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Mladi Vatreni Squad Named For Euro 2019 Run

May 28, 2019




The Croatian U-21 team kicks off their Euro 2019 tournament on June 18th against Romania. The 12-team tournament – which will be hosted in Northern Italy and San Marino – will not only crown a European champion, but it will also send the top four sides to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan. Croatia has never played in the Olympics so this would be a unique opportunity, especially after the Vatreni run to the Finals in 2018.



The cool thing about the Olympics is that all teams are restricted to under-23 players (born on or after 1 January 1997) with a maximum of three overage players allowed. That means Croatia would be able to pick three senior players to tag along. Imagine if Luka Modrić’s swan song with Croatia was at the Olympics playing alongside the future of Croatian football. I know it’s pretty farfetched, but still a cool thought nonetheless.



Croatia’s group at Euro 2019 is not an easy one. They will open up against Romania and will finish up the group vs. a stacked France side and England. Winner of the group goes straight to the semifinals and Olympics. The best second-place team also go.



The Mladi Vatreni are stacked this year. Many players have already played in the senior side which includes: Duje Ćaleta-Car, Nikola Vlašić, Alen Halilović and Josip Brekalo. On top of that, Borna Sosa, Filip Benković, Toma Bašić, and Nikola Moro will be part of the squad.



It should be an exciting tournament we all pay close attention to. A Croatian U-21 side has never made it past the group stage at Euro and this will only further the work the Vatreni did in Russia last summer.



Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 16 comments

  1. the truth says:

    This team sounds better to the diaspora when they read the names than they probably really are. The only above average player in this group is brekalo and he came off a season where he watched from the bench. Maybe deserves some credit.

    I’m guessing France and England have a whole crew of players achieving more though

  2. Soul Champ says:

    Nikola Vlašić is that rare combo of physicality and hunger.

    This kid wants to put the world on notice.

    He is our X-factor.

    He is our true #10.

    If Halilovic is healthy then he will add an extra dimension with his attack dribble.

    Brekalo – Moro are are pure BALLERS.

    This kids take this and we are putting the world on notice!

  3. Razbijač says:

    England squad has been released, looks like there is NO: Jadon Sancho, Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Loftus-Creek, Harry Winks, Marcus Rashford, and Ben Chillwell.

    So yeah this England side is beatable. Good thing EPL is a very demanding league and it helps that Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, and Tottenham all went far in Euro tourneys….

    ….As all this leads to the English FA NOT bringing in their best young talent to this competition. And choosing to rest them instead after a long season.

  4. CroatiaU14 says:

    Great squad, I’m so excited for the summer. @Soul Champ, I agree with everything you just said. Benković in the back will be HUGE too. And yes @Razbijač the England side is beatable, but guys like Foden, Abraham, and Maddison will be an attacking threat. I hope that our defense and goaltending can step it up for us.

  5. CroatiaU14 says:

    And, not sure if you guys saw this, both Vlašić and Ćorluka were included in the Russian League Team of the Season. The team is based on average match rating and both were there.

  6. the truth says:

    I’d love to see Croatia in the Olympics. Would be something different. Would be a long season for guys like brekalo who would do euro and Olympics. If i recall correctly, neymar ditched the copa America to play in the Olympics

  7. Razbijač says:

    @ Croatia U14

    Vlasic is arguably one of the Best players in the Russian League. And he’s our U21 talisman….mladi Vatreni go, they way Vlasic goes.

    Foden is a talented prospect, but he hasn’t played much for Man City.

    I’m really concerned about Abraham. Not to worry, we’re gonna get plenty of intel on him from L. Kalinic who’s had the benefit of watching him from the bench this season. :) (Boy, if Kalinic struggled in the 2nd Div, wait until he gets a loada of the Premiership).

  8. vuki says:

    I would agree that the strikers are a bit light, but the rest of the team looks very solid to me. Maybe Kulenovic steps up? Wondering whether they will stick with Posavec in goal or go with Semper who has been good for Chievo once they started playing him after they were relegated. No real RB is somewhat of a worry, but Uremovic has been playing there. Brekalo and Halilovic on the wings is killer in U21s play. First game will be the most crucial. They will have to come out and try to bury Romania so that even if they could have a good chance at being the best 2nd place team by getting a win against France or England. Who knows, tournament play can be crazy. I’m going to be optimistic and hope we win the whole thing.

  9. crnkovic says:

    Truth as always is playing things down. he considers this a service to us all. keeping expectations to a minimum. however i also think that mr truth doesnt actually know too much about football. he has never said anything which shows an insight into the tactical or technical side of the game. he bases his predictions on factual information, media reports and what he knows about psychology. so for example he judges how much a player has played, for what team, in what league, as a measure of talent. personally i believe in talent. i know it when i see it. our boys have it in abundance

  10. crnkovic says:

    great game by kovacic today. he did everything but score. one of the best players on the pitch in a major final. his plays led to 3 chelsea goals

  11. the truth says:

    True i am a master in psychology. But my tactical awareness of the game from my years of playing are also extremely high

    Let me give you an example of where the two intersected in one my many great predictions

    I predicted Croatia would get crushed in their first game against Spain.

    Why you ask?

    Because people didn’t realize that a great deal of Croatias success at the world cup came from the incredible work rate of rebic and perisic on the wing. They covered monster ground attacking on the wing but also dropping back to defensive levels, essentially frequently forming a 4-3-2-1 line up. With the three being rebic, perisic and brozovic (who also had massive responsibility). This allowed modric and rakitic to push further forward and on mandzukic to serve as a release.

    Having played for many years and studied the game, i know that such demands on wings and even a cdm, is unreasonable to expect consistently. It can likely only be sustained at its best in spurts when motivation is extremely high like the world cup.

    Combine that knowledge with the psychological analysis that our players were mentally drained and unmotivated post wc and i came to my prediction

    As usual, it was spot on…. Croatia was crushed

    Most on this site would have simply said ” arrrggg we just came in second place in the world cup! Were going to crush Spain!,”

    Silly diaspora

  12. Peter North says:

    My favourite truth prediction was when she said Cilic would never win a major. That was good stuff.

    You needed tactical awareness to play beer league soccer? That’s some serious commitment.

    Keep on keeping on.

    I once predicted Iva Majoli would win a French Open.

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