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The Future Is Now: U-21s Making A Run

October 11, 2020

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Written by Anonymous

 

One of the most commonly asked questions among Croatian football fans is, “Are we going to have to wait another 20 years before another successful cup run?”The answer is almost certainly, no.

 

 

Not only is Croatia’s youth more talented than ever, but HNL clubs, especially Dinamo and Lokomotiva Zagreb, have been incredibly consistent in forming their teams around these future stars. The youth of the Prva Liga forms most of the current Croatia U-21 squad, that currently holds the third-place position in their U-21 Euro qualification group. Only two points behind the group’s first-placed Czech Republic side, Croatia are fighting for qualification with a magnificent goal differential of +22. The Czech have one game in hand on the young Croatian side, meaning a win can put the Mladi Vatreni in first place if Scotland, in second-place, draw or lose their next match. After a 10-0 victory over San Marino last week, the boys will be brimming with confidence entering their next match against fourth-placed Greece.

 

 
Along with the magnificent chemistry that this squad has to offer, Croatia is producing more individual talent than ever. Some notable players on the team include Joško Gvardiol, Luka Ivanušec, Sandro Kulenović, and Petar Musa. Their current back line, Marin Sverko, Martin Erlić, Joško Gvaridol and David Čolina, all have the potential to be rotational defenders for the senior side in the future. For the first time in awhile, the Mladi Vatreni are offering the senior side center backs with pace, something that has been lacking in Croatian football for a long time. Boško Šutalo and Mario Vusković, playing for Atalanta and Hajduk Split, are two additional young central defenders to keep on our radar as well. As strong as the defense is for this squad, the midfield and attack is arguably the best the Mladi Vatreni have ever seen.

 

 
The squad’s midfield consists of Luka Ivanušec, Lovro Majer, and Nikola Moro, filling the shoes of Nikola Vlašić, and will soon be followed by Luka Sučić, one of the best U-18 midfielders in the world. Although he is not on the current squad, the 18 year-old Luka Sučić has already made his senior debut for Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, and has been named “The Next Toni Kroos” by scouts around Europe. After an outstanding UEFA Youth Champions League showing from the 6’1 attacking midfielder, Sučić has shown the potential to be Croatia’s next Balon d’Or winner. Ivanušec, coming off a hat-trick in the squad’s 10-0 victory over San Marino, will most likely be called up by the senior side soon, leading to the call up of Sučić.

 

 
Sandro Kulenović and Petar Musa lead the U-21 side’s attack, alongside the likes of Antonio Marin, who recently moved to Serie B side Monza, after being scouted by AC Milan, Manchester City, and PSG. Dario Vizinger, who has impressed in the Austria’s top league, also plays a large part in the Mladi Vatreni attack. Again, Players such as 17 year-old Igor Matanović and 16 year-old Vito Matijević are expected to fill the shoes of these experienced youngsters.

 

 

We have a lot to look forward to, in terms of pace, skill, and positive attitude coming from these future stars. As we like to say here often at CroatianSports, the future is bright. Croatia still creates smart and passionate footballers, and there is no doubt that another strong cup run is coming soon.

 

 

Sure, there have been flops such as Alen Halilović. But this stop of Croatian wunderkind is deeper than Croatia has ever had in its football history. If you already don’t know the names on the list above, it’s time to learn them.

 

 

The Croatia U-21 side face Greece Tuesday at 10AM this (ET).
 

 

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Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 24 comments





  1. CroatiaU14 says:

    Sucic is the future of Croatian football. I’ve never seen a talent with such height that can dribble and control the ball so well. I’ve never seen a player so young that can read the pitch like he does. I believe that, if he pans out, he will be amongst the top 5 Croatians to ever play the beautiful game. I know that it is very bold of me to say that, but his attitude, passion, pace, dribbling, finishing, consistency, and versatility are unmatched. I can’t wait to see this guy in action for the NT one day. Holy moly. Might as well already buy a Sucic jersey.

    Back line is so solid too. Gvardiol, and the two Sutalos are absolute walls. They have great pace as well, as mentioned in the article. And remember, Domagoj Bradaric is already playing with the big boys.

    Ivanušec and Majer are both Pasalic on steroids. They’re both gonna emerge as key players in our rotation, alongside Brozo, Kova, and Vlasic. Hoping that Moro can do the same

    Kulenović is the next Manzdukic, maybe even better due to his pace, if he can stay consistent.

    I know I haven’t commented in a while, but this one is what I’m about



  2. Iggy Iggy says:

    I don’t think we’ll ever have to wait 20 years for some joy (not saying another WC final but just some good performances) tbh, might have a bad campaign here or there but i wouldnt think it would be sustained bad performances and go the way of a Bulgaria or Romania who used to be great and then fell off the face of the planet, no chance of that happening with us.



  3. Oluja says:

    Has Sucic committed to play for us or are the nazi juniors (Germany cousins) Austrians trying to cap him?

    Lock this kid up asap. Don’t leave anything to chance.



  4. Andrej L says:

    Hope these kids stay humble and hungry. I still remember when Krajncar was going to be the Croatian Zidane, or Livaja who went to Inter as a teenager was going to be the next Suker.

    I’m still blown away that Dalic took Bradaric player from the U21s.



  5. Maminjo says:

    If Livaja was the next Šuker, he wouldn’t have been sold for $400,000.

    Kranjčar was good but he has vices, like his father (who likes to drink).

    Kranjčar’s career started to go downhill before he even entered his prime years. Too busy banging actresses and wanting to live in New York City (playing for beer league clubs like the Cosmos instead of focusing on his family and career).

    You can’t compare guys like this to people like Modrić or Kramarić.



  6. Anonymous says:

    We can say what we want about kranjcar (a lot of points well proved and true, though in 08 he was on form for us) but he had one of the most powerful lethal strikes from distance out of any Cro as well as jerko leko. His crossbar rattling shot from 30 yards out against Japan WC 06 coulda made him legend if we won that game 1-0 leaving our last game against Australia more insignificant. But woulda, coulda, shoulda…he flopped out after high hopes like many including god of Halilovic



  7. Crnkovic says:

    This u21 team is stacked with talent but the u21 team of coric, halilovic, pjaca, kovacic was even better. Look what happened to that!! I’m hopeful but cautious



  8. hfjgdjfddh says:

    I was hoping it was that pointless serbian trash and lousy hooker entrepeneur severina who got shot and did the world a favor, there’s still time though, please pray people.



  9. ARMADA87 says:

    Did Livaja get that much hype? Halilovic was the definition of over hyped. Curious to see more from Sucic.

    Diaspora too ;)



  10. Maminjo says:

    @Crnkovic

    Were they really better?

    Dinamo knew Coric and Halilovic were overhyped flops. It’s why they dumped them so quickly.

    Pjaca was great, but had two horrible injuries which has limited his career.

    Kovacic is good enough to start for a top EPL club, but he just can’t seem to play in our system.

    Not sure what that Coric/Halilovic U21 team achieved, but it’s really hard to gauge these junior competitions when you have many of the top talented ones playing on their senior squads (i.e. Bradaric, Vlasic, Brekalo, etc).

    It’s nice to see them win, but I’d rather we focus on our senior squad entirely and not hold back in calling up some much needed youth (which we were kind of doing to help out our U21 results).



  11. Anonymous says:

    A few of many blistering Kranjcar strikes – had the potential but didn’t live to up as most don’t, still not as bad as other flops like halilovic (apparently he was called the Croatian Messi lol) livaja and so on …

    https://youtu.be/nVNwxmXSmDc



  12. Crnkovic says:

    Coric and halilovic, whatever we say about them. Are absolute transcendent geniuses of football. Attitude and application, sadly lacking, but they had they x factor both



  13. Anonymous says:

    The Zagreb shooter must’ve been a communist, because only a Titoljub would listen to Skoro and Thomoson.



  14. Anonymous says:

    Fuck America.

    America should pay reparations to BLM for forcing them into rioting and looting.
    Just like you Croats payed Serbs reparations for forcing them into war in the 1990’s.



  15. Bilo says:

    Here’s my take—
    Obviously weren’t motivated First two matches but we did actually make an effort against Swiss with our backups which was nice. Sweden it was pouring rain at maksimir and our first goal was Luka brilliance yea but we had perišić near the box before he made that world class cross to Brek. It was a cutback cross against the grain, genius. Interestingly enough we were counter attacking and it was 4 on 7 I think. Brekalo trapped the cutback going onto his left(his weaker foot) and you see Vlašić point to exactly where he wanted it and clinically Messi’d the finish.

    Midway in the Second half we did let off the gas a bit until they scored. Meljnak got tired and Bradarić neutralized kulsevski. Dejan is still getting sucked up field more so than Duje and he’s a lot more experienced than him. Duje better passing and brain probably as lovrenn thinks his hand balls aren’t real?

    Uremovic has gotten better each time I’ve seen him so far. Seems solid enough. Kova wasn’t that bad but he did slip a lot!! Brozo disappointed me he was lazy and out of position a lot when they started to put the pressure in the second half.

    Liva
    Uremovic. Vida. Car
    Brek. Brada
    Badelj.Luka.
    . Vlašić. Perišić
    Krama



  16. Anonymous says:

    @Pro white guy

    You do know that @Crnkovic is a Croatian half negro and Mohammedan?

    Like most of these commentators here he isn’t deeply rooted in Croatian history and only cares for his Croatian half because of football.

    The one thing that @Crnkovic proves is that anyone can be Croatian. Half black Miss Croatia is Croatian also.



  17. Anonymous says:

    @Pro croatian guy, you call me “pro white guy” as though it’s somehow an insult not being a traitor. I guess that’s how you traitors think. Don’t you realize that me calling you “pro croatian guy” in response in and of itself shows how silly you are for calling me “pro white guy”?

    Also, if anyone can be Croatian, than what’s the point of being Croatian? Are Croatians a club you join or an actual nation?



  18. Anonymous says:

    @Pro white guy

    I call you Pro white guy because you once called yourself pro white, and you know it’s me when I call you @Pro white guy. I might start calling you @Liberal progressive guy in the future, or @Cuckservative guy, what do you think about that?





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