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Croatians Around Europe *XXXII*

July 26, 2020

FBL-ENG-PR-CHELSEA-WOLVES

Kovačić (17) and Chelsea are headed back to the Champions League

 

 

Mateo Kovačić and Chelsea got the job done Sunday in the last game of the English Premier League season; beating Wolverhampton 2-0. The win ensured that Chelsea would finish top-4 with Manchester United for a Champions League berth next season. Kovačić got the start and played 85 minutes; receiving an ‘8’ grade from London Football as he “Worked so hard defensively. Did well to crowd out Jota when he broke past Azpilicueta with ease and did an excellent job at dictating the tempo when on the ball.”

 

 

We will next see Kovačić and Chelsea on Sunday as they face Manchester United in the FA Cup Final.

 

 

Lovren-1

Dejan Lovren

 

 

Dejan Lovren didn’y play much for Liverpool after the restart in a season that saw the Reds dominate England with 99 points. Reports out of Liverpool are saying that the 31 year-old Croatian defender is headed to Russian champions Zenit St. Petersburg for a price tag of £10.9 million, The Guardian reports.

 

 

Marcelo Brozović was given credit for an assist on Saturday (even though Lukaku did all the work on a 50-yard run) in a 3-0 Inter Milan victory over Genoa. The win brings Inter to 2nd place in Italy with only two matches remaining in the season. Inter hold a 1-point lead on both Atalanta and Lazio, which matters for Champions League seeding. Ante Rebić got the start on Friday for AC Milan and played 60 minutes in a 1-1 draw against Atalanta. AC Milan now occupy 6th place in Italy which would earn them a Europa League berth.
 

 

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Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 47 comments





  1. Slavonac from Canada says:

    I watched approximately 25 minutes of the first half Milan v Atalanta game and Rebic looks quite lively and creative. Much better than he did last game, he didn’t do very well!



  2. Maminjo says:

    We have several intriguing CBs…but more importantly, most of them are in very good situations for their development.

    – Marin Pongracic is starting and doing well at Wolfsburg

    – Bosko Sutalo is on Atalanta, which is a team that is on the rise and has developed some good talent

    – Caleta-Car is starting for Marseilles who spent a ton on him, and they will need to develop him whether they like it or not

    – Jedvaj is finally playing regularly on a Bundesliga team

    We just need Filip Benkovic to go on a good loan deal somewhere.

    Hopefully Bilic can bring him over to West Brom, or Kovac can bring him over to Monaco. I think a full season under either of these guys would be fantastic for him.

    Mind you, this isn’t even considering any youngsters who make massive strides such as (potentially) Josko Gvardiol…or any of these other steady defenders who play regularly, but for lesser known clubs and leagues like Katic, Uremovic, Kalaica, Borevkovic, etc. who could become late bloomers.

    We just need a couple to pan out from this pool.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Pongracic was better then one of our CBs already. Two years is a long time in the football world. I hope we don’t stick it out with Vida/Lovren at the WC2022 if they both begin to decline.



  3. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Yesterday I mentioned Rebic had a pretty lively 1st half, he was running at the Atalanta defenders and doing well. At the half time break Sutalo got subbed in for an Atalanta defender and according to the media, he shut down Rebic (I couldn’t watch the 2nd half I was working).



  4. Dalmatia says:

    We also have Nikola Katić, who I think will be very solid in the future. He has looked good with the Rangers.



  5. Anonymous says:

    I saw an episode of a show called ‘Dangerous Waters’ whereby White American (of course) expeditionaries are traversing Croatian Islands on jet skies on their way to Greece and 3 things stood out to me:

    1) How beautiful of a Country Croatia is, you should be proud that our gene pool not only conquered that territory but were able to hold it for our gene pool for 1,400 years now.

    2) Unfortunately, the expeditionary men were forced to go thru a mountain of bureaucracy to get thru Croatia. A woman who works for the government commented that one of the fines they had to pay was more than she makes in a year – the mountain of bureaucratic bullshit in Croatia IS THE REASON she makes so little.

    3) The expeditionary men were walking thru the old city of Dubrovnik with it’s white stone walls and walkways and white people and I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be wonderful if Croatia was more “diverse”? If there were blacks, hispanics, pakistani, etc., walking those streets ogling croatian women. And then when some black criminal degenerate dies in police custody, the diversities rampage the streets of Dubrovnik committing random violence, arson, looting and “painting art work” all over Dubrovnik’s walls and walkways? I’m sure just like a lot of you guys, there’s PLENTY of “anti-racists” in Croatia who’d DESERVE that.



  6. ARMADA87 says:

    HUGE win for Hajduk today. I mean, Caktas will probably end the season as top scorer, what more could you ask for………………?



  7. ARMADA87 says:

    Also, does CSR not have anyone covering Prva HNL anymore? I mean, jokes aside, today was a pretty action packed day in terms of 4 teams battling for that last UCL spot. Not the best league in the world, but we haven’t had a last weekend of league play like this in ages…



  8. Lokomotiva takes 2nd place and the Champions League qualifying spot after a late deflected own goal against Osijek. Hopefully since they are an affiliate of Dinamo, they will get some help from their ‘parent club.’ Maybe some talented young players on loan, some funds for transfers, or even just some scouting help. It would be amazing to have 2 Croatian clubs in the Champions League. It is pretty unlikely as Lokomotiva will probably play against some really tough teams if they make it further into qualifying, but all we can do is hope for the best.



  9. Maminjo says:

    LoL, wow.

    88th minute deflection, and that knocks Osijek out of a Champions League spot.

    I doubt Lokosi will come close to qualifying, but yea, maybe Dinamo loans them a few players like Ivanusec or Majer to give them exposure and experience. I dunno.

    Not sure what the financial relationship is between Dinamo and Lokomotiva, and if they are an official feeder team or just a team they have a partnership with (like Juventus & Sassuolo, or something like that).



  10. CroatianPerson85 says:

    @ Maminjo – how many teams does Dinamo have some sort of partnership like that with? I thought it was only Lokomotiva. Did they ever have anything with Inter Zapresic? Maybe I’m mixing things up.



  11. Maminjo says:

    I don’t think so.
    It was always Lokomotiva.

    However, Dinamo does do alot of business with Osijek and Rijeka.
    A lot of transfers between those teams.

    Hajduk seems to be on an island by themselves.



  12. Maminjo says:

    Dinamo did loan out Modrić, Eduardo and Ćorluka to Inter Zaprešić for a year back in 2004.

    That might be the reason what you’re thinking of.



  13. ARMADA87 says:

    Dinamo and Loko have no official partnership but let’s put it this way, the business relationship between the two clubs is very solid.



  14. Soul Champ says:

    Mateo Kovacic
    Worked so hard defensively. Did well to crowd out Jota when he broke past Azpilicueta with ease and did an excellent job at dictating the tempo when on the ball. 8

    Kovačić is the goods and will be back in the champions league.

    Had to cover for a weak Jorginho and some other Chelsea scrubs.

    As Chelsea continue to upgrade the talent around him he will continue to grow.

    At present Kovačić is playing better than Brozovic and Rakitic.

    He has an FA cup final next week as well.

    He has been playing well in big matches all season.



  15. Suba says:

    Benfica are reportedly interested in Halilovic

    That could be a good move for him if it pans out



  16. Suba says:

    Also

    Lovren to Zenit

    Putin would have loved Dejan for manhandlin Pussy Riot haha

    He would have said we got to get this guy over to the Russian league



  17. Maminjo says:

    I don’t like this move for Lovren.

    He was having problems with his wife (which impacted his play I’m sure), things finally settled down, and he’s been solid since early 2018… but it’s a big change going from London to St. Petersburg.

    The good news is that he’s getting first team football, but which likely includes Champions League games.





  18. Slavonac from Canada says:

    I feel bad for Lovren! He seems like a good natured and good hearted guy except for the fact that he has far too much cockiness and arrogance at times! Lovren has done well for us and like many defenders, he’s had his dumb moments that we will never forget but at the same time he’s done incredibly well for us….fought hard for us and he has been a tough guy on the field battling the English, French, Portuguese…and many other tough opponents and he’s done it as a Hrvat, always demonstrating his love for our beloved Croatia!

    We all know arrogant people! Some spend their lives trying to prove they are worthy and good, I think thats Lovren…I believe he has some sort of complex and that he really isn’t mean spirited or a bad guy! Then there’s the other type of arrogance, those that never appreciate anyone else around them…and I don’t believe he’s like that!

    We are hard on Lovren. If we look at some other defenders around the world, he’s done better than the majority…playing with Croatia and spending 6 years and 185 games at Liverpool is an accomplishment!



  19. Miloš Hvar says:

    Mbappe out for PSGs UCL clash with Atalanta.. Huge swing of fortunes for both sides in a one off match. Im really pulling for Atalanta and Pasalic in the CL. They can go far and the fact it is a shortened tourney only helps a high octane offensive team like them



  20. Soul Champ says:

    Mbappé out his big.

    Atalanta I think don’t care either way.

    The entire squad is an aligned force of nature.

    PSG is not ready for this level of CL in normal circumstances.

    Not playing for 4+ months makes it worse.

    Ilicic needs to be healthy and sharp as he is there X factor.

    Wonder if Pašalić will have a break out moment?

    Gasperini is a master mind.

    Tuchel has to worry too much about his fragile locker room.

    Not the way to go into a battle that is an Atalanta match.



  21. Eric says:

    I enjoy watching Atalanta and I believe they have a real chance of upsetting the champions league status quo. However, i noticed that last few games they seemed tired, and i think their lack of depth, injuries etc may limit their CL results. They can be a bit inconsistent as well. Don’t forget that Dinamo beat them 4:0 in the group stage.



  22. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Mbappe is important but make no mistake, PSG has other good attackers. I still think Atalanta can do well against them but it won’t be easy!



  23. The truth says:

    @ slavonac

    Interesting take on lovren

    To me he has always seemed like a jerk… and arrogant… and I’m pretty sure cares more about himself than team… if Croatia bench him for a new young cb he’ll probably retire



  24. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Truth/ziva…you’ve always had an interesting take on many things…I’ll leave it at that!



  25. BZ says:

    Rumor has it. Mbappe, the face of french soccer, was scared shitless at the prospect of having to face Sutalo!



  26. Maminjo says:

    @Slavonac & Truth

    For me, Lovren has always been a net negative for us…then in early 2018, something suddenly clicked and he became a solid CB for us.

    Just like Igor Tudor before him, Lovren always had the talent and physical tools to be an elite defender…but just didn’t have the brain. Too many gaffes to count (hence the nickname Kiks Lovren).

    He is also a bit selfish, proven by the fact that he bailed on us for Euro 2016 when he found out he wouldn’t start ahead of Corluka.

    I don’t expect him to take it easy when a player like Pongracic surpasses him in the starting lineup, and I don’t expect Dalic to bench him as a result (even if one of our younger players surpass him in the next couple of years). He will probably retire immediately if that were to happen.

    However, he has been excellent for us since early 2018…since he was played off the field in embarrassing fashion in that game against Tottenham (where Klopp had to sub him out in the first half hour).

    I’m not sure what happened in his brain…but since then, he’s been very solid with only a few gaffes here and there (i.e. the Iceland handball).

    Hopefully this means that his experience and maturity has finally caught up and he is able to play more consistently with fewer errors. I hope he keeps it up, but I am also cautious because we tend to hold onto certain players for too long.

    He’s a solid defender, but he’s no Modric or Perisic in terms of impact. If Pongracic continues to be a freak at Wolfburg, we need to start experimenting with him in the starting eleven over the next year or so.



  27. Andrej L says:

    I watched the Atalanta/Milan game. Sutalo looks athletic and threatening down the wing. Hopefully he continues to develop so we can have a real back up Vrsaljko.

    I agree with all the Pongracic talk; dude looks real good defensively/offensively, probably just needs to be more consistent to attract the attention of bigger clubs. Pongracic and Vida are my starters if we’re playing tomorrow.



  28. Lovren comes across as someone with very poor self esteem. His comment about himself being one of the world’s best defenders was painful to hear. If one is a good player, let others say so. Correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t recall Zidane or Messi proclaiming themselves the best in the world.



  29. Maminjo says:

    Yea I was reading some translated Italian websites about the game and his performance. All positive stuff, especially from the Atalanta fans in the comments section.

    Hopefully he develops as an RB for us as well (in case we need him there in the future).



  30. Maminjo says:

    What’s more important is where Filip Benkovic will be playing next season.

    He did well on his loan and is now 23. He’s been floating these past two years, and needs to get some consistent game time.

    There are articles that are calling for him to be a Leicester player and not to be sent out on loan, but honestly, he needs to start somewhere. Hopefully Bilic can snag him for WBA.





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