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Vlašić Wakes From Slumber With Brace vs. Spartak

June 30, 2020


Vlašić (8) scores twice vs. Spartak Tuesday



Nikola Vlašić and CSKA Moscow finally woke up offensively since the Russian Premier League restarted the season on June 20th. In their previous two matches, CSKA have only managed to salvage one point while scoring zero goals. Vlašić got them out of the gutter Tuesday night in a 2-0 victory over Spartak Moscow. In the 27th minute, Vlašić hit a knuckleball from 24 cards out that the Spartak keeper couldn’t quite figure out for the game’s opening goal.



He would secure his second in the waning moments of the game with a difficult breakaway as a defender was on his back the entire time. Why is Vlašić going to be fun to watch for the Croatian national team?



He’s fearless. He will shoot from anywhere on the field. He has a rocket of a right foot. Vlašić is only 22 years old. Grab your popcorn boys and girls!


Vlašić Scores 2 vs. Spartak Moscow




Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 38 comments

  1. Soul Champ says:

    Vlašić wears #10 for us in UNL.

    Build whole attack around him.

    Make the team a U28 squad of players.

    That left footed chip was an Alen Bokšić special.

    Could you imagine a Rebić #9 and Vlašić #10??

    That is the type of power and explosive attack I am talking about.

    Add all of creative midfielders in the mix.

    Throw in a joker in the form of Brekalo and you are dealing with a formidable force.

  2. Soul Champ says:

    UNL supports our next generation.

    In the past we would take a money grab match at Estonia and tear the knee up on our future explosive winger.

    Pjaca gets a spot on the UNL squad.

    Now we are going against Portugal and France.

    Even Sweden gives you a different style to deal with.

    Our young core needs to learn to navigate these type of matches.

    I am curious about the next generation of defenders??

    Who is ready to step up?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Id try out pongracic and Caleta car with Bradaric out left back and Vrsaljko at right back

  4. The truth says:

    i’m not a fan of the nations league

    croatia does not have the deep stable of top notch players like these larger countries

    as a result, if we want to truly compete here, we need to use our standard workhorses…many with miles on the tires or injuries in the past

    i think this takes a physical tole… but more so…i don’t like the mental toll…. i l ike the idea that when these guys show up to play for the NT its a special feeling that will inspire their highest effort and best performance

    the more times you guy make these guys suit up with the checkers, spending their effort, risking injuries for pennies of what they actually make for their club…the less special suiting up for the nt becomes

    it won’t drive the same sort of inspiration when it is actually needed in future meaningful competitions

    on the flip side, we don’t want to put a crummy b team out there and get walloped by these other countries, b/c croatians struggle to deal with the shame that would bring

    the image that would be presented that croatia actually cannot cosnsiently compete with top flight teams. world cup 2016 was a fluke (which of course it was)

    that’s why i prefer to play meaningless friendlies… let the b team guys trying to break through or not getting run with their clubs get a chance ot acclimate to the NT and show what they got… and remove any pressure to compete

  5. The truth says:

    we can forever look at pjaca’s injury and say…never play friendlies again!

    but look, pjaca could’ve been hurt at any moment..and hwo many other substantial injuries have friendlies caused in all these years

    pjaca ended up blowing out his other knee again right after… so it probably would’ve happened at some piont any way

    on a side note, i did warn you guys that pjaca would likely never be the same again. and everyone on this chatroom came after me and said how could i say such things

    alas… it is the kriz i must bear to bring the truth… glad everyone eventually came around

  6. Maminjo says:

    I disagree.

    I think Croatia already has a deep stable of players that can compete and beat good teams.

    Our Euro 2016 win over Spain and our WC 2018 win against Iceland showed that. We can rest 5-8 starting players, and still play just as well (and we have been doing it more and more over these past 4 years).

    For example, our back four right now is Barisic, Lovren, Vida and Vrsaljko.

    Would a back four of Bradaric, Pongracic, Caleta-Car and Vrsaljko be worse? Some are intrigued that it may be even better.

    These guys all play first team football in top leagues too. It’s not even an experimentation really. Some would argue that they deserve to start ahead of Barisic/Lovren/Vida due to the fact that they play first team football, and on better teams. We also still have guys like Jedvaj (who also plays first team football in the Bundesliga and has quite a bit of experience at the NT level already) and talented young players like Benkovic or Peric if we really want to experiment. Our back four would probably not drop off at all, even if you replaced the entire unit.

    Our central midfield of Modric, Rakitic, and Brozovic is elite. There is no doubt about this.

    But we also have Vlasic, Kovacic, and Pasalic who are all having great seasons playing first team football for their clubs. It’s actually a shame that Vlasic and Kovacic likely won’t start these next tourneys. Poor Badelj can’t even get a callup anymore. These guys could all easily be slotted in for any of our starting trio.

    Regarding our striker situation…We have weekly debates about Kramaric vs Petkovic. Only one of them can start, yet they bring equal value (and have proven it at NT level). That’s some serious depth.

    As for our wingers, we have Perisic and Rebic as our starters. Brekalo is a proven asset for our national team and could easily slot in there for one of them.

    The fact that we can pretty much replace our entire starting eleven, and not drop off too much in some areas, is a testament of our depth.

    Of course you cannot replace a Modric or a Perisic…but it’s the same thing with Portugal trying to swap out Ronaldo, or France trying to swap out Griezmann/Pogba with something similar.
    Also, it would not be a clean swap of all eleven starting players.

    We could rest 5-8 of our starting eleven at any point during the upcoming Nations League and still contend for it.

  7. Soul Champ says:

    Our “C” team bum rushed Mexico in LA.

    It was a coming out party for Vlašić.

    Our “B” team is better than ever and our core veterans need a rest.

    U28 squad for UNL.

    They will all be hungry to make their claim for a starting role or a spot in the squad.

    The whole point of UNL is to improve.

    Our meaningless friendlies have held us back for decades.

    UNL is how we expand our talent pool.

    Also allows for regular “A” team players to show leadership.

    Who would captain the u28 UNL Vatreni?

    Vlašić seems to have that power and presence about him.

    Not sure if you even call up Brozovic. The dude runs like a horse and does not need UNL.

  8. I agree. Just like I wanted to do this in that friendly tournament that was supposed to happen in like March. But, they won’t because they want to sell tickets and probably don’t want to get even further on UEFA and FIFA’s bad side. Also, Ronaldo sat out the last Nations League until the final four tournament because it didn’t matter to him until he realized he had a chance to add another international trophy. I say rest the older starters for at least half of the games though.

  9. Ivan says:

    Livaja with another goal today.
    Should we give him another chance at the UNL ?
    Maybe even Ante Budimir? .. guy has 12 goals this season ..

  10. Maminjo says:

    It’s a good opportunity to see if Kovačić can deliver in the role of Modrić.

    It’s also a good opportunity to see if Petković is as effective against better competition.

    … And it’s definitely worth testing some different CB pairings, since our youth may have already surpassed our veterans in this category.

    So long as Dalić doesn’t do any wild experimentation like last time (with guys like Ćop, Livaja, Santini, etc) we should be fine. My worry is seeing pointless players playing, like Skoric or Melnjak.

  11. Maminjo says:


    No. Livaja sucks.

    His goal rate is 1 every 5 games, and he does nothing else on the field.

    We’re pretty set at striker with Krama, Petković and Rebić (if we must play him up top).

    Only other strikers I would ever call up are youngsters from our U21 team.

  12. BZ says:

    Soul Champ-I thought the consensus was that our team that beat Mexico in LA was our “D” team.

    Maminjo & Soul Champ- Don’t forget when our “B+” team beat Mexico in Dallas too. Modric, Mandzukic, Perisic, Brozovic, Lovren, and Subasic all rested (didn’t include Strinic, a starter at the time, but he too rested.)

  13. Soul Champ says:

    @ BZ

    Your right that was our D and B+ teams that beat a tough motivated Mexico team at their second homes.

    @ Maminjo

    Dalic does need to see some younger players who are able to strengthen us for Euro 2021 and possibly World Cup 2022.

    But it is not the time to give any home town scrubs a run out.

    Guys like Pašalić and Rog have to see meaningful minutes.

    I too want to see if Kovačić can step up as a leader?

    Lampard made a mistake taking him off yesterday as Chelsea dropped 3 points to West Ham.

    Kovačić has been consistently very good for Chelsea.

    Is ready to take the next step into excellence and even some day elite?

    UNL could be his platform.

    Curious if Brozovic gets called?

    As I said that dude runs more than anyone in the history of Croatia.

    His legs need rest.

  14. NK Susak says:

    Other than the occasional but rare Rakitić or Modrić shot from outside the box, Vlasic seems like the only one willing to have a go from distance. And every time the ball leaves his foot, it’s never a stinger but manages to either find the back of the net or cause problems for keepers, just like that first goal. Our guys get faulted a lot and rightfully so for sometimes over passing and trying to walk the ball into the net. Having a guy like Vlasic on the field gives you a totally different dimension. Give him a few feet and he’s gonna cause havoc for a defense. There were goals against Slovakia and Wales that when the ball left his foot, I didn’t think would reach the net but managed to find its way past outstretched keepers and into the corner of the net. You can’t teach these types of things. I have to give credit to Brozovic as well for having a go from distance, but there’s no saying where his shot is gonna wind up.

  15. Maminjo says:


    Well, before you just asked me this, I was 100 percent sure.

    Now, I’m getting nervous, lol.

    But yes, they should be done, and if Dalic calls them up, then there’s something wrong with him.

  16. Maminjo says:


    Yea, Vlasic doesn’t overthink things.

    When he gets an opportunity to shoot, and he’s within striking distance, he takes it.

    Most goals are ugly goals anyway, and he knows that if you simply drill a shot on target, good things will happen (especially if your team plays a pressing style where there are wingers who are crashing the goal for any rebound).

    He’s great because he has just enough of that skill to make a smart move right before he takes the on target shot. He doesn’t blindly just try and crank a shot on goal with a defender right in front of him.

    He always gets himself just enough space and glances at where the goalkeeper is, before taking his shot. It’s not always a beautiful shot, but his shot never gets blocked by the defender in front of him, nor does he ever just kick it directly at the keeper (like most overly eager footballers do when they get a chance).

  17. LAknat says:

    Dalic was so stupid for not assigning Rebic in the position of man-marking to Mbepee in the last world cup final |
    also, a handicapped Subasic to play there |

    for his stubborn resistance equal to Kim Jong Un, this National Team just stuck and will never come to a new resolution -> The Existence of a God Halilovic

  18. Croat Canadian says:

    We don’t Modric or Rakitic for mid to be fit for euros. Both are old and finished after last world cup run. Starting mids should be Kovacic, Vlasic, Pasalic, and Brozovic.

  19. Dalmatia says:

    What about trying some of the Prva liga leaders:
    Mirko Maric, Kristijan Lovric, Antonio Colak? Don’t get to see them play a lot but they score each season.

  20. Maminjo says:


    That’s the ‘experimentation’ part.

    Maybe throw these guys in for the last 10 minutes if there is anyone intriguing.

    But to be honest, unless it’s a position of need (like maybe a goalkeeper) it will be hard for any of these guys to even get a callup.

    We probably have 18 guys who you could honestly make a STRONG case for to start games…and we have several U21 players and current NT bench players who you could probably play the last 10-20 minutes of a game at the senior squad level.

    Current Starters:
    Livakovic, Barisic, Lovren, Vida, Vrsaljko, Modric, Rakitic, Brozovic, Perisic, Rebic, Kramaric

    Current players who could easily slot in as starters:
    Vlasic, Petkovic, Kovacic, Brekalo, Caleta-Car, Jedvaj, Pongracic

    Current NT bench players that are great for 10-20 mins, but likely not start for us:
    Pasalic, Badelj, Orsic, Peric

    U19 and U21 guys (not part of the senior squad), but could come off the bench now or in the very near future:
    Domagoj Bradaric, Moro, Ivanusec, Benkovic, Kulenovic, Gvardiol, Katic, Sunjic, Marin

    non-HNL guys (not part of the senior squad), that are playing well for their clubs:
    Toma Basic, Uremovic, Budimir, Halilovic, Musa, Krovinovic, Bistrovic

    …and finally…

    HNL guys (not part of the senior squad):
    Mijo Caktas, Mirko Maric, Kristijan Lovric, Antonio Colak

    Honestly, these HNL guys who are no longer part of our U21 setup have a LOT of people to jump ahead of.

    I can see Mijo Caktas getting a callup simply because we do need some backup wingers other than just Brekalo…and I think both Orsic and Caktas are great backups.

    It will hard for any of the others to make it unless they’re lighting it up like Caktas. Maybe Maric from Osijek if he continues to lead the league in scoring next year.

  21. Slavonac from Canada says:

    nice head ball goal for Pasalic today…man, they left him all alone on that one.

    I was able to watch a little of the game today, Atalanta play a real nice brand of soccer.

  22. Stipe says:

    It’s very exciting time for us. But everyone here knows for a fact that whatever team we put out in the first game against Portugal and then lose ???? me and everyone else are going to be shittin on each and every player that started.

    We just got to enjoy this. We all watched naša Hrvatska play in a World Cup Final!!!!!!!

    Many great non Croatian players never had the opportunity or even came close.

    Let’s just be patient, expect for the best and be ready for the worst.

    It’s all good.

  23. Soul Champ says:

    @ Maminjo

    Breaking it down Brate!!

    @ Slavonac

    I was thinking the same thing.

    Atalanta play as a cohesive unit and all the players seem to be clear on their purpose on the pitch.

    Pašalić gets respect for starting on a CL bound Serie A team.

    He is blessed to have that intelligent Italian coach.

    @ Real Modrić

    85 the magic number .. 11 pts to go.

    Luka winning La Liga again!

    This dude is a champion.

  24. Soul Champ says:

    @ LFC

    Just curious ..

    Joe Gomez bums it up today, Joel Matip is injured again ..

    And when Lovren makes a mistake the world is coming to an end?

    I guess YNWA does not apply to nogometaši ?

    Not to mention the midfield is as creative as a Jugo zastava.

    I love Klopp but he needs some Hrvati in that middle.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Fuck gatusso and fuck Napoli

    Atalanta has a classy coach and some classy players like Gomez and illicic

    Good team to build around

  26. Maminjo says:

    Dinamo slaughtering Atalanta 4-0 just shows you how good a coach Nenad Bjelica is, and how much it will hurt our National Team if he never becomes our coach (as a result of his departure from Dinamo).

    He would have been the perfect successor to Dalić.

    Instead, we will end up with another former player turned coach like Vukojević, Srna or Olić… And go back to being a first round knockout team.

    Hopefully we learned our lesson with Bilić, Štimac, and Kovač.

  27. Anonymous says:


    I’d rather donate to Croatian children if possible

    I don’t even know where DR is sorry

    Hope things work out for you and keep up the good honourable effort

  28. ElviSS says:

    I wouldn’t trust the DR spa. They probably steal your organs
    And sell them on the black market.

  29. Stipe says:


    I agree with you.

    But you have a problem with Bilić? I know we sucked during WC 2010 qualifying. I know Modric was injured but there had to be other reasons. Off the top of my head I remember Robby Kovac ( one of my fav repka players) got a red against England. Even the English players thought that was ridiculous. Robby barely fouled the guy. Pletikosa didn’t play the game in Wembley when England shitted on us. We couldn’t beat Ukraine as well.

    But Bilić did a fantastic job taking over the repka after Kranjčar. He brought this generation in (yes I know Modric was on the WC 2006 squad). He help convince Rakitić that’ll it be better playing for Croatia instead of that Province called Switzerland.

    Bilić did an excellent job balancing the qualifiers for Euro 2008. He was awesome managing the personalities. I always thought Babić was good player for the Repka. He played hard. Bilić slowly moved Babic to the side.

    During the qualifiers for the 2008 campaign he had to deal with Simic with whom he played with. It couldn’t have easy for Simic (who single handily shut down Klinsmam in the quater finals) to sit the bench against Turkey and other people qualifying games.

    Plus Bilić dealing with the injury to Eduardo (which was practically a career ending injury). We still topped the qualifying group and topped the Euro group playing with our backups against Poland.

    Euro 2012, we were in the Group of Death. Mali Nikica Jelavic had a fever and couldn’t play against Spain. I never liked him. Even tho Raketa had that chance against Spain in 2012. Spain were soooooo good. We played them so well. But they were on another level.

    @Maminjo I do agree with you. If i see Vukojević as our manager. That’s worst than pathetic.

  30. U boj says:

    Lol about Nenad being a good choice. What happened after the 4 – 0. He anD the team shit the bed and a guarantee of going through did not happen. Downright embarrassing. Keep Nenad, Bilic and kek from the national team.

  31. Maminjo says:

    Bilić is a good coach.

    But he’s also pretty inconsistent.

    He seems to be a great coach to get your team out of the gutter and to a certain level… But then he hits a plateau (especially when expectations are increased).

    He’s great in turning a bottom team into one that can compete, but never actually win a title.

    He did this with West Ham, and he’s doing it now with West Brom.

    He kinda did it with Bešiktaš, and made them go far in Europa… But when the expectations were to compete for the Turkish title, he couldn’t. He also flopped hard in Russia when expectations were high too.

    It just seems like his first year on the job is always his best year… Then he just plateaus or regresses.

    He’s really good at finding and assessing new players when he takes over a team for the first time, like he did with us in introducing guys like Ćorluka, Modrić, Eduardo and Petrić back into the team.

    He did it at club level too with Payet at West Ham, and Krovinović at West Brom.

    But I dunno.

    He was too inexperienced to get the Croatia gig in the first place, and we need to move away from that practice.

    We can’t hire guys to learn on the job. That’s exactly what Štimac and Kovač were doing.
    They used the National Team to launch their coaching careers.

    Srna, Olić and Vukojević are all trying to become coaches, and are (without a doubt) trying to work their way into getting the Croatia gig.

    They pretend to be patriots, but in reality, they want to be coaches and have no problem with using the National Team as a way to gain that exposure for their careers.

    If Srna was a talented coach, he would probably have no problem in getting the Shakhtar gig (especially since he’s a club legend).
    But they won’t give it to him.
    Why not?
    He’s probably shit, and they don’t want him learning on the job, costing them titles.

    These guys need to do the hard work and gain 10-15 years of club football experience like what other former players like Bjelica, Jurić, Prosinečki, Tudor, Bišćan, and all these other guys are trying to do.

    Srna, Olić and Vukojević could easily get a head coaching gig anywhere in Croatia and many other leagues in the region or Eastern Europe… But they don’t want to do the work.

    They’d rather hang around the HNS and try to get in the easy way.

  32. Stipe says:


    Wow!!! I give you a lot of props on your knowledge. I knew the clubs that Bilic was managing but I didn’t really follow them or his success or lack of. You really do know your stuff.

    I agree with you, everyone you mentioned should have at least 10-15 years managerial experience before coaching naša repke. We are country of great quality players. Even way before WC 2018, managing Croatia is a dream job. Cmon it’s like managing Norway, Finland and such.

    The issue is that the HNS will never pay the money for a big time manager who has the experience. (Which you obviously know.) Which makes no sense. Yes, it was cost a lot of money to get the likes of a Mourinho (using him an example) or the Dutch manager who coached Holland in WC 1998. I forgot his name, Guss Hindrik I’m guessing? It will cost the HNS money, but it’ll pay off in the end. I mean what else are they using the money for? I’m seriously asking, because I have no idea. I know they are corrupt, but they have to spend something.

    @Maminjo I have read a lot of your posts. You know what your talking about. What is the HNS saving up for besides stealing money and doing God knows what.

    My second question to you is, let’s say the HNS is willing to pay for an experienced manger and agree to a 4-5 year contract. What “stranac” will be on your list? Lets lower the list to managers that are willing to want to manage the repka and who aren’t tied into clubs such as Jose Mourinho, Pep, Diego Simeone, Zidane etc.

  33. Anonymous says:


    Wasn’t Payet injured for a lot of the second season, and actually didn’t want to be there?

    How long do expect it should take for Bilic to win the EPL title with West Brom if they get promoted?

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