikola Kalinić is permanently off our roster, and (hopefully) Duje Ćop is gone for good. Should be fine to have Santini on the bench in case we need a tall forward for any late game deadball plays.

    Once guys like Pjaca and Vlašić get regular first team football, then we’ll have to talk about which player or two drops out.

    Gone are the days where we had to rely on random Croats in mediocre leagues, lol. We’re literally cutting in form players, who actually play in Liga Petice teams lol.



  12. Soul Champ says:

    August 20th

    Can’t wait to see the next wave of hungry Hrvati who want to become world class footballers.

    We should have took Mark Viduka back in the day.

    And we should give Ivan Santini another look as he is banging in goals for fun.

    Shit .. 6 months ago folks were crapping on Mandžukić.

    Some dudes just have the athletic ability to score goals.

    There is always a place for a big powerful goal scorer.

    Kramaric looked a little weak to me and he does not have explosive speed.

    He is crafty and can finish.

    But sometimes you need the BEAST up top.



  13. Andrej L says:

    If Mandzukic is truly out for the Euros, which could be a possibility with the new Juventus squad, I may be in favour of Santini if the younger and more promising guys are not getting playing time. But I’d rather have Kramaric or Rebic playing CF than Santini. I don’t watch the Belgian league (is it better than MLS? just kidding), but the limited time I’ve seen him play for the Repka, he’s been disappointing.

    Based on 17/18 end of season form and Halilovic’s play in the preseason, I would have Persic, Krama, and Rebic start with Brekalo, Pjaca, and Halilovic being our bench options.

    Some players come to life at the end of their career but if this 29 year was truly better than Brekalo/Halilovic, he would be playing in similar caliber leagues.

    7 goals is still impressive and he’s definitely close to being on the 23 man list. I just feel that Dalic maybe looking to the future based on previous comments before the world cup squad was released.



  14. Soul Champ says:

    @ Andrej

    LOVE Ante Rebić as our main striker.

    That is probably his destiny if he is to fulfill his potential.

    Santini could provide depth and goals in a focused role.



  15. Andrej L says:

    I agree about the lack of pace and overall toughness from Krama but he plays more like a false nine dropping in deep rather than taking down long balls. At least he could trap some long balls.

    Pjaca was scary before the injury and is slotted to start with Simone and Chiesa so hopefully he can return to form.

    At the WC Rebic showed incredible strength and ability hold off defenders while taking down long balls.

    I know Santini is in form and getting minutes but I think it’s too early to mark him down on the 23 man list. Wonder if they can kiss and make up with Kalinic.

    Mandza is a true legend and probably the last of his kind.



  16. Maminjo says:

    Yikes.

    I guess Croatia being a contender for the Nations League is not that desirable for him to stay on for another year.

    But to be honest, if we’re talking about Euros, it’s quite possible that Mandzo would drop out of the starting eleven anyway (due to him being two years older, and Kramaric possibly getting even better).

    It makes more sense for the team to start Kramaric up top, in order to develop that chemistry with our midfield over the next two years.



  17. Maminjo says:

    Is everyone waiting for the dreaded “Luka Modrić Retires from the Croatian National Team” headline?



  18. vuki says:

    I personally was not expecting Mandzo to retire after doing well in the World Cup, but perhaps he did that well knowing there was a decent chance he would be done after it. I think all of us have been slightly down on Mandzukic’s performances in recent years. He did not do much in the Euros and really only scored in games against easier opponents. Don’t get me wrong, Mandzo is probably my 2nd favorite player behind Modric, but if you go back to one of the posts a few months ago my list of players that would could very well be done after the World Cup were Corluka, Mandzukic, and Kalinic. I did not see the Kalinic attitude thing coming at all, I just did not feel he would contribute in the World Cup very much and he would see it was time to go.

    And @Maminjo. I might just cry if that happens now. It would allow the fresh faces to come in earlier, but Modric is still so so good. I expect/hope that he plays until the Euros.



  19. Soul Champ says:

    MANdzukic was a BEAST for the Vatreni.

    I am so proud of how he finished his national team career.

    Big game player.

    I hope with the international rest his body allows him to keep banging in goals for years to come at club level.

    UNL is for our u30 pool.



  20. ZLATAN HRVAT says:

    Who cares if Modric retires from repka we finished second at the World Cup and Modric won the Golden Ball he will never do any better than that at the Euro he will be older.



  21. The truth says:

    The players of old are falling fast now

    Now we listen carefully for words from modric and rakitic as they look around and no longer see their old friends

    I’m perfectly at peace with mandzo decision. If he was there, it would’ve been awkward. Either forced to start him or awkwardly relegate him

    It is unlikely for a team to be able to compete with a core on the wrong side of 30, so these transitions are necessary



  22. Andrej L says:

    Modric is at the top of his game and doesn’t really relay on his speed to do the trick. I think he should be able to stick around for the next 2 years. Then comes Kova dun dun dunnnnn!!!





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