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World Cup Hangover: Spain Obliterate Croatia 6-0 In Worst Defeat Ever

September 10, 2018




Starting Lineup vs. Spain: Kalinić – Vrsaljko, Mitrović, Vida, Pivarić – Brozović – Modrić, Rakitić, Kovačić – Santini



In Ivan Rakitić’s 100th cap in the Croatian checkers, the Vatreni got absolutely shellacked in a 6-0 defeat to Spain after playing beautifully during the opening 15 minutes. Perišić and Santini surely will be thinking about their misses after the match as Croatia played without key starters Dejan Lovren, Ante Rebić and Andrej Kramarić; with right back Šime Vrsaljko having to be subbed off in the 20th minute due to an apparent hamstring injury. After that, it was all downhill for the Vatreni as Spain quickly scored three times before halftime; and never stopped after.






This match with Spain also opens up the new Nations League for Croatia alongside their first competitive match since the World Cup Final.





Španjolska Hrvatska poster sastavi



With Mandžukić retiring and both Kramarić and Rebić out with injuries, the striker selection will be thin for the Spain test with Anderlecht’s 29 year-old Ivan Santini expected to play lone ranger up top. New Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovačić is expected to start opposite of Ivan Perišić on the right flank with new defensive selection Matej Mitrović filling in for Dejan Lovren in the back.



Modrić and Rakitić will cement the midfield against the Spanish team, whom the majority of them are teammates with Real Madrid and Barcelona. The Croatian duo will surely know how to stop the Spaniards.



Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 142 comments

  1. Lovro says:

    Croatia has the worst group of forwards in this entire Group A and it’s not even close.

    What is going on with the lack of urgency in the so called best academy in Europe, Dinamo, regarding this issue? Is it being mentioned or addressed?

  2. Bobby V says:

    Recognizing the fact that our forward situation is a crisis, Dalic going with a 4-5-1 – and the only forward wasn’t even at the World Cup 2 months ago.

    Kalinic – Pivaric, Mitrovic, Vida, Vrsaljko – Brozovic, Kovacic, Modric, Rakitic, Perisic – Santini

  3. BZ says:

    @BobbyV-We could only wish he will do that.. I had recommended a similar lineup but with Pjaca instead of Santini. Soul also asks for a similar lineup with Kova at RW.

  4. Soul Champ says:

    Love Kovačić on the field against Spain .. anywhere !!

    Santini is not be worst target man in a 4-5-1.

    Give him 45 mins and go from there.

    I also love flooding the middle .. Spain cannot play long balls and with Santini we have a poor Mandžukić.

    Perišić and Kovačić have dangerous speed with and without the ball.

    Good luck against the triangle of destiny that is Modrić, Rakitic and Brozovic.

  5. Mali Ante says:

    @ Bobby V
    I like the 4-5-1 given the talent we have. I agree with BZ that ultimately we hope Pjaca can be the guy up top but given current form, Santini seems to be the logical choice.
    Never thought I’d say Santini is the logical choice to be up top for us lol

    Even our under 21 team is filled with some very good future players for us but even they don’t have the target man up top we need.

  6. Soul Champ says:

    Santini could be a stroke of genius by Dalić.

    He is big target, who is in a finishing form.

    Nacho and Ramos .. too little for him.

    Kovačić and Perisic running off of him.

    UNL is a blessing!

  7. Andrej L says:

    I’m really happy about Kovacic playing on the wing. Although, I think he will play on the LW w/ Perisic on the RW (likes to use his left). I thought Santini’s hold up play and lay offs on Thurs was pretty good, much like what Mandzukic used to do. Pjaca, despite his strength, was muscled off the ball when trying to do that. Rebic most certainly did that in the WC. Krama has the technically ability to hold up play as well. Hopefully Jakolis turn into something. Livaja was hyped as a teenager and teamed up with Rebic but I thought he was disappointing on Thurs.

    If we’re down, I wouldn’t mind seeing Pjaca come in for Brozo. Push Rakitic back into a deeper role and Kova back into the CM. Didn’t Ante previously say the Krama is available to play today?? If we’re up, much like everyone is saying, try Pjaca up top (pending no Krama). He’s played CF for Dinamo before.

  8. Andrej L says:

    I also think that Spain has left themselves open with Isco and Asenio both on the field. Our fullbacks need to make them work defensively and look to catch them sleeping.

  9. The truth says:

    I’m predicting Croatia will lose and look poor today. Just not sure this team will have the motivation or ability today

    Nice to see u21 take care of business. I’d like to see Croatia in the Olympics

    A bunch of young ns. Although any of them who are any good would be in the euros instead. Maybe we see mandzukic and corluka participate

  10. Horvat says:

    From now on, I think Kramaric and then Rebic should be our centre forwards.

    Dalic did a great job this World Cup. However, the one thing I would criticize is starting Mandzukic over Kramaric. I think Kramaric would have scored at least 5-6 goals.

    I’m actually happy Mandzukic retired. We are going to be stronger IF Dalic starts playing Kramaric up top.

  11. vuki says:

    @Horvat I disagree about starting Kramaric in the World Cup. I was one of those people begging for that before the tournament, but Kramaric really wasn’t as good as expected when given the opportunity. He scored a crucial goal against Russia, and his penalty in the Denmark shootout was awesome. However, there were at least 2 times where he had a 2v1 and instead of passing for an easy goal he just fired it at goal. He was honestly not great in the World Cup. Mandzukic did not have an amazing tournament either imo, but he showed up when we needed him the most.

  12. The truth says:

    I championed kramaric to start…. Who knows…. If he did mauve Croatia would’ve won gold

    But at the end of the day, mandzukic put in a terrific tournament. Great pressing, key outlet and hold up play for transitions, and really solid production. Credit him for two goals against Nigeria, 1 against Denmark, 1 against Russia, 1 against England, 1 against France (maybe 2 if you count his own goal)

    Really can’t complain about that…

  13. Lika Joey says:

    Mandzukic will be greatly missed he is a player with a unique skill set. Santini starting against Spain I’m not sure about this. We are really dry at the striker position. Hopefully Santini surprises us.

  14. Lika Joey says:

    Crnkovic I hope you’re serious…I really don’t know much about him. I watched some highlights…he can take a good penalty.

  15. vuki says:

    This is very disappointing so far. Looked very promising at the beginning. Then they give up one goal and seem to drop their heads. Where is the fight that was shown in the World Cup?

    P.S. Pivaric does not know how to mark.

  16. Mile says:

    Spain has basically won this group already, unless something crazy happens. So much for making games more relevant. Croatia’s last two games will be quasi-friendlies.

  17. T Bone says:

    3-0? Wtf happened? Anyone watching? How bad was the Kalinic OG? In Canada here w digital cable, no sports networks covering.

  18. The truth says:

    Well everyone always rags on the truth

    But looks like yet again my objective predictions are coming true

    I predicted since the world cup that Croatia would be brought back to earth badly in league of nations from both an ability and motivation standpoint

    As previously said, Croatia is not of that footballing class of some of these superpowers, so we could expect mean reversion

    And as previously stated, dalic utilized am extremely effort driven style in the world cup. It required the wings to cover massive ground tracking all the way back on d and requires huge effort by the cdm brozovic sweeping up things in front of the d…. This is what gave modric and rakitic freedom to push forward

    But perisic and brozovic and others don’t want to put in all this effort for this game. That’s why we saw the opening header when brozo dosed off and the two goals down the left side where there was no back tracking leaving guys isolated

    Wish it wasn’t so, but looks like I’m smarter than the board again

  19. Bernardo says:

    “Croatia’s last two games will be quasi-friendlies.”

    If you don’t care for going down to league B they will…
    I’m still waiting for the referee bashing though. It’s common around here.

  20. LAknat says:

    If the score keeps going up, then Franch won WC title seems legit!

    there is some point out here:
    – The flaws in the back lines… Mitrovic has no guts in the aerial duel!
    – Santini only just waiting for the ball comes to him, We can relying Livaja to do a great job on passing and assist!
    – No more Kovacic on the wing or even Rog right there…
    We know that Halilovic should be called for this position!
    – If we know Rakitic shiit, then Kovacic should replace him in the 2nd half!

  21. Horvat says:

    Were your predictions at the World Cup correct?

    Everyone is saying we were the best team in the tournament and clearly deserved to win.

    You’re burning with envy!

  22. T Bone says:

    Playing Spain in Spain w a weakened lineup and the Spanish w their shooting boots on. Not a big surprise. If Cro can grab a couple goals in second half it saves some honor.

  23. Iggy Iggy says:

    Have to say i was kinda expecting this too, maybe not to concede so many goals but to lose at least, as i alluded to in my earlier comment in this thread.

    There’s so often a hangover after a team achieves somethign awesome that requires a great deal of energy that it’s not a surprise to see this hangover. I thing league of nations is kinda a write-off (well obv it is now) and Euro2020 qualy is what we’ll have to focus on.

    Glad i didn’t get up earlier to watch this game lol, kinda thought we might lose so it mightn’t be worth it!

  24. vuki says:

    I’m going to sound like one of those people who only posts in hindsight, but I’ve never been a fan of Mitrovic. I’ve never seen him as better than “okay.” No one seems up for this game either and its very annoying considering some of these players should be fighting for a spot on the team.

  25. Razbijač says:

    Croatia just need to score or goal, or else this 5-0 loss becomes the worst in Croatian footballing history.

  26. Alexi Cuckold Lalas says:

    I wonder how good we can be if we get third worlders to replace us like France & England?! Diversity is such a strength that you get put in prison in western europe if you disagree with that and in the U.S. have integration laws that prevent white people from escaping it.

  27. Mixed grill says:

    The game was over at 3 to 0. The coach should then adjust strategy, bunker down to save face and not have our new goal keeper get spit roasted. This is awful and yet we started very well. they got very lucky and we collapsed.

  28. Slavonac from Canada says:

    its mentally hard to keep fighting when you know the loss is drastic and all you can hope for is the final whistle..I understand what these guys are dealing with but at the same time, they shouldn’t have let it get this much out of control!

    Spain is a very hungry team that has been humiliated recently and each and every one of their players has every reason to do their best to prove they belong.

    I think there are some mistakes here in this game. First, I see their is no fighters on the field…Brozovic is our only real tougher guy and he’s looking shabby today. We are sitting back and waiting for Spain…and they are taking every inch of free space and then taking much more than that! Lets remember back two months ago when we were pressing high…Mandzukic, Rebic and Perisic…along with our midfield helping.

    Character means everything! One player can lead by example, sacrifice his body and display that fearless attitude, I really don’t see that right now!

    This is on Dalic, sorry but true. Unless Jedvaj is injured, Rog should never play right back and expect anyone to respect that type of change…seems really stupid to me. Its already 5-0 and I’m looking down the bench and searching for someone that could have brought energy when it was 2-0…I see nobody!

    This is a combination of mental collapse and some still on holidays or playing like they think teams are gonna fold against us…they haven’t taken into account the Spanish players have been heavily criticized and are giving this their everything.

    What a shit show!

  29. fools says:

    I actually agree with the Truth and would like to point out that a little luck in WC went a long way for us. we’re missing key players in this match, and their replacements aren’t ready for this level of play.

  30. Iggy Iggy says:

    We should be thankful for this league naitons thingy actually

    After we came third in ’98 we then failedl to make Euro2000 (another hangover after a great performance).

    This is kinda good cos we can get out terrible performances out of the way in this nations league thing and still qualy for euro2020! lol…

  31. Anonymous says:

    Censoring a fellow Croat b/c you disagree with his political speech is TREASON. It’s exactly the same as certain people demanding we disown Thompson b/c of his speech. Censorship has always stopped progress.

  32. Iggy Iggy says:

    Nah we’ll be good. Just have to have these write-off games out of the way. I mean if you’re gonna get a belting this is definitely the time to do it, in this minor tourney no one cares about and before Euro qualies starts proper. Best time for a belting, might give us some more motivation for the qualies too.

  33. Lika Joey says:

    Iggy, I still Love you bro! Even if your a die hard tennis fan. This is a mental hurdle which will be hard to bounce back from.

  34. ZLATAN HRVAT says:

    Modric,Rakitic,Kovacic have Champions League/Europa League next week their clubs must have told them to take it easy no injuries and just get through the game. Before the World Cup Spain also defeated Argentina 6:1 or something in a friendly without Messi.

  35. LAknat says:

    The aftermath that could happen or will absolutely 100% come to pass!
    – French won the world cup seems legit (check)
    – L Kalinic’s future is going to crumble like Matej Delaj (confirm)
    – Vida and Lovren are the best partners for CB (confirm)
    – Need The God of Halilovic Revelation (on its way)

  36. Mixed Grill says:

    This coach needs to learn to shift strategy. Yes, he can make subs, which our previous coach could not, but he seems incapable of making strategic changes during the game. You should play differently when you are down,2-0 or 3-0 or even 2-1 in the second half of world cup final, then you do at the beginning of the match. He does not seem willing or able to get his team to do that.

  37. ZLATAN HRVAT says:

    If we had to rank our best World Cup and most influential players it would be Ivan Perisic 1,2 Luka Modric,3 Rakitic,4 Vrsaljko,5 Subasic. PERISIC has had the second most score involvements for Croatia in major tournaments since Davor Suker. So at Euro 2016 we defeated Spain without Modric now we lose with him.

  38. Anonymous says:

    I can honestly say that when I’ve watched Croatia against Nigeria or Cameroon I had no ill will whatsoever towards those teams’ players or their fans(people) or their countries, but I can’t fucking stand watching those people represent england, france and now germany, etc. And no black man in his right mind wouldn’t feel the same if the situation was reversed.

  39. Vlad says:

    @ everyone grow a pair.

    Croatia is fine, never good to lose 6-0 but don’t over react.
    Everything changed once Vrsaljko went off, system was different lack of effort etc etc. These things happen our team is in shambles and is lacking motivation. As for the comments that our team isn’t good or got lucky in the World Cup only pussies would make comments like that.

  40. The truth says:

    It’s sad how correct i was for how long

    I’ll reiterate my points and perhaps this time the crowd shall listen

    1) Croatia is simply a slightly above average European side
    2) they got very lucky in the world cup with an astonishingly easy path and they still almost blew out. They were a whisker away from being eliminated by Denmark or Russia. And then the narrative wouldve been fire dalic and this team is soft
    3) Croatia will shift into primadona mode believing they have the quality of the elites when they don’t. Combo that with playing a system that requires high effort and you get a result like today

  41. ZLATAN HRVAT says:

    Isco and Asensio the two Real Madrid players dominated us they had over 60% they had 8 corners we had 0 so very much unlike World Cup where Modric and Rakitic controlled possession. Livaja and Santini are below average. Spain hit two long range goals so maybe 4:0 would have been fair. When Modric retires we will be bad.

  42. The Great Anonymous Doom says:

    This is a definite wake-up call, but it’s good that it happened now and not in a must-win situation (we have been doing pretty well in those).

    1. Pivaric is not at the level for this kind of competition. Spain’s attack came almost exclusively down our left side. Pivaric is a skilled soccer player, but he is a weak defender. With the way Barisic played against Portugal, there is a serious case to be made for his being our starting left back.

    2. Kovacic is not a right wing forward. With Pjaca in the starting lineup at that position, we might well have scored first or at least responded more quickly to Spain’s first goal. The ideal of integrating Kovacic into the midfield still has not been realized, at least not together with Modric and Rakitic (he did pretty well with Modric and Badelj against Portugal).

    3. The communication between the defense and the midfield was awful. Spain was given way too much space to maneuver at the top of our box.

    4. A true striker is extremely aggressive in pressure. Santini and Livaja were both awfully passive. This is also why Kovacic and Pjaca are not equal options as wing forwards.

  43. The Great Anonymous Doom says:

    Remember, a team that lost 3-0 to Estonia went on to take a well-contested second place at the following world cup.

  44. ZLATAN HRVAT says:

    @The Truth Croatia had an easy path because they earned it thats what happens when you finish first and top your group otherwise France would have beaten us in the Round of 16. Look at Portugal at Euro 2016 they were lucky to have three draws and Hungary almost beat them 4:3 so they were extremely lucky to win Euro 2016.

  45. Anonymous says:

    @ziva dickhead, this one game that was not the same team at the WC doesn’t prove you right, you’re just trying to justify that actually your prediction that croatia would do nothing at the WC was obviously DEAD WRONG. Also, croatia out played both denmark & russia & certainly “england”, & even against “france” the announcer in the second half said “france can’t get on the ball” and we all know every bad call & 50/50 call went only against croatia – of course that’s going to heavily influence the game. You’re just a dickhead who’s allowed to say whatever dickhead thing you want here but people who could actually help croatia get censored by traitors b/c those people got balls to say things you’d never say: politically incorrect things.

  46. Anonymous says:

    I can’t understand why mandzukic would retire in his prime. Croatia’s a small nation so the simple math of that means we don’t have a huge talent pool like the “elites”. Plus, how can you not make yourself available for your people, they should have to drag you off of the field. It’s not like “france” where you’re playing for words you must agree with or be put in jail for “hate speech”, you’re playing for your own kind here.

  47. Goku says:

    6-0 is embarrassing and its unfortunate but here are my two cents. Croatia might have a World Cup hangover and took their foot off the gas a bit but this was a good wake up call for them. Combining that with Spain who had a disappointing world cup and definitely went all out so they can prove themselves. Until Spain scored, we had two good chances..the best with Santini. If Santini scored it would had been a completely different night. We looked threatening with Vrsaljko but then he came off with an injury, and for some reason Rog was put in. First goal was a defensive mistake, second was just class, third goal was really unlucky..and then we just fell apart. Looked like our guys gave up when they should had just kept playing for damage control and just keep at it 3-0 or get a goal back for 3-1.

    We were playing with different players and it’s going to take some time for them to mold and get the flow going. With that all being said, i’m not looking for excuses for our poor result because this scoreline could had been prevented. Anyway, we need to brush this off and use it as motivation in our England games and Spain game in Zagreb.

    Brazil lost 7-1 at home in a world cup semi final. It’s not the end of the world. SHIT HAPPENS.

  48. Goku says:

    I’m Croatian, i like dragonball and when i got on here i started posting as Goku for fun and then i just never ended up changing it

  49. ZLATAN HRVAT says:

    @Goku You know the Champions League is next week right? I don’t think Modric/Rakitic cared the whole team knows International football for us is not relevant anymore as we will most likely never get better than a World Cup Final again or Second position. Even Rakitic was thinking of retiring from International football.

  50. ZLATAN HRVAT says:

    The 3rd Spanish Goal was not really unlucky it was a good shot that hit the Cross Bar and Kalinic hit it in nothing much he could have done. Subasic wouldnt have done any better.

  51. Goku says:


    What did Kalinic do wrong this game? It was the whole teams fault. Matej Delac was never on the national team or a half decent club team. Plus he barely played for most of his clubs.
    Horrible comparison. Kalinic won Belgian goalkepper of the year if you’ve forgotten. So who would have you used? Livakovic? whos been rusty since the WC. Letica? He might be a great keeper in the future. Only goalie in great form right now that i can think of is Zagorac from Dinamo

  52. Anonymous says:

    Here we go again with the “we’ll never do this or that again” just like all the old men told me after 98′. WHY NOT? Here’s a piece of advice: distance yourself from defeatists as soon as you can. Here’s some things I’ve heard from people who were supposedly prowhite: “it’s too late”, “the white race is finished”, “it’s hopeless”, “why fight a losing battle”, “I don’t care what happens after I die” -and this from a grandparent who claimed to love their grandchildren.

  53. Soul Champ says:

    Muchísimas Gracias !!

    UNL is a blessing.

    Spain is the gold standard.

    Ascensio is a world class RW.

    The reality is we are not that deep to have an elite U21s and lose players to injury/retirement and compete against Spain.

    Santini had his chance !! Both at the end of Portugal and beginning of Spain.

    Sad part is N. Kalinic would have buried those chances.

    Mandžukić is gaining even more respect for his goal scoring prowess.

    Brozovic ?! If you ain’t gonna run your no good for us.

    Luis Enrique is world class.

    Vrsaljko was the key tonight with Kovačić on the right flank.

    Rakitic was like “dude you think you can run it out?”

    UNL is real for the elite squads.

  54. CroatianPerson85 says:

    @Vlad – Bang on. Once Vrsaljko came off it changed drastically with Pivaric coming on. Cro was pressing Spain until then and risked the counter which eventually bit us in the ass with Vrsaljko coming off.

    That high press nogomet worked for us in the WC but we were burnt when we didn’t have the usual studs on. We don’t have the depth we thought we did at least not in specific positions.

    Silver lining (always important to look for one) is that if this had to or were to happen it’s better it happened now then later on.

  55. Razbijač says:

    I have to agree with Vlad, as soon as Vrsajko came off our back line fell apart. Plus, he was so dangerous going forward and was a handful for the Spaniards on that right side.

    Introducing Rog, was a Godsend for Spain. He was poor defensively, and lost the ball multiple times. I wonder why Jedvaj wasn’t subbed in??

    I also wonder why Pjaca didn’t start from the beginning? Kovacic didn’t do much on that right wing accept give away the ball in build up to Spain’s 2nd goal.

    Kova’s a good player but RW is not his position. He woulda been better coming off the bench for one of the 3 central midfielders.

  56. Lika Joey says:

    After brazil lost 7:1 they were never the same again. Today’s loss could be the end of Dalic. Once you lose like this the team questions everything. We just lost 6:0 our biggest loss in history. Dalic bringing Rog on for Vrlsajko was idiotic. We looked great in the first 15 min but they way the team folded is inexcusable. Vrlsajko coming off changed everything.

  57. The Great Anonymous Doom says:

    Actually, Pivaric started. Rog played right back to replace Vrsaljko.

    I agree with Goku. Better to make your worst loss in the first steps of a new chapter than in the final push of a major tournament. The real pros on our team know that too.

  58. Mali Ante says:

    My two cents….World Cup hangover is still in full effect.
    Our team was depleted and losing Vrsaljko was the topper. The concerning thing I realized after this game is that if we don’t have Vrsaljko, we actually don’t have any viable RB or LB options. Piva and Strinic played well in the WC but they are both below average. Hopefully Borna Sosa can develop to solve the LB problem…our strength is in our minds and looking at our u21 team the same can be said (along with with some great CBs in Caleta Car and Benkovic.
    We lack that true striker and our backs. That being said, we will rebound from this and honestly we needed a wake up call to help realize we can’t stop playing and expect to pull off results.

  59. The Great Anonymous Doom says:

    Rog wasn’t even our defensive weak link. Did you all see the miscommunications between Brozovic, Rakitic, Vida, and Mitrovic? What about the constant free runs Spain was making in Pivaric territory?

    Correct those, and we would have had a shot.

  60. Toronto Croatia Toronto Croatia says:

    I didnt watch the game ..just saw the highlights. Disappointing to see that scoreline when I saw it. I was thinking… is Lovre Kalinic really that bad? … but cant blame him for a lot of the goals. For some of the goals Spain just legitimately scored good goals ..and I did also see some shitty defending at times.

    I can understand the no goals for Croatia considering we didnt have Rebic or Kramaric …they would have helped put pressure on Spains defence.

    Bottom line is…Croatia was far from full strength (which a guy like Truth troll decides not to mention) …the 6-0 is definitely disappointing to see… but for sure it’s not an accurate representation of our team at full strength.

  61. the truth says:

    Outside of a talent overmatch, Dalic messed up big this game with his tactics

    He took the world cup style of press and covering lots of ground and tried to apply it to this Spain game, when our players simply did not have the motivation to execute it this time

    That’s why things looked good in the first 20 minutes. Croatia was at least a little motivated and had energy

    But once they got a little tired, and they got down, all things went to hell. At that point, it should’ve just been bunker time. The amount of space being given to Spain was incredible

    I think Dalic should put Kovacic in as CDM in the next game. If Brozovic thinks he has that spot secured and is no longer going to run, then he’s back to being bozo-vic and Dalic needs to send a message that he’s not guaranteed the position

  62. Anonymous says:

    @Lika Joey
    I enjoy your participation on this forum so nothing personal but…
    The end of Dalic?..players will now question everything?…. ….hyperbolic much? He deserves a little wiggle room, no? Brazil was on the world stage when they were massacred…a world cup semi final. Lets see how we react against England.

  63. Soul Champ says:

    The first 15 minutes .. Spain was shakey.

    We had three chances and Rakitic picked up another turnover but was wasteful with possession.

    Vrsaljko goes down and then Spain becomes world beaters and we devolve into Balkan bottom feeders.

    Point is .. Spain was sloppy in the first 15 minutes and we had joy on both flanks. I think there was psychological factor involved.. like this Croatia. Then they realized Pivaric is not Robert Jarni and feasted.

    6-0 .. needs serious response.

    England will be looking for revenge.

    Hope Dalić is ready.

  64. Anonymous says:

    @ Soul
    I think it sets up well. England wants revenge. We were embarrassed today. Our response will be worth analyzing with more scrutiny.

  65. Brkic says:

    This was probably the best possible time to lose 6-0. If it was a friendly, it would be too easily written off. If it was a more meaningful game, panic could set in. It’s never good to lose like that, but hopefully it’s a realization that when players switch off, the team gets embarrassed. I think the combo of injuries and WC hangover from the regulars resulted in the perfect storm.

    In the end it’s one away loss to a very good team. The players need to get back to their club teams and play their way back into full form and fitness. Hopefully we will be at full strength for the next international matches and we can put this one behind us.

  66. Lika Joey says:

    Anonymous, we just left the world cup as the people’s champs. A couple of months later in the world medias eye, we get Destroyed. We have this mental midget disease back! Sure we can beat England…but we concede a couple of goals we will implode. This was a shock and a massacre, not 3 nil…4 nil…6 nothing. Dalic had zero answers for Spain today.

  67. Lika Joey says:

    Brkic, the problem is there isn’t enough quality in this team to compete with Spain when we have injuries. Santini…Pivaric…Mitrovic. Are second-tier professional players. Rog rides the pine at a real club but he is in the same predicament.

  68. Iggy says:

    In the worlds media eye? I mean.. no nations league game has even made the news here. Don’t think anyone cares too much about these games – which ironically is the very reason for the disinterest from the team

  69. Mali Ante says:

    @ Lika
    I would put this less on Dalic and more on the players.
    They literally gave up and completely lost their shape….hoping Spain wouldn’t put the foot in the gas and embarrass them – but they did. Man marking was terrible and they stopped running when Vrsaljko went down. The first 15 minutes we actually played really well!
    Putting Rog at RB was an awful experiment but we really don’t have options after Vrsaljko. Jedvaj and his boy band hair isn’t a true RB either….We got killed on both flanks today.
    I really think we have too much talent with our first team and we will put this behind us.

  70. Lika Joey says:

    Iggy, I don’t think there is a disinterest from the team they just got raped. Every major news outlet has commented on this. This isn’t just a friendly game, I’m not saying its a world cup media event but this is a huge embarrassment.

  71. Lika Joey says:

    Toronto Croatia, I agree about not being full strength…my point is we have shit backups when our starters go down. Vrlsajko stayed on and we scored in the first 15 min we would have a different tale to tell.

  72. canuckcro says:

    Croatias vatreni are not mental dwarfs or clowns..our boys are playing the best national teams in the world .,its OK for us to have a brain fart.Now,here’s a a royal fuck up ..US of A 300 million people..qualified for WC for the past 30 years ..loses … ..wait..Trinidad and Tobago..1.3 million that’s a fuckup.Cro will be ok!!!

  73. Lika Joey says:

    Mali Ante, good post brother! I’m just fucking pissed! I have anger issues…I don’t think straight. I’m beyond upset…I have to deal with my colleagues at work tomorrow…oh Croatia what happened etc.

  74. Josko Coric says:

    Game was such a let down. I’am also fucked at work tomorrow.
    A lot of walking from our players. No Fire, at start they were pressing their defenders and then they stopped. No Hustle

  75. ZLATAN HRVAT says:

    Modric is 33 now Rakitic waa thinking of retiring they are all happy about the Second place at the World Cup. No motivation or hunger. Livaja,Mitrovic and Santini are below average. Rog is average. Our future hopes are all bench riders Coric,Halilovic and Jedvaj only Brekalo is not it doesnt look good.

  76. ZLATAN HRVAT says:

    Our midfield of Modric,Rakitic,Kovacic got dominated and thats the best part of our team. Spain had 70% possession people said we could have lost 10:0. Playing good for the first 15 minutes is not good enough. Spain completed like 700 + passes even against Russia they completed 1,000 passes but couldnt score.

  77. Bobby V says:

    This tournament is a really bad idea. On top of some countries not taking it seriously resulting in bad score lines, what is to prevent good countries from losing on purpose a few times to get to lower division groups and then sending their best once they reach group C or D to possibly cheaply qualify for a future Euro? 4 of the 24 countries qualify from this, all/most will be from these lower divisions.

  78. LAknat says:

    Say That we are sandbagging to make our easier path at the bottom league to qualify for euro and then they will rethink about this shitty format!

  79. Andrej L says:

    Very disappointing loss but let’s take a deep breath here. Croatia doesn’t have the depth that Spain does considering retired players and guys playing for the U21s. Both teams didn’t play their “A-squad”. We didn’t finish our early chances and like many have said, after Sime’s injury and Spain’s clinical finishing; we never recovered. But Dalic and most other coaches are looking to Euro 2020 and not the UNL.

    Pivaric was disappointing and looked half the man of Borna Barisic. That said, I want to see Barisic do more than one good performance against Portugal.

    Rog at RB was interesting even though he kept Rodrigo onside for his goal. Jedvaj doesn’t offer much going forward but neither did Rog. Much like Corluka, maybe Jedvaj needs to realize he’s best position is CB. Hopefully, he starts getting playing time at Leverkusen. I don’t think Fran Tudor or Filip Juranovic even got called up for the U21s so I don’t see too many back up options for Vrsaljko besides maybe Ivan Tomecak. Again, not a lot of depth after Srna and U21s (Srna’s been doing well for Caligari).

    Santini looked like a guy who plays at the level of the clubs he’s recently played for. Hopefully, Krama and Rebic are healthy for the rest of UNL. Mandzukic wouldn’t be in the plans for Euro 2020 even if he didn’t retire. Kalinic has played 34 min so far at Atletico.

    I’d be willing to have another look at Barisic starting LB and even Rog backing up Vrsaljko. I doubt our CMs will play this bad again.

  80. tomo says:

    “We got raped” – yeah when you dont put up any resistance!
    The whole team inc. dalic didn’t get motivated for this match. It looks like they dont give a shit about UNL.

  81. Iggy says:


    i thought about that too haha.

    I thought, well this year is a write-off, let’s hope we go down to group B and then maybe win that div next time and free path in.

    Since there’s no diff whatsoever bn div A, B, C, D etc (all get 1 spot each), why not just lose and go down?

    It’s like my indoor team, we would lose grading games on purpose to be in a shittier div so we could win the finals and get the trophy. I mean, what’s to stop it?

    It also ensures there are dogshit teams in the actual Euro finals which just makes no sense. Are Euro finals tourney really gonna be better cos Latvia or Lichtenstein qualified??? I dont see how. Just stupid.

  82. Iggy says:

    Also i can’t recall Cilic losing 6-0 even in tennis where it happens for you tennis-bashers. He put up a five-setter here in the US vs Nishokori and same vs Fed in Aus Open final. Even when he lost in Wimbledon final with blisters it was not close to 6-0 in any set lol. so in a Sport where 6-0 WOULD be an appropriate score it never happens with him.

    Guess that means Cilic has more HEART than the Vatreni and we should all switch our allegiances from soccer to tennis from now on! Yay!


  83. BZ says:

    Rebic and Mandzukic know the deal, as they are proper high press talents. You can see how Santini, Livaja, and Kova have no idea how to high press. If we can’t win the ball back, Modric and Rakitic don’t get a chance to create opportunities. Not rocket science.

    Vrsaljko, I talked about it the other week, without you we have shit for RB for the first time in over a decade.

    All this worrying about no strikers on the team, and we forgot how freaking bad Pivaric is. At least Barisic seems like a better defender, not like Pivaric did anything positive offensively.

    As bad as Santini was, it looked like that shot was actually saved as opposed to being off target. Ref blew the call, should have been a corner for us.

    Can we stop acting like our players didn’t care. They did. And I’d rather lose 6-0 experimenting (even if the experiment fails) than 2-0 and parking the bus.

    Think Badelj should have been the RB experiment opposed to Soul’s Rog.

  84. Bobby V says:

    We need to realize that it is difficult for a smaller countries to quickly cover for three players who retired and four injured since the final.

    This was a perfect storm.

    If you look at who is missing, it is all our strong, tough battlers, the hustlers, who you need to compliment the more technically gifted. Mandzukic, Rebic, Vrsaljko, Lovren

    It left only Brozovic.

    Spain always strong at home and had something to prove with a new manager and after being criticized for the early exit from the World Cup.

    Throw in the natural emotional letdown of an underdog like Croatia reaching the final and the fact that we haven’t played this type of a schedule against quality opponents in a row in a long time – if ever (England, France, Portugal, Spain), it all caught up to us.

  85. Bobby V says:

    I believe it is actually good news that we get Spain again at home. A chance to redeem ourselves that normally wouldn’t happen so quickly.

    Still would like to see brand new faces – someone could surprise us. Guys like Cop, Santini, Rog, Pivaric will never.

    It could be a player who necessarily wouldn’t normally quite deserve a call up based on club performance, but play very well for the national team

    It is now worth a shot – especially with our forwards.

  86. Bobby V says:

    One last point – this result hurt one person the most – Dalic.
    He was being talked about as being a master motivator which is needed more for coaching national sides than club.

    That view of him took a direct hit – fairly or not.

  87. Iggy says:

    I think some of u guys are just bothered youre gonna get bullied by jerk workmates lmao

    like, i have no concerns and im not dispirited about this result at all tbh. Like i said, if you’re gonna get a belting this is the time for it. It’s a meaningless game and a meaningless tourney, who really cares? Just makes me super happy this happened AFTER the wc and not during it!

    But yeah no need to be upset really, we just came 2nd in the world :D

  88. Soul Champ says:

    UNL is awesome.

    Now Dalić is coaching for his career against England who are two levels below Spain and super predictable.

    He needs to create a tactical strategy with the players he has available to him to produce a win at home .. behind closed doors.

    England are coming in super motivated and focused as they do not want to be relegated from level A of UNL.

    That second match against Spain should have a squad full of young horses.

    @ Truth

    Great point about Brozovic .. he wants to be cool then bench his ass. He wants to be the lung busting beast then play him.

    Kovačić can thrive at CDM .. especially with advanced age of Modrić.

  89. Goku says:

    Also, concerning the Nations League’s whole “replace friendlies” bs…The Euro2020 qualifers would have started this month. The only teams possible playing friendlies would be qualifying groups with 5 teams instead of 6. Also, the November of Euro2020 playoffs there would be friendlies. Basically, there would still be competitive football with only 3/4 friendlies max.


  90. Manuel says:

    Wellcome to reality Croatians. The last Worldcup in Russia was the conjunction of the absurd, with Germany, Spain, Brazil being kicked out and Italy not qualifying. For that reason Croatia reached the final. Yesterday the Spanish side showed its power after defeating England at home.

  91. Maminjo says:

    Actually, this World Cup was pretty typical.

    Aside from Germany, all of the top two seeds from each group moved on to the Round of 16.

    There is always at least two or three (Pot A and Pot B) seeded teams who are upset in the first round.

    This World Cup had almost all the favorites go through.

  92. LAknat says:

    I miss a competitive euro tournament consist of 16 teams.
    A lot of effort in qualification and only the best team can quality.

    2022 world cup could be the last stage for 32 teams
    Hope they will improve the quality of refering stuff.

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