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Croatians Around Europe *XXI*

February 9, 2020

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Brozović (L) vs. Rebić (R)

 

 

What a fantastic Derby della Madonnina it was and probably one of the best Serie A matches that will be played this season! On top of that, the Croatians made it their own as both Ante Rebić and Marcelo Brozović scored for their respective clubs.

 

 

Inter Milan hosted AC Milan Sunday at the San Siro with first place in Serie A on the line; as an Inter Milan victory would mean they would jump in front of Juventus on goal differential. Marcelo Brozović got the start and the captain’s armband for Inter while a piping hot Ante Rebić got the start for AC Milan alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic. It was all AC Milan in the first half as Rebić broke the deadlock in the 40th minute scoring an Ivica Olić ‘right place – right time’ goal as he received a pass from Ibra right in front of the Inter goal. Ibrahimovic would score off a header in first half injury time to make it 2-0 AC Milan going into halftime.

 

 

Rebić Goal

 

 

But it was a tale of two halves. Brozović would score a fantastic volley from outside the box five minutes after the break and teammate Matias Vecino would equalize 90 seconds later. Inter Milan carried all the momentum going forward even though both clubs would hit the post in the second half. Stefan De Vrij scored the game winner in the 70th minute off a ridiculously angled header and Lukaku would add a late junk goal.

 

 

Rebić remains hot. Brozović looked world class in the second half. All the Vatreni are heating up at the right time for Euro 2020. Things are looking good.

 

 

Brozović strike from 20 yards out (1:40 mark)

 

 

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The return of Vrsaljko


 

 
Šime is back!

 

 

Šime Vrsaljko has made quite the comeback since returning from a year-long knee injury. After a solid game last week, Vrsaljko was voted as ‘Man of the Match’ Saturday in Atletico Madrid’s 1-0 victory over Granada. Atletico will need every bit of their Croatian defender down the final stretch of the season as they currently sit tied for fourth place in La Liga, which is the final Champions League berth for next season. Vrsaljko will get the test that he needs when Atletico face Liverpool in the CL Round of 16 later this month.

 

 

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Modrić (right) celebrating an easy day at the office

 

 

Luka Modrić had a successful day at the office Sunday as Real Madrid defeated Osasuna 4-1 to keep their lead in La Liga. Modrić was given an ‘8’ grade as he “set up a couple of late goals with his passes, and he could have had an earlier assist after sending a sharp low cross into the box for Benzema. The Croatian worked incredibly hard in midfield in this game and deserves full praise. At the end of matches when everyone else is running on empty, Modrić finds something extra,” the RealChamps reports.
 

 

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Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 39 comments





  1. BZ says:

    Looks like Jedvaj got the start at RB for Augsburg. He usually plays CB for them. Unfortunately Augsburg lost 5-0. Can’t imagine he had a good game, but his CB replacement probably had a worse game.



  2. BZ says:

    @gbvh-In his first 2 games with Wolfsburg Pongracic has a yellow card and a red card. Not a good start, but on the bright side, he will never be asked to be captain and wear the armband at Wolfsburg!

    That said, a 10 man Wolfsburg overcame a 1-0 deficit to salvage a much needed point.

    Brekalo buried on the bench in the impressive comeback.



  3. Maminjo says:

    Brekalo is too big for Wolfsburg and they know it.

    Germans are messed up like that. They don’t like anything that may come across as insubordination, and they are hardcore when it comes to disciplining players.

    Josip still gets plenty of game time, whether he starts or comes off the bench…so I am not worried at all about him for the Euros.

    He’ll come out ready for us, and he will most definitely be transferred to another club after the summer to take the next step in his career.



  4. Slavonac from Canada says:

    I’m happy for Ivan Juric at Hellas Verona. They are beating Juve and this was a fantastic 2nd half!!



  5. Soul Champ says:

    “A solid game from the Croatian.”

    Vrsaljko on the come back is beyond imaginable

    Actually solid full backs adding with to our attack, giving space for midfield to create the magic?

    I pray Vrsaljko keeps on building his fitness and regaining his form this Spring.

    A healthy and fresh Vrsaljko to compliment Barišić at LB!



  6. BZ says:

    @SOC- Juric has them playing really well. Haven’t lost in 2020. I watched them play ACMilan, and they were solid. If not for Rebic, the game would have been totally dominated by Verona.

    Having a hard time deciding who to root for in the Milan derby. If Rebic is on the bench then I root Inter/Brozo all the way.

    With a win Inter ties Juve at the top of Serie A.
    Juve struggling without Mandzukic.



  7. Maminjo says:

    @BZ

    If it helps…Croats always root for Milan over Inter.

    There is a reason why Modric and all these other Croats’ names keep coming up with AC Milan linked to them. A lot of them cheered on Milan while growing up.

    Yes, Inter have been buying more of our National Team players (Perisic, Brozo, Kova)…but I usually root for the players themselves moreso than Inter as a unit.

    But since Inter has kinda turned their back on Perisic, I could give a rats ass for them at all now. I really love what Brozo has been doing over there, but I would love it if Perisic went to their rival AC Milan (along with Modric) and they win Serie A with a squad filled with multiple Croats (plus Ibra).



  8. Maminjo says:

    I always said Vrsaljko coming back was going to be the biggest ex-factor for us.

    We have quite a few options at all the other positions, so we were fine in those areas…even when we had notable absences during qualifying (with Kramaric, Rakitic, Brozovic, Rebic and Lovren missing games).

    We didn’t really skip a beat when we had those guys missing because our other alternatives in Vlasic, Brekalo, Kovacic, Caleta-Car and Petkovic are all more than capable of starting.

    However, at RB…we only really have Jedvaj, who is a notable dropoff from Vrsaljko (and is no iron man himself) and the other alternatives (i.e. Bartolec) were absolutely horrible. So, having Vrsaljko come back is a huge positive change for us.

    Will be nice watching a very capable back line of Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, and Barisic play with our stacked midfield lineup for the first time…ever! (since Barisic is better than Strinic/Pivaric ever were).

    It will be nice to see how guys like Petkovic handle some additional service coming in from that right side, and also give Modric more time to focus on his offence (instead of having hime drop back to the RB position to provide additional coverage there when we didn’t have Vrsaljko).



  9. gbvh says:

    I hate poseur Conte, but I don’t like Sarri either (didn’t mind him all that much until the fuck you to Mandzukic.)

    If this game was a year ago I’d be cheering for Inter.



  10. BZ says:

    Rebic goal.
    Rebic awesome first half, only to be outdone by a brilliant 2nd half by Brozovic!

    Brozo with a poor 1st half, but was World Class in the 2nd.
    Left footed blast by Brozo for a goal.
    Brozo just doing it as CDM, brilliant defense and passes.

    Dumbass ACMilan coach took Rebic off. Rebic has been a clutch closer, and didn’t get a chance to come up clutch again.

    Fun game to watch



  11. Pavo says:

    Inter vs Milan was an intense game. One the better matches of the Serie A this season. Rebic and Brozovic scores.



  12. Soul Champ says:

    Man what Milan Derby!!

    Full respect to Brozovic who lead his club in a big time come back.

    His composure on the ball is impressive.

    Left foot volley ?!!!

    Conte knows he has the goods in Brozovic as his world class #6, pulling the strings in the center and while providing cover for his back line.

    Rebić should have never come off.

    He can always make something happen. Milan midfield got eaten alive in second half.

    Brozovic captain’s Inter to a derby victory and first place.



  13. Soul Champ says:

    Luka Modric—8.5: Along with Courtois and Isco, Luka was among the few positives of Real Madrid’s first half. The Croatian’s pass to Benzema prior to Lucas Vazquez scoring the third goal was a thing of beauty.

    Oh yeah this guy is still going strong at 34!



  14. Stipe says:

    @Everyone

    Broke my heart hearing about Perisic. IF he comes back and that’s a big IF, he is not going to be the same. He will lose a ton of his speed. He will not be aggressive because he just felt his bones being broken. This sucks. I know we have players that can step up, but Perisic is special. When I read the news about him breaking his ankle at practice, I was extremely disappointed



  15. Gazda Fizioterapeut says:

    Just for clarity, Perisic’s injury isn’t something we should be worried about him recovering from. His lateral malleolus (outside ankle bone) was fractured. This is of the fibula bone, which only supports approximately 20% of weight bearing, and it was a closed fracture, meaning nothing moved out of place structurally. 6-8 weeks will have him back on the field playing some sub minutes, and I would expect him to return to being fully match fit around April-May.

    Don’t confuse this with a cruciate ligament rupture of the knee(Pjaca) or an open fracture (Eduardo) in terms of fear avoidance and the injury affecting his return to the game physically and psychologically. I see these frequently in my clinic and they actually have better outcomes than high ankle sprains since ligamentous stability (usually) isn’t compromised.



  16. Croat Canadian says:

    This is what we need from Rebic, where was he during last WC? He should step up big in Euros. Croatia has so many options for forwards now. I’d say give guys like Budimir, Orsic, and Petkovic playing time in friendlies. It’s inevitable that Kramaric, Brekalo, and Rebic are going to start. But now that Mandzo and Kalinic are gone. Start giving the the other guys a chance.



  17. Maminjo says:

    Perisic should do a cycle of PEDs for recovery, flush it out of his system over these next few months, and not play for Bayern at all during this period.

    He would be 100 percent for us, and pass any steroid test given to him at this time.

    :)



  18. Aussie Croat says:

    Speaking of Kalinic,(not the goalkeeper), is he making any waves at Roma?
    He’s fallen off the map bigtime.



  19. Dannyj says:

    Maminjo
    100 percent agree
    Load it up during recovery
    Done right he will be clean

    Is it soul champ that says we go as Perisic goes
    He’s gonna beast mode it this summer

    He has shit to prove.



  20. Dannyj says:

    Good to hear about krovinovic
    I had him as my guy who brings career back

    Hard to crack our midfield but u never know for
    Next qualifying round



  21. Andrej L says:

    Krovinovic and Rog should get their chance if Modric and Rakitic retire this summer. Too bad it’s not guys like Halilovic, Andrija Balic, or Ante Coric…



  22. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Dannyj…I’ve always said “we go as Perisic goes”! my repeated quote bro!

    Rebic had a very good first half yesterday and then Milan lost total possession in the midfield and both Ibra and Rebic were irrelevant for the 2nd half.

    Brozovic is special. He plays a role that few can play and he plays it to perfection. He’s what we wanted to see from Rog or even Radosevic back a few years ago. So happy for the guy!



  23. Slavonac from Canada says:

    I think we have a few good options in midfield. I’d still like to see Rakitic utilized and I also think Kovacic might finally be maturing into a consistent performer. We just shouldn’t expect Kovacic to be something he’s really not.



  24. Maminjo says:

    For our central midfield… it’s Broz, Luka, and Vlašić for sure.

    Add Rakitić and Kovačić for depth (talk about crazy depth)…

    Maybe throw in Pašalić as another sub (he’s had a good season)…

    And finally add a non playing youth player like Moro (to give the Mamić conspiracy fans something to gripe about).



  25. crnkovic says:

    livakovic, kalinic, sluga

    vrsaljko, jedvaj, lovren, vida, caleta-car, katic, barisic, leovac

    modric, brozovic, vlasic, kovacic, rakitic, pasalic

    petkovic, perisic, rebic, brekalo, kramaric, orsic

    23



  26. Soul Champ says:

    Zidane’s message in the summer: It’s not normal for Modric to have only won one LaLiga Santander title

    Istina !!



  27. Nikola Vukmanić (vuki) says:

    I saw Croat Canadian mention Budimir getting minutes in the friendlies. I’m cool with that. But as Perisic probably shouldn’t be called up even if he’s healthy by then, should Budimir replace him in the squad or another winger? Maybe Pjaca does something at Anderlecht by then. Or give Mirko Maric a chance since he’s lighting up the HNL.

    I really just wish they would just let the players that are an absolute guarantee to be in the starting lineup have the international break off. Even if it’s just Modric, Brozovic, Perisic, Lovren, and Vida. None of them need to play together to gain chemistry, they’ve been playing together for years. I get the point that it’s unfair to the people buying tickets to the game who want to see the best players, but it’s not like they are going to play their best in meaningless friendlies.

    I’d just like to see at least like 3-5 players who might not have made the normal 23-man squad get a chance to do something. Maminjo mentioned Nikola Moro. I’m all for him getting some minutes. Some others I’d like to see are Luka Ivanusec, Marin Pongracic, Filip Benkovic, Borna Sosa, Domagoj Bradaric, Filip Krovinovic, Ivan Sunjic, and maybe Mario Cuze. Even if it’s just 3 of all of the guys I’ve mentioned in this post I’d be excited to see what they have to give.

    Also, does anyone know who we’re playing in March? I feel like I used to know and it used to be easy to find by simply searching Croatian national team on google, but now all it shows in the friendly against France on June 6th.





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