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Croatia Thrash Slovakia 4-0, Go Top Of Group

September 4, 2019

61747955-slavlje-hrvatska

Vlašić scores 1st international goal for Croatia

 

 

Croatia Starting XI: Livaković – Bartolec, Lovren, Vida, Barišić – Brozović, Modrić – Vlašić, Perišić, Rebić – Petković
 

 
Even with the omission of Ivan Rakitić, Andrej Kramarić, and Mateo Kovačić, Croatia had more than enough firepower on the field to handle Slovakia Friday night in Trnava. The Vaterni peppered the Slovak goal for the entire first half but could not find the back of the net. Modrić had a strong shot from outside the box go over the crossbar. Perišić hit the crossbar. Vida had a wide open net five yards out but couldn’t find the frame. Petković dribbled through three guys in the box but shot right at the goalie.

 

 

It was the type of half Croatian fans always want to see their beloved Vatreni play. It was almost as if they came out with a mentality that they started the game down 2-0. It was beautiful. They played with urgency. And if they keep this up, Croatia will be completely fine in Euro 2020 qualifying.

 

 

Screen Shot 2019-09-06 at 7.01.49 PM
 

 
With the first half dwindling down, CSKA Moscow’s Nikola Vlašić finally got the goal Croatia deserved in the 45th minute with a strong, low shot which got just in the far post – the first of his career in checkers. It was the perfect momentum boost going into halftime and it showed when Croatia came back out after the restart.

 

 

Ivan Perišić fired a shot towards goal in the 47th minute; only for the ball to deflect off a Slovakian defender and into goal. Croatia remained in control for the next 20 minutes with only light Slovak threats to defend. Dinamo Zagreb’s Bruno Petkovic made it 3-0 in the 72nd minute with a wonderful individual effort, getting past three defenders in the box and easily slotting the ball home in front of the vulnerable goalkeeper. Lovren – who hasn’t played for Liverpool all season – added a header in the 89th minute for extra added insurance.
 

 
Croatia just sent a message to Hungary and the rest of their Euro 2020 qualifying group: the World Cup finalists are back!
 

 

 

 

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Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 218 comments





  1. Nk Marsonia says:

    The beginning of new decades hurt croatia we didnt go to euro 2000 rebuild didnt go to wc 2010 rebuild what about 2020? In all seriousness croatia need a rebuild for 2022. We will go to the euro because 24 qualify if it were 16 like the old euros then we would be in trouble. From what i heard livakovic jedvaj vida lovren(mitrovic) barisic modric brozovic perisic vlasic(badelj) brekalo petkovic (rebic) are our 11 i predict 1 1



  2. Tomas says:

    We should still be able to beat the next two teams. They will be coming at us hard but Croatia needs to play hard to. These are almost must wins. If Rakitic is not fit he cannot play but if he is fit and he will not play then he is a dick. We needed him in that Nations league match aganist Eng and he dicked out on us. We would have won if he played and covered D. In other words dont be a dick.



  3. Bubi says:

    Its time for new blood to get called no staring 11 but in the tea.new croatia team Livakovic Sluga Posavec Bradaric Vlasic Brekalo Sunjic Progranic Katic Sosa Sunjic Krovinovic Nejasmasic Majer Moro Basic Bistrovic ivansusec.



  4. Anonymous says:

    im sometimes baffled by coaches scouting strategy. Maybe that would be a good piece on this site. Perhaps Interview a professional scout?



  5. Gemist says:

    We’re in a difficult position but even with our subs we should have the quality to pull through. It’ll also be a chance to work on squad depth. I doubt itll be 3 at the back considering we barely have 2 cb’s. I’m thinking the usual 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 with badelj and brozo helping clean up at the back. Also Rebic instead of Petkovic as striker as i think Petkovic isn’t in form atm.

    ————Rebic———-
    –Perisic-Modric-Vlasic
    ——brozo–badelj—
    Barisic-vida-lovren-jedvaj
    ———–livakovic———–



  6. Iggy Iggy says:

    I think we’d be doing well to get 4 points, away in both games arent we?

    It’s just after we achieve something great we always struggle mentally the next cycle for motivation and intensity so i think even with 24 teams we could be fuckeled : /

    Vekic lost too sadly in the quarters



  7. Maminjo says:

    Perišić, Rebić, Vlašić, Brekalo, Modrić and Brozović should all be starting… And this should be more than enough for Slovakia to handle.

    The back is a bit shaky, but you still need to start Lovren and Vida for now. Barišić and Jedvaj at LB/RB makes sense for now too.

    That group of forwards and midfielders above (along with Kramarić) should be the team we plan on starting at the Euros. If Rakitić wants to take part, he better decide soon… But we should NOT be experimenting any more as this group of 8 players is more than enough quality to repeat what we did at the World Cup.

    The defence will need some experimentation.

    Vrsaljko and Benković will need to be integrated, and hopefully Ćaleta-Car if he can play more consistently at Marseilles. Borna Sosa too, since he’s been starting at Stuttgart.

    This is it. This should be the players we stick with, and develop chemistry with. I don’t want Dalić to be calling up and wasting everybody’s time with these loser players like Meljnak, Livaja, Skorić, and actually giving them game minutes.

    The only exception would be if a youngster suddenly makes a big jump in an area of need. But I just named 16 players above who should be starting (or borderline starting) so there’s really no need to experiment anymore.



  8. Fredrick von thirstee says:

    This team reminds of the Dutch after they made the World Cup final.Too many key pieces missing and players in flux.
    A few years of misery are in store,but we shall be back unlike our Serbian neighbors who constantly have to change their bed linens after another night of diarrhea induced performances.
    Even poor Novak is bearing the brunt of Serbian hatred world wide as he was boo’d at the US open this week.
    He seems like one of the few good ones actually.



  9. Bobby V says:

    Croatia is going to struggle for the next few years. You cannot go back to any part of our futbol history to claim that we won’t fall far, because, we never experienced a four year gap (1991-1995 war) of not producing players in the proper manner before.

    Too many of our star players are over 30 and under 24. They are either on their downcline or not yet ready to lead.

    I’ll be surprised if we get 3 points these two matches.

    Not blaming anything or anyone. It’s just a fact.

    Croatia will rise again in 4-6 years.



  10. Bobby V says:

    Don’t bitch about Rakitic. Rather have him admit he’s not mentally ready than have him show up unprepared and be the worst player on the pitch.

    That admission is pretty patriotic, even though it looks bad on him.



  11. Maminjo says:

    Why make a baseless statement assuming that they will struggle?

    They have the talent. It’s all there.

    Midfield: Modrić (34), Rakitić (31), Brozović (27), Kovačić (25), Vlašić (22)
    Forwards: Perišić (30), Brekalo (21), Rebić (26), Kramarić (28)

    How can anyone assume that we will struggle these next several years, when a team with these 9 players could take out almost any team in the world.

    The age of these players are pretty spread out, and age doesn’t matter as much when you already have youngsters killing it on their club teams (Brekalo, Vlašić) and older players not skipping a beat (Modrić)… All the while, having several intriguing U21 players who will probably be phased in as soon as a year from now.

    Our issues in this past year has been entirely from our injuries, Dalić’s stupid experiments, and one of our captains being wishy washy with his commitment to the National Team.

    It’s not a talent or age gap issue at all.



  12. Aussie Croat says:

    Anything less than a victory would be considered a shambles.

    This is Slovakia. Not Spain.

    6 points from these 2 games is a must. Anything else should be considered a disaster.

    Let’s hope the Slovaks can pinch a point against the Magyars.



  13. Soul Champ says:

    @ Maminjo

    Well said.

    Dalic has more than enough talent to put together a squad that can beat Slovakia.

    Brekalo and Vlasic are the goods.

    They should start and play every match in qualifying.

    Modrić is as sharp and fresh as he has been in the last 14 months. He should be great this whole Fall season of qualifying.

    Perišić is in the mood.

    Rebić wants to hit the ground running with his Milan move.

    Brozovic is ready.

    Sort out the back to hold things down with Livakovic and we Are good to go.

    I also like Rog as a utility player.

    He has been featuring for Cagliari.

    Barišić is quality at LB.

    Jebi ga . We need to be READY to compete.

    Let’s focus on Friday then we can worry about the outer reaches of Baku.



  14. Iggy says:

    We can’t let Atilla’s hord win the group. Hungary will go down in God’s country known as Stadion Poljud. Tme of the the Dinaric Slavs to show them who is boss. Mongol cunts who killed our king.



  15. Marko says:

    I like it Iggy. Let’s inspire our dečki to beat the Hungarians so we can avenge our kralj Petar Svacic from a thousand years ago. It doesn’t get more Croatian than that.



  16. Slavonac from Canada says:

    I’m not as upset about Rakitic showing up for the National Team as many here. Yes, I think he should always show up for us but at the same time, he’s in the middle of some turmoil and has been treated very unprofessionally by Barca. I think its hard to play when your mind isn’t content and satisfied with your current situation. Rakitic has been great for us for soo long, I honestly don’t want to black list him for now, he’s just a normal human being dealing with insecurities in his job. Many of us would feel the same.

    I’m sorry for Mandzukic! He was awarded an extension to his initial contract at Juve, they even increased his pay, he was co-captain, he often played out of position just to help the team. Mario Mandzukic has scored against Real Madrid (2), Napoli (2), Inter, Milan, Roma, Lazio, a key winner v Valencia, a World Cup second round, semi final and final.

    I understand coaches have their system, style of play and vision and in this case, Mandzukic does not suit Sarri’s style of play BUT I’m also a firm believer in some loyalty and offering opportunity to prove someone wrong! Going from a very valued player to never seeing the field and being left off the 22 man roster for Champions League seems a bit harsh to me, especially considering the fact that he can be used as an experienced utility player, offering tons of fight and energy.



  17. Iggy says:

    But Rakitic has done this before not counting his Barca drama.
    Why didn’t the cunt play in the nations league vs England? The cunt.



  18. Maminjo says:

    Lol.

    We always get someone on here giving us a fake injury to Modrić the day before a game.

    It came right on cue.



  19. Maminjo says:

    @Slavonac

    It’s Karma.

    He let his ego take over and retired from the National Team, so he wouldn’t ever have to come off the bench for us.

    Now, he has himself a permanent bench role at Juventus.

    Not discounting what Mandžo did for us, but every player should take a look at Modrić and the example he sets for footballers. There should NEVER be a retiring from the National Team. You play until you’re no longer needed.



  20. Anthony says:

    Also hearing of a cervical strain keeping rakitic out. Supposedly also recovering from some whip marks on his back



  21. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Maminjo, I have a different take on why he left but I could be wrong.

    I think that even though the team did well at the World Cup, there were issues that could have exploded but they remained calm because the team kept advancing. At one point, I read there were several players that were openly supporting Kalinic as a starter, things were a bit ugly when Kalinic decided to protest and not go on as a sub. Prior to the tournament, Kalinic was the leading favourite but Dalic eventually went with Mandzo because he felt he was the more prepared and better overall option.

    I believe there was more than what we know to the story and eventually, Mandzukic left because he felt some of him team members rallied against him in favour of Kalinic and now the setting is awkward for him. Just my opinion from what I’ve read and heard. Yesterday there was an article stating that Dalic had a tough time choosing between the two and he made his decision in Russia.

    Mandzo has an ego Maminjo, just like many of us. I agree that he should suck it up and just play for the grb but like I said…I don’t think he feels the support of some of his teammates.

    Mi Slavonci mozemo bit zajebani ponekad!

    In hind sight, I think all of us expected that going forward, we were going to be a stronger and more competitive side after the World Cup. Many here were resolved to having Kramaric as our new starter. We were expecting Brekalo to break out, Rebic to continue his form, Vlasic to be a regular and yet now we are experiencing some panic because of injuries and club/player contract issues, injuries and an overall worry about the health and mental state of the team. Apparently Perisic pissed off Rebic yesterday?



  22. vuki says:

    I’m perfectly fine with Mandzukic retiring from the national team. Yes, he could still be a good option for us, but I really don’t want us to have to keep relying on older players. Maybe we won’t do as good in the Euros, I honestly was not expecting us to reach something like the Finals in the upcoming Euros. Could we? Sure, with some passion from the players and maybe some luck with how the groups turn out, but realistically, I just want to see a good performance overall. I would be satisfied with Quarters depending on who we would play. I’d rather have the Euros to build up our next generation to have a shot at making some noise at the World Cup again. Don’t get me wrong I would love to see us win the Euros, but I also know there will be a lot of competition and just want to be able to be satisfied with how we play.



  23. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Ture Vuki but I’ve never been 100% sold on Kramaric. Also, we do need another good goal scorer in case things aren’t going well for him or just to have another option for attack. I’ve never really seen Rebic play in that position outside of a few minutes here and there and I’m not fully confident he could do well over a longer period of time.

    Who would be your 1-2-3 option for striker? I’m guessing Krama is the first option?



  24. . .Crnkovic says:

    Lol Iggy. Always scared. I think we’ll be ok. We are at our worst when we are complacent against smaller teams and when we are intimidated by big teams. The injury to rakitic and kramaric, to kovacic..the retirement of those guys and the difficult start to a season for modric and lovren mean that dalic has no choice but to included the younger options. The problem as a manager is that if everybody is available and you then pick the younger players and God forbid lose the game. Your career is finished. So this is a blessing in disguise



  25. Iggy Iggy says:

    Just to clarify the Iggy above was not me at points.

    Yeah i am always scared but with good reason i think! Anyway i sooo hope to be proven wrong tomorrow morning (aus time) and we get a win plz plz plz hehe



  26. Horvat says:

    Look forward to seeing Vlasic step in for Rakitic. The kid has heart!

    This may be a good thing after all. Rakitic is older and MANY times appears lazy when playing for us.

    Time for young and hungry players to step in. Vlasic may not be as technically good as Rakitic at the moment, but I think he will put his heart on the field. He’s also potent in the final third.



  27. vuki says:

    @Slavonac Sorry I took so long to answer. Only just now checked back. I would definitely put Kramaric as our number one striking option right now. He sometimes doesn’t seem to fit with our team even though I think a little bit of it is players just being used to trying to get it to a target man, but he is just genuinely very good on his day. He can be selfish at times, but when he is playing well, he is top quality. Great on the ball and lethal finishing. Rebic is just the beastly, aggressive striker. He doesn’t miss often when it’s a clear cut chance and has a bit of dribbling ability. He also has something our other strikers don’t really have. Good to very good speed. So, I guess my 1, 2, 3 would have to be the same first 2 that I assume most people have and then somewhat of a tossup at 3.

    1. Kramaric
    2. Rebic
    3. Petkovic

    But the 3rd spot is such a toss up. Petkovic is the obvious option at this point since he’s been getting called up. He does well for Dinamo and brings a different element than the other two on the list with his height. He’s more of an Ibrahimovic type without the flair. He’s not the classic tall target man from what I’ve seen. He’s got decent technical ability and finishing, but can score the odd header. We do also have some younger guys coming up like Kulenovic, Cuze, Sego, Baturina, and so on, but unlike some people I’m actually fine with them sticking with the u21s and u20s as they just aren’t going to play unless everyone is injured so why call them up? Livaja has been scoring at AEK Athens, but was not great when he played, but was better than the likes Santini and Cop in my opinion.

    Also, something random that came across my mind and I’ve thought about sometimes. If Pjaca comes back and is not as explosive, should he try to move to the middle of the field and play striker or attacking midfield? I know many people have written him off after the injuries, but maybe it’s worth a shot? I can’t remember his finishing being great, but also don’t remember it being that bad because he never really got the chance to be the starter. What does everyone else think?



  28. vuki says:

    Appreciate anyone who reads that, might be a bit jumbled because I kept jumping all over the place when editing after thinking of something different. I just love when I have the chance to talk about something that interests me. Ask CroatiaU14, we had a couple chats when making the original youngsters project. I can go on and on about this stuff. Croatian soccer is one of my favorite things in life as I assume it is for some others on here as well.



  29. Truth says:

    Question. Did Rakitic ever really care about the NT? or did he just truly step up in the WC because the whole world was watching? Fuk him



  30. BZ says:

    Looks like Dalic gonna puss out and start Petkovic.

    How can you sit a Brekalo or Rebic (or a Vlasic)?

    At the very least put Brekalo back at RB just to get all our horses on the field, but in reality Petkovic isn’t their calibre. He may score, but that is bc our team is so good compared to the talent in our group. When shit hits the fan at the Euros, guys like Petkovic will expose us.

    With no Rakitic: Vlasic, Perisic,Rebic,& Brekalo are must starts.



  31. Iggy says:

    Rakitic wishes he was Catalonia. He almost
    Admits that and his wife is a bad influence.
    Who asks a women 50 times for a date?
    And the hell with being forced to learn Spanish
    If you play in the La Liga Bale was right speak
    English not a loser Spanish or what ever
    They speak in Catalonia. Didn’t he say that
    He wouldn’t mind if he had kids who choose Spain?
    His wife has her brown town couch in his face to much
    The cunt!



  32. Suba says:

    Don’t worry Iggy we really don’t need Rakitic

    He’s surplus to requirements and I’ve always felt he broke the rythym of so many Croatian attacks and let’s not forget that header against Spain

    He missed deliberately so he could secure a Spanish club contract too

    He’s dodgy trust me



  33. Horvat says:

    Bravo Dalic!

    Supposedly, Rebic is starting over Petkovic.

    Love this coach. Wouldn’t trade him in for anyone else on the planet.



  34. chicro says:

    I personally think Raketa is a big loss. What he lacks in aggression is easily made up for in his technical skills. Our midfield just isn’t the same with only 1 head of our 2-headed monster there (as we saw for most of the games after the WC, when he generally didn’t play). Am excited for the younger guys too and they do need to play, but Raketa is still world class and losing him is a big deal. Hopefully we’ll overcome it.



  35. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Vuki, I thought your comments are first class bro…well written and makes a lot of sense.

    From what I’ve seen about Petkovic, he is very good at holding up the ball and also very good at passing/playmaker. He’s an intelligent player with a good touch but ultimately it is his job to produce goals. If he doesn’t score but is involved in setting up goals for others then thats great but if we don’t get scoring from others…its on him to score!

    Pjaca’s road back to being physically and mentally fit is going to be a long journey. When he got injured, he was JUST then starting to find his tempo and was getting minutes at Juve. If he didn’t get injured, he had the potential to be a really dangerous attacker but thats not the case! I’m worried if he will ever be good enough to win a spot with our National Team again but I really hope the best for him.

    BZ, coaches have to look at their absolute best options for the current moment. From what I’ve read in the very recent weeks, Brekalo has been in form and scoring. He has 2 goals in the last 3 games. Rebic has just had some irresponsible type of play recently, getting a red (2 yellows) his last game with Eintracht and has been sparring with his coaches and even teammates. In my opinion, Dalic did the right thing. Rebic is sometimes a wild card. He has every ability to be a fantastic player but sometimes he goes off track and needs an attitude adjustment, I think thats what Kovac did for him…he got his mind on track.

    Folks…whatever you want to say negative about Rakitic as a player, you really need to re-think what you’re saying. He is a very talented player that plays extremely well for his long passes and equally as well with short and quick passes. Rakitic is a calm player, he is intelligent, he has a fantastic shot and cross…I read here (in other articles on this site) people mention his lack of speed?!?! Honestly, his benefits far out-weigh his negatives.

    With regards to Rakitic not showing up for us…I really want to give him the benefit of doubt. Yesterday I saw Modric’s response about Rakitic and it made me wonder if I was defending Rakitic when I really shouldn’t defend him Maminjo has mentioned some strong comments about how he feels. I’m usually the type to try and understand whats going on with a player before I start making negative comments or accusations and now, after seeing Luka’s remarks. Knowing that Modric has a far better idea of Rakitic’s situation, I felt like he took a major jab at his teammate and friend and I have to believe that Modric is right!

    This lineup looks more than decent. I’m happy with it and just hopeful the guys are ready and united today!



  36. Slavonac from Canada says:

    One more point I’d like to make.

    Marcelo Brozovic deserves a lot more credit than we give him. I remember him a few years back, he was just silent and worked hard. Fast forward to the present and he is that same guy x 10! What a work horse! He’s a simple player that knows his role and hardly ever deviates. I honestly love the guy and totally feel confident when he’s on the field!



  37. Elvis says:

    What is there is sort out with Barca? They wanted to send him away and the deal fell through because Barca was asking for to much. Why doesn’t he man up and ask to leave? What is his obession there? his wife?????? Why stay there when the team looked to dump you?



  38. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Milos, yesterday Modric was subtle and mentioned he had no idea what Rakitic’s excuse is and that in his entire career, he would never once miss and opportunity to play for Hrvatska. He said he feels his absolute best when playing for his country.

    Elvis, not sure how you interpret that Rakitic’s decisions are based on what his wife thinks…you’re speculating bro! With regards to Rakitic and his situation at Barca, I agree with you but like I said earlier, we really don’t know all the details.



  39. Maminjo says:

    As much as I bash Rakitic for his indecision on committing full time to the National Team…I would take him back in a second simply because he (along with Modric) are our two most experienced and most talented players.

    Come tournament time, people tend to put these things aside and go all-out. I think this team actually has the potential to be better than our World Cup team. All I care about is ensuring that we qualify right now, and Rakitic sending mixed signals hurts us in this regard.



  40. Maminjo says:

    It’s good that Vlasic, Perisic and Brekalo are all starting.

    Hopefully Petkovic can have a good game. Rebic is the better player, but debatable if he’d do well in that špica role up top instead of on the wing. Ideally we’d have Kramaric up top instead. But definitey bring Rebic off the bench soon if Petkovic is not doing anything, or if nobody is pressuring the Slovak defenders when they have the ball.

    Our left and right backs are hopefully not going to be an issue for us. If Bartolec and Barisic want to take that next step and stop playing in bush leagues…these next two games is their moment to shine.

    Come tournament time, Vrsaljko (and potentially one of Jedvaj or Sosa) could take their spots. Bartolec and Barisic had better step up this game.



  41. chicro says:

    Modric response yesterday re: Rakitic:

    “Nisam razgovarao s Ivanom, i pred ovakav trenutak i važnu utakmicu ne želim davati veće izjave na tu temu. Kad sve završi onda ću moći dati izjavu na tu temu, kad ću i razgovarati s njime. Teško mi je reći, zašto ulazi u te dileme. Ja sam imao teške trenutke u reprezentaciji i oko nje, ali uvijek sam s guštom dolazio tu. Nisam razmišljao da ne budem tu, dokle izbornik i stožer me žele, bit ću tu, rekao je Modrić.”



  42. Anonymous says:

    Wtf? No Brekalo starting??

    Who wants to bet that Brekalo makes an instant impact off the bench and if we draw, we end up kicking ourselves for not starting him (again).



  43. CiganJeCigan says:

    Good rididins. This is a huge blessing in disguise. The midfield was always too much of a clusterfuck. A while back Brozovic already surpassed spanish fag boy rakitic. The amount of times he’s flaked out on the team is unforgivable. Shame bruno is starting over future captain Brekalo.



  44. Maminjo says:

    Wow.

    Vida just pulled a Mornar 2004 in front of the net.

    Harder to miss than score, and punts it straight up above the net.



  45. Slavonac from Canada says:

    yeah and the noticeable thing about this game is how well we are creating chances…I’m watch on my iPhone, hard to see very well but offensively we look creative and dangerous



  46. Maminjo says:

    Vlasić is a tank.

    defender on his back and he just keep strolling forward and drills one into the bottom corner.



  47. The truth says:

    Great first half. Would’ve been unfortunate to walk away without a goal

    2 observations

    1) is petkovic good?. Really haven’t watched much of this guy. But every time he touches the ball I’m impressed with his touch

    2) rakitic who? I theorized Croatia might be better served by replacing an old horse with a new one

    Slovakia needs to change tactics here cause whatever they’re doing is not working. They should be better than this



  48. Dannyj says:

    I get to watch it in cro on a big screen properly

    They are owning them boys
    Ya vida with a complete fluffer

    Two posts
    Look composed in the back
    Livakovic is there when needed

    Petkovic making stuff happen! Guy shows some real skill on the first touch

    Vlasic beast
    Shakes couple guys off and clinical finish
    Vlasic and brekalo should be totally legit for us in the future

    Maybe Rakitic leaving can be ok
    Broz and hopefully Kovacic gonna take right over



  49. Dannyj says:

    Petkovic maybe can be a cross between Krama and
    Mandzo
    Handles it really well in traffic
    Let’s hope he keeps improving as he has been

    Maybe not as aggressive as Mandzo but that touch is slick
    He doesn’t look to be an agitator like Mario but doesn’t seem to be afraid to get dirty



  50. Maminjo says:

    We should probably sub out Bartolec.

    He’s not bad, but he does nothing defensively. He hasn’t really done much offensively either, since we have better offensive players dominating the ball out there.

    He is pretty much all the way forward and wide most of the game, with Modrić covering the left side for him on defense.

    We may as well play Brekalo at RB if we’re going to have Modrić provide cover over there.



  51. Dannyj says:

    We are def weakest on the backs…nothing new
    I really hope Perisic One reinvents himself like a Srna and play back



  52. Maminjo says:

    @Dannyj

    We have Vrsaljko… And Jedvaj and Sosa are playing regular Budesliga football. They will both improve their form and be decent options on the flank.

    Not too keen on Bartolec, Meljnak and these other weird Dalić experiments back there.



  53. Kyle D Picinic says:

    I agree, Rebic has been poor..but other than that, team is playing well.. Bring in Brekalo, take off Rebic and thus game can end up 3-0



  54. Iggy Iggy says:

    that stream is great slavonac but is 5 minutes behind..

    google telling me we’re 2-0 up well before the stream even said we were in second half lmao



  55. Dannyj says:

    2-0
    We scored in like the first minute of second half

    Got a lucky bounce for Perisic goal
    But it was deserved from the chances we created in first half



  56. Christmas says:

    Glad to see Decki going up 2-0. Hope they can add to the goal count since goal differential may come into play ( hopefully not )



  57. Iggy Iggy says:

    yeah i did that, it took it back even further lmao, oh well

    having probs loading streams in general atm but long as we keep winning iggs is happy dude!



  58. Dannyj says:

    Livakovic while hasn’t been tested hard hard
    Continues to show composure of an older keeper

    And from all I’ve read his handling of the ball and delivery of it is high class



  59. Maminjo says:

    @Christmas

    It’s UEFA, so the head to head record comes before goal differential.

    If any team hammers Azerbaijan for goals, it won’t make a difference.

    So long as we beat Hungary and not lose to Wales, we should be good for first place.



  60. Dannyj says:

    Sweet goal for Petkovic
    Brekalo is a game changer no doubt
    He comes on and bam makes a lot of that play happen

    Guys he is gonna be a cro legend when said and done if luck is on his side and if no gay kills him lol



  61. filip says:

    Feels amazing, Watching that Petkovic goal from my Split apartment of 11 month after 50 years living aboard. Time for Hrvatski return. Come home boyz.



  62. Dannyj says:

    Kramaric better start passing cause Petkovic coming for his job

    Brekalo with another sweet move making stuff happen



  63. Maminjo says:

    i LOVE how our fowards are all still pressuring the Slovak defenders and goalkeeper despite being up 3-0.

    They can’t compose themselves and lose the ball.

    This is how you keep a lead.



  64. Maminjo says:

    It’s going to be hard to justify having Vlašić and Brekalo sit on the bench in favour of Kovačić or a non-committal Rakitić.

    Also, Petković is making a case too.

    But players like Pašalić and Bartolec should never start. Just injury subs.



  65. Iggy Iggy says:

    well this is what we’ve been waiting for since the world cup, we finally showed up for a competitive match, terrific result!

    Only bad thing is Wales ended up winning 2-1 but it shouldnt of course matter given our result today as long as we keep intensity high in coming games and dont have a slump like so often happens



  66. Dannyj says:

    Whose gonna do all the math on points?!

    2nd place is just as good as first as Ante put in the write up

    As long as the locker room is good and we keep playing as one
    Sky is the limit

    We might be a better team come next year then in Russia
    Ya long way to prove that but not far fetched to say



  67. Crnkovic says:

    how about that guys??? awesome. we played some beautiful football at times. trust me slovakia didnt play badly at all. they were playing their own game with slick quick passing and movement. we just destroyed them. bartolec grew into the game. by the end he looked like he belonged at that level. pasalic missed a chance, so what. you dont judge players by missing a chance. you judge them by what they bring. pasalic looked good. petkovic what a player. brekalo class. modric and brozovic wavelength



  68. Dannyj says:

    Another thing I noticed
    As we have talked bout before
    Vlasic while not being super tall was hard to get off the ball
    Maybe a player like Rebic with more overall talent??



  69. Fredrick von thirstee says:

    Petkovic is the Croat Marko von basten.
    What a first touch and spin move.
    This von thirsts for more from Bruno!



  70. Crnkovic says:

    rebic is huge for us. he was just off his game today. vlasic has the ability to receive the ball on the half turn in between the lines and be positive from there. he is a 10. rebic will get back to his best



  71. Slavonac from Canada says:

    On another forum I mentioned that I felt confident with this lineup…as long as the mindset and overall attitude of the team is good.

    Today we saw Modric still being a leader, Perisic continuously moving and probing and our so-called elders of the team providing a good environment for the newcomers and it definitely paid off! If these guys can keep outside politics away from the locker room and also keep the professionalism and team unity good, we can compete with most teams. I saw Italy barely break Armenia yesterday and when I compare their squad to this one today, I still think we have an overall better team.

    Petkovic did make a case for himself Maminjo! He was very composed, skilled and clever. For a big guy, he’s fairly slippery and EFFECTIVE, something we need to see more often from our attackers.



  72. Razbijač says:

    This is the best that I’ve seen the vatreni play in a long time.

    Vlasic demonstrating excellant core strength to shake off the defender and score. His father prolly developed his Core. It was similar to the goal vs. Romania in the U21s.

    And Petko up top. Man I like him better than Kramaric. He’s got got some of Mandzo’s size and work rate, plus the technique of Kramaric. He’s got great hold up and link up lay, and is a good passer.

    @ Maninjo

    I’m happy Bartolec got the start, we need more options than playing an out-of-position Jedvaj there. Bartolec a little shaky in the first half, prolly due to nerves and it being his first match.

    In the 2nd half he was more careful, and went forward only strategically and at one point winning a free kick in a dangerous position.

    I hope to see him start against the Azeri’s on Monday, and gain more experience.



  73. Maminjo says:

    Razbijac

    Yea, I always knew Vlasic would max out on his potential due to the fact that he is obviously a fitness buff.

    Rebic is also a guy who works hard and will max out on whatever talent he has.

    Having guys like this, constantly working, running, and NEVER looking for the foul will result in goals.

    If that was Darijo Srna where Vlasic was in that position…he would have flopped and rolled around for 20 minutes on the floor looking for a free kick outside the box.

    Not Vlasic.

    Dude had a defender literally leaning onto his back and he still paused, picked his spot, and took the shot…with the weight of a player on his back.



  74. Iggy Iggy says:

    yeah maminjo im not getting ahead of myself the azeri game will still be tough. They never seem to lsoe by more than a solitary goal and if any team knows how to bunker it’s them so im not taking that as a win just yet, no way, will be a tough game to win and a different type of challenge to what today presented

    main thing i want to see is high intensity from the players tho – if we maintain that level we should be fine. Need to curtail our mental lapses and slumps that we have seen in the past.



  75. Razbijač says:

    Man I haven’t seen a Croatian striker dribble past 3 defenders and score in a long time…..I still can’t get over it.

    In the past our strikers had to rely on the service from midfield to score. Here, Petkovic single handedly created his goal.



  76. Maminjo says:

    @Razbijac

    Hard to judge Bartolec.

    He barely touched the ball, and he was far forward and wide for the majority of the game.

    I don’t really think he’s a high talent player, so I’d rather not invest in him especially if he’s not the defending type.

    Good for depth, sure, just like guys like Badelj and Pasalic. But probably never start.

    I’d rather look to getting Vrsaljko back there the moment he can play.



  77. Razbijač says:

    @ Maminjo

    I too would rather see Vrsajko there. But I hope to see Bartolec develop into a good player only because I want to see COMPETITION for spots in the starting 11

    Bartolec was the newbie on the pitch. And he didn’t get much of the ball, because the players don’t trust him yet.

    I was particularly paying attention to see what he would do, because he was obviously the weakest link. And you’re only as strong as your weakest link.

    If Bartolec can become as serviceable as Barisic on the left it would be great. At LB we got Sosa and Bradaric up and coming. And at RB we are lacking in options for depth, only Bartolec and an out-of-position Jedvaj.



  78. vuki says:

    Great performance all around. Hope that they can thrash Azerbaijan even more and keep the doubters on here quiet. Like I said, no way we are losing to anyone in this group when our team comes out and WANTS to play. Petkovic just won himself a lot more playing time with that game if you ask me. I still say Kramaric should be above him, but if Petkovic keeps up with performances like that he COULD win the starting job. Not saying he necessarily will, but it’s time for Kramaric to come back and show what he’s made of now. He was in great positions against Wales, but his finishing was just so off that day. Vlasic also might be the way to go at attacking midfield. I’m not writing Rakitic off until we truly know what’s going on and whether he’s willing to put in the effort for us. But definitely against teams that we will be on the front foot against, Vlasic should take that spot. Didn’t see much of Bartolec, was a bit invisible for most of the game. Not necessarily a bad thing, just need to see more of him. Also what a miss from Pasalic at the end there. Unfortunate that he couldn’t get his first goal for us. I like the guy but I don’t really think he’ll ever be a consistent starter for us with how much talent we have.



  79. vuki says:

    And yeah as for the RB spot. I’ve said it plenty of times now. We really don’t have anyone coming up in that position except Tin Hrvoj from Dinamo and I’m not sure what he’ll turn into yet. Looks to be one of those 50/50 players so far that will either be pretty good or pretty average. Filip Uremovic impressed me during the U21 Euros, but his main position is CB so we’ll have to see.



  80. Razbijač says:

    One sub that Dalic made, I have to seriously question…

    …And that’s bringing on Pasalic, a central midfielder, and playing him in the RW position. I honestly don’t see the point in that!

    He will never be a starting Right Winger for Croatia. And in a previous match, Dalic subbed in Pasalic as a RW and it didn’t work.

    A better move woulda been to bring on Orisic, a natural winger, and play him at RW. This woulda been the perfect time to do so, since we’re up 3-0 and totally in control of the match. It woulda been a good experience for him. It woulda given us the opportunity to see all of our forwards at our disposal.



  81. Maminjo says:

    Razbijač

    Dalić was probably just experimenting again.

    In these recent qualifiers and friendlies, he’s been making a lot of stupid and pointless subs.

    The Škorić sub into the final minutes of the Wales game could have cost us dearly, and this is a guy who is not even good enough to play on a good HNL team, let alone play minutes in a critical national team match.

    I like Dalić, he’s a decent coach… But he still makes some weird moves which I can only attribute to “Bosanska glava” syndrome.



  82. Soul Champ says:

    Tooooooooooooooo..

    Dalic was freed up not having to play Kramaric, Kovačić and Rakitic.

    He has good footballing mind but understandably struggles sometimes in handling all the egos.

    Bruno “where have you been all my life?” Petković.

    That was the most powerful front 4 that I have seen in many a moon.

    Need to focus for Monday as not interested in a Banana slip in Baku.

    Happy for Lovren as I love it when Croatia national team duty supports a player who is struggling at club level.



  83. Zee says:

    We pound on lovren all the time including me, dude is good. Vida also. They somewhat remind me of Bilic and Stimac in 1998. Around 30 just solid.



  84. Croat Canadian says:

    I was expecting a 2-1 victory but wow Slovakia played awful today. I was hoping Azerbaijan would steal two points from Wales and almost did. If it wasn’t for that own goal. Anyways, Croatia should be able to spank Azerbaijan if they play like they did today. I mean if Slovakia can thrash them 5-1, then they have no excuses not winning by a huge margin. I’m predicting 3-0 on Monday. Goal scorers will be Rebic, Brekalo and the new addition Petkovic. That Wales win has made such a impact on the group now. I hope Slovakia get a draw or win against Hungary on Monday. As long as we win the next two. We’ll be in the drivers seat.



  85. Anonymous says:

    So many of you scared today are guys come out and play brilliantly Slovakia are a good solid team and our boys made them look like amateurs. Brekalo and vlasic and even petkovic look like great additions. We even looked good I’m the back today great team performance!



  86. The truth says:

    Best game i can remember Croatia playing in quite some time

    Weird… Gotta wonder why

    Main story to me is petkovic!

    Like i posted at half time, this guy really caught my eye. I hadn’t watched much of him but i couldn’t believe his touch. Usually, our forwards like rebic or mandzukic have mostly been spazzes on the ball when they get and turn

    This guy though… Incredible composure…a strange motion to him. Much of the time almost looking like walking out there

    I don’t like to get into hyperbole and who knows how good that competition was today but i felt like i hadn’t seen that type of play from a Croatian striker in quite some time. The guy actually liked like a future star to me. I’m just skeptical it can be true

    My guess is kramaric still a more potent finisher but it was really interesting watching petkovics game



  87. Anonymous says:

    I’ve seen Petkovic plenty o’ times when he played in Serie A.

    He always looked like a capable type to me, he just couldn’t score any goals, and that would be the only reason he’s not there anymore and instead plying his trade infront the Bad Blue Bozos.



  88. Maminjo says:

    I didn’t realize that Sime Vrsaljko was included in Atletico’s Champions League roster.

    He is supposed to be ready to play in November.

    Since they already bought Trippier, he will probably get loaned out (likely back to Serie A). Hopefully AC Milan snag him.



  89. Dannyj says:

    Well Petkovic is surely on trial still but earned some serious points

    Whoever said Prso… ya wasn’t Prso working as a car mechanic to what age?

    That ball just looked glued to his foot

    Maybe the finishing will come
    Like the truth said when have we seen that kind of striker create like that
    Kramaric can but doesn’t have the work rate I believe of Petkovic

    Time will tell but there is hope
    Some of u guys seem to not remember a few years back
    Run it down the wings and just toss it into the center offense which is all we did for a while

    We were decent back then but we can be so much more nasty on offense soon

    We have much more dynamic ability on offense now
    But with that being said let’s see how they go up against Azerbaijan Monday
    If they can put up a similar performance then maybe we can start rolling on
    Let’s hope kranjcar is right bout Petkovic

    U got to think mandzo and Rakitic are a bit crabby today when they saw the highlights…
    Luka almost called Raketa out with his statement bout he will play till he is no longer needed
    He will prob come on as a sub at some point even
    Luka is Truly becoming a great leader I feel



  90. BZ says:

    How fun was that game to watch?

    Thoughts:
    1)Vlasic’s organic fit at the 10 with Rebic and Perisic beasting and feasting (eg tracking down slovaks on the flank, winning possession and attacking with ease) was the revelation.
    –Dare I say it was almost as organic as when Rebic complemented Perisic and Mandzukic to win silver. This game is to Vlasic as Rebic embarassing Mexico on their home turf (Dallas) was to Rebic.

    2) Our weak performances after the World Cup were due to some clear weak links.
    –The Average Santini
    –Lackluster Livaja
    –Duje Cop

    3) Love Kramaric’s scoring touch, but his defense is the antithesis of what won us silver in 2018.
    –He shall not start over Rebic, Petkovic, or Brekalo again.

    4) Rebic haters-Rebic was awesome today. He and Perisic set the Croatian beatdown tone on the flanks. Two grown ass men who don’t let anybody stroll into our own third.
    –winning soccer!!!

    5) Brekalo is an offensive juggernaut, as I have said for years. That said, he came on when Slovakia were playing loose. Not sure we would have dominated as much had he started over Rebic.
    –What an amazing luxury to rest Rebic then bring on a stud like Brekalo.
    –high-level, winning Croatian soccer is Perisic and Rebic style aggression, but there is room for Brekalo somewhere. Dalic please experiment.

    6) Anybody else love watching Modric rest today? Didn’t even need to set the tone. He is our best 6,8,& 10…but today we found a sufficient 10 that allowed Brozo and Modric to hang back, and help defensively. Really effective soccer.
    –also fun as hell watching Modric play forward at the end of the game, just putting on a show.

    7) Kovacic-not a bad backup when injuries occur, but he NEVER was part of an “organic” lineup like today’s lineup.

    8) Rakitic-Love ya man, and always will, but we are solid with Vlasic, Modric, Brozovic. Croatia > Barcelona
    –Imagine Modric going down with an injury, and a rested Rakitic filling his spot. Embarassment of riches, but I think he would retire before coming on a sub.



  91. Soul Champ says:

    @ BZ

    Break it down Brate!

    Today’s game made me feel like I was in Croatia swimming in the Adriatic.

    Croatian style that leaves you energized.

    Dado Prso was probably the last time I saw out #9 dribbling past defenders.

    Petković is big dude as well.

    Your word organic is right on.

    There was a natural flow with our attacking four leading the line.

    Petković, Vlašić, Rebić and Perišić are a force of nature.

    Maybe the World Cup was the insight and yesterday was the breakthrough for our offense?

    Slovakia > Hungry.

    They are up against it and have too much quality to quit.

    Wales will be there as well.

    We deliver another a beat down in Baku and the group will fight each for 2nd place.

    Brekalo adds even more creativity to our attacking flow.

    Got to think that the boys simply want to keep this party going.

    Modrić deserves to play his final chapter with these type of teammates.



  92. Maminjo says:

    I thought it was crazy to suggest that Modrić would play another World Cup for us…but it’s looking very likely.

    The dude will not retire, and he’s better at 34 than he’s ever been at any point in his career.

    If he can maintain even 50% of this level of play, he would be a supersub for us…but I wouldn’t even be surprised if he somehow was still starter-worthy.



  93. Maminjo says:

    BTW, the Azerbaijan game on Monday is on Luka’s 34th birthday.

    The guy is going to be celebrating his birthday, playing for the National Team in Baku.



  94. Mr Simeonic says:

    Croatia is to unpredictable we defeat teams like Slovakia 0:4 away from home but we lose to teams like Hungary away instead of at least getting a draw. We should defeat Azerbaijan by at least 4 or 5 but might win 1:0 or even draw or lose some points.



  95. The truth says:

    Hmmm did some more digging on petkovic

    Looks like he’s about to be 25 in a couple days

    I haven’t been following him…i thought he was one of dinamos new young guys and only like 21

    At 25, his upside looks a lot smaller

    His historic goal rate looks abysmal. But he does now have 6 goals in 7 games this year across all competition. Who knows… Maybe late bloomer



  96. Maminjo says:

    You didn’t know that Petkovic was 25?

    Wouldn’t he have been on the U21 team if he was one of our young up and comers?

    You seem to comment an awful lot on things you don’t know much about.



  97. The truth says:

    Like I’ve said, my tracking of the young players has really deteriorated in the past years or so. We used to have the interns and the analysts doing soccer analytics to train them on programming skills and that’s where I’d get most of my young guy analytics. Business has really intensified in the past couple years so we’ve had to change some of things we do. The soccer analytics unfortunately one of them. It was a lot of fun and people really enjoyed it! But gotta let some things go sometimes.

    Petkovic never shone on any of those lists so i haven’t really recognized him. Looking at his past stats i could see why he wouldn’t have stuck out



  98. Mile says:

    Croatia has four games left. Their magic number is three wins to qualify. The way I see it, they will win in Azerbaijan, and at home to Hungary and Slovakia. That would clinch at least a second place spot. And the only way they wouldn’t get first with this scenario is if Wales wins their remaining four games, including beating Croatia 1-0 or by more than two goals, or if Hungary loses to Croatia by one goal by a score of at least 3-2 and wins their other three games. Don’t see any of that happening.



  99. Maminjo says:

    @Mile

    Until yesterday, each of the top-4 teams in the group had beaten each other, and none of them won an away game.

    This is why the Wales win is Osijek was so critical…because it leveled things up with Croatia beating Wales, who beat Slovakia, who beat Hungary, who beat Croatia.

    Now, this win in Slovakia gave Croatia the edge because it’s the first away victory between these four hopefuls.

    Slovakia will desperately want to win in Hungary on Monday, and Hungary will need to win in Wales if this were to happen. Wales still needs a road victory over any of those two as well.
    Anybody that loses at home now will likely be out. Slovakia has done this and is in serious trouble unless the pull of the same feat to one of the other teams on the road.

    I doubt we lose either of our home matches against Hungary and Slovakia, and so long as we get a draw in Wales (and win this Monday Azerbaijan game) we should be fine.



  100. Mile says:

    Maminjo, yes the first team to win on the road being Croatia is huge (not counting Azerbaijan). I see Croatia winning Monday in a tighter game than yesterday. I can also see Slovakia giving Hungary a battle Monday. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a tie or Slovakia winning. Then Croatia would be in a great position heading into next month’s games.



  101. The truth says:

    I felt like Slovakia s tactics were terrible. Incredible amount of space open. After that initial flow of the game, they should’ve just moved to bunker and counter.



  102. Medo says:

    With Bruno’s fine form of late both in champions league and for his country I’m surprised I haven’t heard any chatter of teams interested in his services?
    I realize he didn’t do much in Italy when he was there but a guy with his size and deft touch would seem to be sought after by many.



  103. Soul Champ says:

    SHEEPle can’t see what is front of their eyes.

    Dalic just got to another level with Petković move.

    24 years old is still young.

    Croatians play well into their 30’s.

    I pray Petković only makes a move where he can start.



  104. Razbijač says:

    Petkovic is still young, we just haven’t heard much about him. Some players make a splash in their youth, others gradually mature…

    Also, there was such synergy and dynamism with the Trident of Vlasic, Modric, and Brozovic in midfield. As my Dida, used to say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

    With Vlasic, we found a true fantasista that can create and can hold on to the ball. I think at this point guys like Rakitic, Kovacic, and Kramaric should take a back seat. They can form a Trident as well, with Krama at the top of the diamond. But many have questioned their effort post-WC.

    Also this Front 4 is DEVASTATING, the Slovaks were mauled by a buncha wild animals yesterday. Enough to make Noah’s ark proud.

    Now I don’t mean to get all New Agey, but if we were to assign a Spirit Animal to each of our front four it would be as follows:

    Perisic: Cheetah
    Vlasic: Wolverine
    Rebic: Bull
    Petkovic: Grizzly Bear

    (Conversely, AT THE MOMENT, the Spirit Animal for Kovacic is Koala Bear, Kramaric is Squirrel, and Rakitic is weasel, Not Exactly the the wild beasts that can strike fear into opposing teams!!)



  105. BZ says:

    Petkovic was great.

    I am not 100% smitten, like the Truth, but this was definitely his coming out party.

    There were two moments of greatness
    –Bruno’s two great moves in crowded space were glimpses of Euro 2020 winning soccer.
    —-that said, he had ample opportunities to shine.

    There were moments of mediocrity.
    –several bad passes when he had space and/or time
    –an inordinate amount of shots directly at the defender in front of him, while other choices were available.
    —-The great news, these are all things he will remember and correct, as all the greats do.



  106. Horvat says:

    If everyone stays healthy, we will be stronger at the Euros than we were in Russia. We will clearly be one of the favorites to win it all.



  107. Slavonac from Canada says:

    I honestly didn’t know Petkovic was in Italy from 18-24! My friend in ZG just told me. Seems kinda young to go abroad and most of us never hearing of him til he went to ZG last year.



  108. Maminjo says:

    The one thing I miss the most about 90s football is when strikers out-dribble the last defender and just score one on one with the goalkeeper.

    Nobody does this anymore.

    Footballers just unload onto the goal the first chance they get, which is good… But there’s something so beautiful about a striker just waltzing into those tight spaces and finding himself clear, just him against the keeper (and sometimes dribble out the keeper as well before putting it in).

    One of my favorite goals is still when Šuker dribbled out Kopke against Germany at Euro 96 and rolled it into the goal. He could have easily scored before that move, but chose to dribble out the keeper before putting it in. It’s awesome to see.

    Only Kramarić and (now) Petković have this skill since Šuker.

    We haven’t seen Krama play too much to see him do these types of goals, but it was cool to see Petković do it TWICE yesterday (unfortunately, not scoring on the first chance).



  109. The liar says:

    I am surprised Truth did not foresee Bruno’s coming out party seeing how he runs a fortune500 company mastering anylitics regression to mean and dna make up of athletes.
    Even the greats have the odd slip up!



  110. Croat Canadian says:

    Horavt We were healthy in Russia. There will be other favorites like England, Spain, Belgium, France and Netherlands that will go far into the tournament too. Modric will be 35 once he plays his last tournament. Rakitic will be 32, Perisic will be 31. It’s time we start investing more in the youth. Our national team won’t be as strong as the next years approach. I mean even if you subtracted our top and and most experienced players, the team won’t be as bad. We can look forward to Rebic, Brekalo, Petkovic, Vlasic, Brozovic, Kovacic. FYI to everyone in the comments. We’ve won the last two games without Kalinic. Livakovic is way more confident.



  111. vuki says:

    I knew about Petkovic a while back. Around 3-5 years ago I remember watching some highlight videos of him in Serie B. I was intrigued when he moved to the Serie A, but not much came of it and I figured he was just another one of those players who would do well in the lower tier and then get no playing time in a bigger league. If he can continue to improve and become more consistent, he can move to a bigger league. But honestly, there’s nothing wrong with going to a bigger team that isn’t in the top 5 leagues or one of the smaller teams in the top 5 leagues and playing every week. If Dinamo continues to get into the Champions League and a couple of our other teams finally start qualifying for Europa League it may just be a viable option for people to just stay there until maybe they become good enough to be on a top team. I have no problems with players from the HNL being on the national team. Whoever is capable of making an impact deserves a place on the team. I was asking why Orsic wasn’t getting called up last season before and especially after Pjaca got injured again. He’s a good player. Was tearing up the Korean league for a couple years and then went to Dinamo and showed that he is an asset to whatever team he is on. Not a superstar, but definitely can have an impact off the bench when the opposition starts to tire with his pace and smart runs.



  112. Horvat says:

    Croat Canadian,

    Are you saying we will see a drop from now till next summer?

    If Modric retires after the Euros we will be weaker. Thankfully we have some youngsters in that position who could be great some day. ie, Vlasic, Mayer, etc…



  113. The truth says:

    @ the liar

    You know… It’s funny that i have so little recollection of petkovic… So i went back and looked and some of the old work and realize he’s pretty much entirely missing from the data set. A lot of the young player data is driven by international competition and looks like bruno did not really play at the Croatia youth international level. Only one under 21 appearance



  114. The truth says:

    Also we’re not fortune 500! I wish! But definitely in the tech space focused on social media ad work and cyber security. As you could guess, these are busy spaces right now



  115. Anonymous says:

    Is this the first time Truth Troll isn’t somehow claiming post game to have predicted everything? You know… his usual, “running simulations” (playing FIFA on his xbox), to predict the outcome: maybe a win, maybe a loss, or possibly even a draw.



  116. Soul Champion says:

    @ Raz

    Since the dawn of time animal spirits have been integral to the human experience. Nothing new age about them!

    I actually don’t remember that type of offensive display since the ‘98 team.

    Vlasic is the dynamic force we have been praying for and Brekalo is pure class.

    Dalic is freed up to create another winning game plan in Baku.



  117. The truth says:

    Well anonymous, it’s funny you ask…i did have some predictions that came true

    I said how the team would function better with only one set of old legs in the midfield and the replacement of vlasic for rakitic proved correct

    Also, already at half time, i said that this petkovic guy was really showing something. 45. Minutes and a wonder goal later everyone on the bandwagon calling him the next zlatan

    What can i say… Sometimes i see things developing



  118. Anonymous says:

    @BZ

    “Rebic haters-Rebic was awesome today.”

    Are you calling @Slavonac a Rebic hater, because he’s the only guy that’s had some negative things to say about Rebic recently?

    @Slavonac from Canada

    Besides you, do you know of anyone else that @BZ could be calling a Rebic Hater?





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