free counters

Croatians Around Europe *XXII*

February 16, 2020


Pašalić curler keeps Atalanta in 4th place



Super sub Mario Pašalić came off the bench for Atalanta in the 59th minute vs. Roma Saturday and scored the game winner 19 seconds later with a wonderful curler from inside the box. It’s one of the fastest goals for a sub in Serie A history – although not the fastest (15 seconds) – and once again puts Pašalić in the conversation for Euro 2020 playing time. Although Pašalić is nowhere near starting for an already world-class Croatian midfield, he can definitely add some power off the bench.



The goal earned Atalanta a 2-1 win over Roma, which means Atalanta now hold a 6-point lead over Roma for Italy’s final Champions League berth. Everyone is heating up at the right time for Croatia and Zlatko Dalić will have more than enough options to pick from for his Croatian midfield.



Pašalić Winner vs. Roma 




Kramarić converts from the spot



Andrej Kramarić assisted and scored from the penalty spot in Hoffenheim’s 3-2 loss to Wolfsburg on Saturday. He has been in above average form this year and will surely be vying for Croatia’s lone striker slot as manager Zlatko Dalić will most likely play a 4-5-1 formation at Euro 2020. There are still peeps from Croatian fans for Bruno Petković to get the nod, but I think you still have to go with Krama at this point.



Kramarić hits from the spot



Luka Modrić came off the bench for Real Madrid in the 81st vs. Celta Vigo Sunday. Real Madrid would draw 2-2, which means they now only have a 1-point lead on rivals Barcelona atop the La Liga table. Šime Vrsaljko came on as a 2nd half substitute in Atletico Madrid’s 2-2 draw vs. Valencia Friday night. They may have prematurely looked forward to their Champions League clash with Liverpool this week as they cling onto 4th place in La Liga for the moment.



Marcelo Brozović and Inter Milan blew a 1-goal lead and an opportunity to stay in first place in Italy as they lost 2-1 to Lazio Sunday night. Brozović played 77 minutes in the match as Lazio now jump them for second spot. Inter now sit three points behind leaders Juventus and two points behind Lazio.




Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 21 comments

  1. Soul Champ says:

    All the adversity Rebić has faced has strengthened his character.

    At 26 his skills are improving just like Olić.

    He will have his explosive speed for a good 4 years which is the next two major tournaments.

    Then will see if he continues to improve his finishing in the final third.

    How much can he learn from Zlatan when it comes to being an alpha?

    Milan is in a fight for fourth the rest of the way in serie A.

    Rebić always brings us a different dimension with his physicality, if he is in finishing mode then it is now an extra dimension.

  2. Mile says:

    I watched rebic game earlier this week and then uh oh All of a sudden i needed to make a poopie again! I knew i wouldn’t make it to the bathroom again so i had to go In my pants again. Two pants poopies in one day oh no! This time I’ll change though

  3. Dannyj says:

    Pasalic a decent quality player who can never get more then scrub mins for the repka
    Don’t know the stats but seems like he has put up a solid season

  4. gbvh says:

    I was ‘this’ close to buying a Pasalic kit the other day to add to the big collection, but I struggled to get over the “American football” jersey number — 88.

    I’m sure I’ll end up getting one after the right amount of pivos have been consumed.

    Volim piti, volim piti ….

  5. Razbijač says:

    Rebić doesn’t stop scoring. He’s become Serie A’s resident animal. He’s playing LIKE a world class player :)

    Surely he’s better than juve’s dybala!

  6. Soul Champ says:

    Rebic (7 – MOTM): With yet another goal, Ante Rebic proved once again how reliable he is this season. Despite disappearing a couple of times in the second half, the Croatian was mostly outstanding.

    Plus Milan are trash.

    So many scrubs all over the pitch.

    Rebić just needs to play his role with his world class teammates on Croatia.

    Also seems his future is as a striker?

    Does not quite have the fine tune technique for the wing, but as center forward has all the tools now that he is finishing everything that comes his way.

    Boban needs to sign at least 4 more Croatians to get AC Milan to champions league level.

    All Croatians Milan.

  7. Maminjo says:

    I’d still keep him on the wing.

    He’s not good in the špica, where you need to dribble in tight spaces, make crisp passes in those same tight spaces, and have a lethal (yet soft enough) touch to finish up close with extreme accuracy. Guys like Bruno Petković and Andrej Kramarić are perfect for these roles.

    Rebić’s recent goals are one-time shots, or ones where he makes one move and finishes it. He’s great at bullying his way into position, and has enough technical ability to make a nice dribble before a shot… But he’s not a guy that is good at receiving a pass in the box with several defenders around him, where he needs to be extremely quick thinking and accurate with his next move (whether it be a dribble, a pass or a shot) with zero margin for error.

    He also doesn’t know how to head the ball either (something that all of our other strikers are great at).

    Playing him up top would result in half a dozen missed and wasted opportunities in the box (when we have possession). However, his pressing on the defensive end would be fantastic.

    He’d be good in some scenarios, but I’d rather he play on the wing where his tireless running and chaos he creates (when bullying his way into the box) benefits our striker who is waiting to pounce in front of goal.

  8. Soul Champ says:

    @ Maminjo

    Valid points and clear breakdown of his game at present.

    I like the way Rebić can run into channels and stretch the D, plus his pressing from the top sets the defense up from the point.

    Petković is too slow for highest level.

    Kramaric is a unique finisher but seems a bit light to lead the line by himself.

    Right now we need Rebić on the wing by 2-4 years from now maybe he is our striker and we have super slick wings in support of him like Brekalo.

    Vlašić is the undisputed #10 for us as now one since Zvonimir Boban has brought Vlašić has flashed in this last qualifying cycle.

    Actually AC Milan should make that happen but can’t afford him now?

  9. Maminjo says:

    Everybody lost their chance with Vlašić.

    CSKA is not some cash strapped team, and Russian League teams do not consider themselves to be feeder teams to any of the leagues in Western Europe.

    There is no way he will be sold for anything less than $30 million.

  10. BZ says:

    Can we finally put to rest the whole “Brekalo starts over Rebic” BS I withstood all year?

    Ps-Yelling/Pouting Ibra with another pathetic game.

    @Soul- Rebic is no doubt a winger right now.
    -He may be even better than an uninjured Perisic, at the moment, in respect to getting the cross off.
    -His decisive moves and speed are way more valuable on the wing. Petko and Vlasic are in for a treat.
    -His passing has been sublime. Generally making the smart easy pass on the break, with a sprinkle of glorious heel chops to add some flare.

    Dalic should definitely consider playing him at striker at the end of a game (ie Denmark) when everybody is slowing down.

    Our biggest issue this summer is replacing Mandzukic. Rebic-Mandzukic-Perisic were the best pressers I have ever seen work together. No egos were too big to hustle. With Modric and Rakitic pressing the lanes, it was a thing of beauty.

    I am going Petko over Kramaric, because I know for a fact Kramaric is unwilling and unable to play our brand. Petko at least tries, maybe because he hasn’t proven himself yet.

    That said, Brekalo and Kramaric will certainly have opportunities to come up clutch this summer.

    Watching Ibra waste Rebic’s pressure makes me cringe at the thought of watching Kramaric letting his mark receive the ball while Perisic and Rebic run their hearts out.

  11. Soul Champ says:

    @ Maminjo


    Jebi ga.

    He is 22 and has a team where he can play his game.

    Croatia will be his international platform for now.

    As he develops he has a chance for a big time move to a legit European powerhouse.

    He should still always make choices that ensure his playing time.

    I am not sure what the financial situation is with AC Milan and there new ownership with the Elliot group?

    He flashed his potential with Everton but once again disrespect of the Nogometaš syndrome reared it’s ugly head.

    When are clubs going to realize who we are and the need to support our boys on the pitch?

    Could you imagine Ancelotti working with Vlašić?

    Good news is the Russian league takes off like all of winter and Vlašić will be well rested for March and June.

    Is Vlašić the new barometer of how we do going forward?

    He adds a dimension in the final third that teams are not used to defending against us.

    Curious to see how he does this March versus two legit sides in Portugal and Switzerland?

  12. Maminjo says:

    I’m most curious to see how Bruno Petković does against higher quality opponents like Portugal and Switzerland.

    Bruno gels well with our midfield because he has those quality midfielder skills in that he can dribble and pass in tight spaces.

    Unlike Kramarić, he is physically strong (and can’t get pushed off the ball) and he’s a more willing passer.

    However, he’s not particularly fast nor does he press as well as I would like. He’s not much of a runner. He’s kind of like Ibrahimović in that he hovers around, and pounces on a pass.

    This is great when your team has the majority of possession (like we did when we played teams like Slovakia, Hungary and Wales). But… I’m not sure how this works against a team like Portugal (or high quality tournament teams like France).

    In these scenarios, it may be better to go with Kramarić (as he is more than capable of playing the counter-attacking game).

  13. Nikola Vukmanić (vuki) says:

    I’m still going with Kramarić over Petković for the time being. Kramarić won a game or 2 by himself for us before getting injured (the game against Azerbaijan). Petković may seem like the better fit and maybe he is, but I keep saying that Kramarić has the ability to score goals out of nothing, which Petković can’t really do. An example of this was his goal in the 2-1 loss against England. He had 2 defenders around him an nothing to do with it, but he quickly shifted the ball to a shooting position and scored off the English defender. Petković is good on the ball and can sometimes beat a couple players, but it’s harder for him to make space for himself, he needs to play one-two passes a lot of times. Kramarić is definitely selfish. Sometimes to his detriment, but it’s that selfishness that allows him to find shots that others might not have. Petković also is not elite in the air like Mandzukic, but is better than Kramarić in that department simply because he is very tall. Maybe these upcoming friendlies will change my mind, but as of now, Kramarić is our starter.

  14. Maminjo says:

    That goal against England is also a great example of how unwilling a passer Kramarić is, with a wide open Perišić standing there with his arms outstretched in frustration (and he didn’t celebrate after Krama scored).

    He did this to Perišić at the World Cup too, when we could have made it 3-1 but he chose to just blast it himself. If England somehow tied the game up after that (and we lost in penalties) Kramarić would have been crucified for refusing to pass on that play.

    I’m a big fan of Kramarić, and I actually don’t mind his ball hog mentality so much (because he is our most lethal finisher), but I think Perišić is very close to cracking him one in the face.
    But the bigger issue is his lack of physicality and pressing.

    I would also still probably start him up top and see how it goes.

  15. CroatianPerson85 says:

    @Maminjo – he did it vs Argentina as well.

    At least Kovacic tried it vs Nigeria and then learned his lesson for the Rakitic goal vs Argentina.

Your email address will not be published.