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Croatians Around Europe *XXVIII*

June 28, 2020

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Kramarić with the ‘no-look’ penalty for his 4th goal Saturday

 

 

Andrej Kramarić was booming with confidence Saturday as the 2020 Bundesliga finally came to an end. Kramarić had himself a day with four – count them one, two, three, four – goals against 2nd place Borussia Dortmund in a 4-0 win. Krama opened up his account with a perfectly curled shot from 20 yards out in the 8th minute of play. He added a tap-in goal for his second and cooly slid the ball past Dortmund keeper Roman Buerki in the 48th minute to complete his hat trick. However, Kramarić grabbed everyone’s attention in Germany during his 50′ penalty shot when he went “no look” for his fourth and final goal.

 

 

With the win, Hoffenheim secure a place in Europa League next season. We will see Kramarić again in September when the Bundesliga and UEFA Nations League start their seasons.

 

 

Kramarić Scores 4 Goals vs. Dortmund!

 

 

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Rebić opens up the scoring for AC Milan

 

 

Ante Rebić is scoring goals again! Rebić got the start Sunday for AC Milan in a 2-0 victory over Roma; opening the scoring in the 76th minute as his initial shot went off the post and right back to him for a wide open shot on goal. After a disastrous start to the season, AC Milan are now only three points behind a Europa League berth with 10 matches remaining in the Serie A season. Rebić has definitely showed his worth while on loan from Frankfurt in 2020.

 

 

Rebić Scores the Winner For AC Milan 

 

 

Ivan Perišić played the last 30 minutes of Bayern Munich’s 4-0 win over Josip Brekalo and Wolfsburg Saturday. Bayern won the Bundesliga title two weeks ago and will play again on July 4th against Bayer Leverkusen in the DFB Pokal Final (German Cup). We will also see Perišić and Bayern play in August when Champions League returns.

 

 

Luka Modrić did not make the trip to Barcelona this Sunday as Real Madrid limped by Espanyol 1-0. Real Madrid currently sit two points ahead of FC Barcelona for the La Liga title. Ivan Rakitić played the full 90 minutes in Barcelona’s disappointing 2-2 draw vs. Celta Vigo. Mateo Kovačić came on at halftime in Chelsea’s 1-0 FA Cup quarterfinal win over Leicester City. Chelsea will now play Manchester United in the semifinal round at Wembley July 18 or 19.

 

 

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Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 46 comments





  1. Chopper says:

    Did you all actually watch the replay of that penalty that Kramaric took?! It was a lookaway shot… crazy confidence with him at the moment.



  2. Eric says:

    Wow…I watched Bayern vs Wolfs, I guess I chose the wrong game this morning! Krama is the real deal. Brekalo had a few moments but didn’t really produce anything…disappointing.



  3. Soul Champ says:

    Dalić has a stronger than ever talent pool to create another two runs at a major trophy.

    He needs to step his game up.

    Figure out how to have Kramaric scoring goals AND working in concert with the rest of the attackers.

    This dude finishers everything.

    We need to continue to evolve our attacking prowess.

    Kramaric is at his peak and this is it for him over these next 2-3 years.

    Maximize his goal scoring out put.

    Integrate Vlašić and Brekalo.

    Allow Modrić to share as much magic as he has left in those Popeye calves.

    If Dalic does not produce in 2021 then we have to look for new leadership for 2022.

    We are now elite and need to produce every tournament.

    The bar has been raised.



  4. Anonymous says:

    Oh dear Barca just drew with celta

    I guess they are going to blame it on raketa

    The only problem with the repka is that the euros should be on now at Krama is firing on all cyclinders

    My view it’s an ageing team and it would have been better to have the tournament now

    Fuck I am pissed off about this Chinese flu

    I hope someone makes them pay big time

    Communist fuckers ruining it for the rest of us



  5. The truth says:

    I still think the results of the extra year are mixed

    The age risks are modtic Rakitic, perisic, vida and lovren

    The age + are vlasic, brozovic, barisic, kovacic, rebic, livakovic, petkovic, vrsaljko, caleta car, benkovic, pongracic,

    Age neutral: kramaric

    As long as he’s healthy. I’m not too worried about modric.

    I’m not too worried about rakitic cause i no longer see him as the starter. At start of qualifying, i said how i thought dalic would have to choose between modric and rakitic that you can’t have such an old midfield pair. And my choice was modric + vlasic

    Well rakitic made the choice much easier for dalic and my prediction was correct as vlasic was instrumental in our qualifying

    A drop from perisic is the biggest question especially as he often has ailments

    And our defensive core will be highly questionable with 3 more years of age since their last tournament



  6. The truth says:

    In the end though, i think the one year delay can actually help though based on that logic



  7. Soul Champ says:

    @ The truth

    I like the way you break this down.

    I feel the benefit of a more seasoned young core far out weighs our select aging super star in the form of one Luka Modrić.

    Rakitic has a role to Play.

    Perišić is an athlete who can bang in pin point two footed crosses and shots on goal.

    Vida and Lovren who I love, are simply NOT world class and if younger challenging talent take their spots then so be it.

    Curious to see if there is young phenom that can burst onto the scene over the next 12-18 months?

    Brekalo is our joker.



  8. Maminjo says:

    We shouldn’t be weaker over these next two tournaments.

    The big loss is Mandzukic…but at the same time we have Kramaric (playing a bigger role) and Petkovic as well.

    Subasic is not a real loss, and neither are Strinic/Pivaric at LB. Those were our biggest weaknesses this past tournament.

    Modric and Rakitic taking a step back is our biggest risk…but their value is in their technical skill over their footspeed or athleticism (so they should age pretty well).

    The injuries to Perisic and Vrsaljko were a bigger concern to be honest…but they look like they will be just fine after seeing them play recently.

    The benefit of these next couple of years is the addition of Vlasic, Brekalo and Petkovic…along with replacing our weakest link at LB with Barisic (or potentially Bradaric if he continues to grow).

    Further progress in players like Kovacic and Brozovic is already visible…plus, we don’t even know who will be taking steps forward over the next year (possibly Pongracic?).

    Biggest losses and/or risks:

    – Loss of Mandzukic
    – Dropoff in form for Modric and/or Rakitic
    – Dropoff in form for our CB pairing of Lovren/Vida
    – Injury concerns for Vrsajko

    Biggest gains and positives:

    – Bigger role for Kramaric
    – Addition of Petkovic, Vlasic, and Brekalo (who are already solid for the NT)
    – Growth of Brozovic and Kovacic
    – Replacing Strinic/Pivaric with anyone not named Strinic/Pivaric
    – Other promising youth making strides (i.e. Pongracic)

    Obviously, the dropoff in form for Modric is huge and would be a massive impact…but the likelihood is very low due to his skillset and discipline with fitness (both he and Ronaldo will play until 38).

    Rakitic is not as big of an issue, due to Vlasic or Kovacic being able to cover for him.

    Vrsaljko is probably a bigger loss for us than Rakitic, but Vrsaljko had a successful surgery and he’s still well under 30. He will be fine.

    I can see Lovren dropping off (not Vida) …but that’s not as big of an issue considering we have youngsters coming up, and it’s still a pretty low likelihood of a major dropoff at the age of 32 (which Lovren will be next year) and his veteran experience has finally made him turn the corner on his bonehead past.

    If Krama can buy into the pressing and make the occasional pass to Perisic…we’ll be contenders again.



  9. Poglavnik says:

    Subasic is a big loss for me.
    I had no confidence in our keeping forever until that last WC. What he did in those shootouts was unreal!



  10. Poglavnik says:

    Barkley with the winner today and he played well against City. Pulisic was awesome against City. Mateo definitely needs topick it up.



  11. Soul Champ says:

    Pioli on Rebić –

    “Rebic can certainly improve, he is not only physically strong but he also has technical skills. He has to get used to it, I think he is more of a first or second striker rather than a winger. He has quality, if he keeps this attitude he can absolutely do well.”



  12. Maminjo says:

    Pog

    Yea he was great against Denmark in the shootout.

    However, against Russia, Suba was not better than Akinfeev.

    Brozovic, Vida, and Rakitic all took flawless penalties against Akinfeev. He guessed right on two of them, but they drilled it so hard and high, it made it impossible to save.

    Akinfeev saved Kovacic’s penalty with ease, and he even saved Modric’s shit penalty, but was incredibly unlucky that the ball had a weird spin on it, and bounced up and into the netting.

    Subasic saved the botched panenka shot that Smolov shot right at him, and Fernandes missed the net completely (with Suba going the wrong direction).
    Suba didn’t come close to saving the other three.

    Suba is a great penalty kick goalkeeper, no doubt.
    But he was not the better keeper in that Russia game.



  13. Poglavnik says:

    Drilled penalties are easier to read as a goalie but yeah all good points. I dont mind that Akinfeev. Hell of a keep.



  14. BZ says:

    I remember a time, not so long ago, when I literally was the only one who thought Rebic was better than Brekalo. (Vuki you had some faith too, but much less fervent.)

    Boy do those conversations make me feel better about my scouting insight.

    I recall being the only one to stand up for Rakitic before he lit up Ukraine (WC 18 qualifiers) sending us to a playoff with Greece. The rest is history.

    I recall most bashing Mandzukic before WC 18, I was made fun of when I supported him. Soul Champ and I were left on Mandzukic support Island with nobody coming to the rescue.

    Geez, some even thought Vrsaljko wasn’t world class, and that Fran Tudor should be our starting RB. WC 18 settled that conversation quickly.

    Moral of the story: Don’t give up on our proven commodities guys. Go home with the guy that brought you to the dance (metaphorically speaking, of course, just in case Brekalo is reading.)



  15. Soul Champ says:

    @ BZ

    Uvijek vjerni.

    It is all about belief.

    This on Rebić :

    “Now he’s a regular starter and the more he plays, the more he runs, the more he scores, the more he gains trust in himself. And thanks to that he’s developing his most important skill: his mentality.”

    Rebić has the opportunity to become a world class striker as his trajectory seems to parallel Olić. Both fine turning their games well into their late 20’s. This could be his position for the next 3-4 major tournaments.

    I think we are all underestimating the development of our core 20’s crew.

    Dalic may need to evolve the tactics to bring out the best of all the collective talent.

    Players will have to embrace roles off the bench in certain situations that will add potent depth to game winning matches.



  16. Slavonac from Canada says:

    I need Maminjo’s email address…can you get me Soul Champ’s as well…maybe BZ & Poglavnik as well.

    I just found an anti HNS article written by a Serb that was fully supported by one of the past “experts” on this site. Spreading negative information about the state of Croatian soccer…using Simunic’s “Za Dom” salute after a game as an example and also referencing Aleksandar Holiga as a source.

    I thought we were Hrvati, uniting Croatians around the world and yet we have former members collaborating with Bosnian Serbs, writing articles to “expose” Croatians. Are we really that desperate? Is this what we do? Try to get Twitter followers and spread stories on the internet…smear our fellow Croatians by joining forces with the enemy?



  17. Maminjo says:

    What article is this?

    It’s probably just Holiga himself since he’s lost all credibility after the World Cup.



  18. Slavonac from Canada says:

    its written by Miran Saric…TGhe Sad State of Croatian Football.

    Its been recycled on Facebook and I saw a few of my friends recycle it from 2015-2016. They don’t know who wrote it they just believed the information.

    the author, a Bosnian Serb said this:

    (Author’s note: many special thanks to Anthony Zoric for his keen insight and knowledge of Croatian club and national team football as well as his contributions to this piece. For more of his thoughts on this topic, please visit his Twitter profile at @AnthonyZoric).

    so I wonder why zoric would promote a Bosnian Serbs article until I saw he’s asking for followers on his twitter. he did this just before the World Cup as well and remember the “expert” Facebook videos??

    I’m seriously baffled at the lack of dignity man. A Croatian that will do anything to spread anti Croatian garbage and join forces with a Bosnian Serb is insane!



  19. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Milan beat Roma yesterday. I was reading an article about the game and thought this was funny…

    “As for Roma, the lack of any kind of understudy to Dzeko was painfully evident, as when the Bosnian trudged off the San Siro pitch, he was replaced by Nikola Kalinic. Nobody knows more than Milan fans just how little he can contribute to a team, but Paulo Fonseca has nobody else to call on.”



  20. Stipe says:

    @ Slavonac from Canada

    How much time do national teams take for practicing penalty kicks? How can you practice them anyway ? It’s all about your nerves and pressure.

    Remember Vida??? He took that penalty like a pro. Like he’s done it a million times



  21. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Stipe, oh they practice penalties for sure…moreso for tournaments than regular qualifying play though.

    Some guys don’t over think their penalty shots and thats why they usually score them.



  22. gbvh says:

    For those in Canada: TSN5 is showing Cro-Czechs from 2016 Euro Cup tonight at 10 p.m. (EST).



  23. gbvh says:

    if the website sked has Cro-Czechs I like the chances (though have seen that wrong before too LOL).



  24. gbvh says:

    it’s on. idemo !

    (i thought when they blew this they might be done mentally, great bounce back.)



  25. Maminjo says:

    We were so good at Euro 2016.

    Terrible shame that the ref allowed Portugal to simply foul all our players, all the time without repurcussions. We would have had a clear path to the finals with Poland and Wales being the next two teams.

    That was the tournament where we finally turned the corner and our talent and experience put us into contender status.

    It’s the reason why I think we do well in the next two tournaments as well, barring any major dropoff from Modric and Perisic.





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