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Croatians Around Europe *IV*

October 18, 2020


Modrić (10) in action vs. Cadiz



Luka Modrić and Real Madrid had a rough day at the office Saturday versus newly promoted Cadiz. Modrić got the start but was taken off at halftime for his lackluster performance in the 1-0 loss. He was given a 4/10 score (Managing Madrid) as he was “Also out at halftime with a poor performance. Couldn’t connect with Kroos or Isco or get the team moving forward. Another player with lots of misplaced passing and was dispossessed twice.” It’s Real’s first loss of the La Liga season.



There was more mayhem in La Liga action this week as Barcelona lost 1-0 to Getafe and Ivan Rakitić played the full 90 minutes in Sevilla’s 1-0 loss to Granada.




Perišić vs. Zlatan in the Milan Derby



Both Ivan Perišić and Marcelo Brozović got the start for Inter Milan in a 2-1 loss to city rivals, AC Milan. The Croatians had a sub-par game as Perišić (5.5/10) “didn’t have the best match, both in attack and defense. Second to every ball, slow to think and poor decisions on passing and positioning all game. Brozović (5/10) “another poor game by Marcelo. When he is off form this is the standard of performance Interisti usually get. Couldn’t get control of the ball at all.”



In Germany, Josip Brekalo played 89 minutes as Wolfsburg drew Borussia Monchengladbach 1-1 on Saturday. Andrej Kramarić was left off Hoffenheim’s squad for their 1-0 loss to Borussia Dortmund due to contracting COVID-19 earlier in the week.



Mateo Kovačić was a “healthy scratch” for Chelsea on Saturday in a disappointing 3-3 draw against Southampton as the Blue led 2-0 early in the match. Kovačić took full part in a rigorous warm down with the unused subs after the game, indicating that he was not carrying an injury. “How manager Frank Lampard could have done with the Croatian as an alternative outlet in a 4-3-3 when it became clear that a midfield two was no longer enough,” via Football London.




Bradarić (3) in action vs. the Swiss last week



Our favorite new national team debutant, Domagoj Bradarić, played the full 90 minutes for Lille on Sunday in a 4-0 victory over Lens. With the win, Lille remain in first place in France with a 2-point lead over PSG.


Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 72 comments

  1. Soul Champ says:

    I am still a believer in Kovačić.

    He showed his quality in the second half of France.

    Curious to see how it he plays or not with Chelsea?

    At this point opponents back off of him to not shoot.

    He should first every time till the ball goes in the back of the net.

    He improves a bit in his own game and he will be added value while Modrić still has the magic.

    That will be enough for us.

  2. Maminjo says:

    Kovacic is not getting a guaranteed starting spot at Chelsea this season.

    Lampard gave him a full season and pushed him to be more offensive-oriented.

    They’re not going to wait for him this year. Jorginho is off to a good start and they spent a lot of money on Havertz (and are not going to put him on the wing just to satisfy Kovacic’s needs).

    Don’t be surprised if you find Kova on the bench soon.

  3. Soul Champ says:

    Chelsea are involved in many competitions.

    Kovačić will play his part.

    Actually good for his legs to be rotated.

    Jebi ga the internal competition will be good for him?

  4. Maminjo says:

    I don’t watch enough Chelsea, but I think they have been using a 4-2-3-1 formation (similar to our National Team’s formation) which isn’t good news for Kovačić.

    I assume they’re going to play Havertz in the Nikola Vlašić role, and Kova is gonna have to learn to play in the pivot better than he has been for us.

  5. Lika Joey says:

    Kovacic is a jack of all trades and a master of none. Mateo is very technical and talented he has 7 years of top-flight football under his belt and is still finding himself. Mateo doesn’t or hasn’t shown the ability for us to take over a game or change the outcome. I’m done with him….Mateo is like a car blinker when he is on he is on….but when he is off he is definitely off. The problem he is almost always off.

  6. Maminjo says:

    Kovačić should have been born 8 years earlier, and in Spain.

    He’s a Tika Taka player.

    Very technically gifted, able to hold possession, not run too hard, passing the ball around to hit teammates with high accuracy, until you find a slot for a close range tap in goal.

  7. The Great Anonymous Doom says:

    @Maminjo: I was thinking something similar after the France game. Kova is most effective in a 4-3-3 because he plays like a Guardiola-Barca midfielder, only without the lethal shot.

    We could play with a 4-3-3 with Modric-Brozo-Kova/Brekalo-Vlasic-Krama, but there must be a reason why Dalic hasn’t favored that lineup. Probably because Perisic and Rebic are so good and play on the wings.

  8. Vjeko says:

    An inside source at the HNS tells me Luka Sučić has been approached by the Austrian FA about being capped for the Austrian senior team

  9. Soul Champ says:

    The good news for us is that we do not need Kovačić to take over for Modrić.

    Modrić blew me away with his energy and excellence on and off the ball.

    The entire game plan by France was to squeeze the middle and stop Modrić.

    Brozovic was missed.

    Kovačić for me is still in the mix.

    It is Lovren, Vida and Barišić look the real weak links.

    Čaleta Car is a starter.

    I liked the athleticism I have seen by Pongracic.

    Bradaric is my cup of tea with that energy and technique on the left flank.

    Uremovic deserves respect as he put in some solid shifts but not quite the quality going forward.

    Rebić is unparalleled with is dynamic speed and direct play in the final third.

    Perišić skipping past defenders and delivering pin point left footed passes still amazes.

    Kramaric is a world class finisher.

    Dalic had very good week.

    Can he continue to grow as a manager?

    This November makes three years at the helm.

    He needs to add to his next generation resume:

    Čaleta Car

    Like to see 2-4 real prospects in November.

  10. Medo says:

    It’s inevitable that Austria wasn’t going to let sucic go without at least talking to him.
    They did the same with Kovacic.
    Juve Is interested in him apparently As well.
    It would be tragic if he did make the foolish decision to play for Austria but I don’t see it happening.

  11. Maminjo says:

    “We’re never going to to have another Boban”…
    (enter Luka Modrić)

    “We’re never going to have another Luka!”…
    (enter Luka Sučić)

    It’s funny that in another 10 years from now, Boban will probably not even be on Croatia’s top 3 best midfielder list.

  12. Mixed grill says:

    I watched Boban in his prime and it never occurred to me to think we would not have a player who matched or surpassed his skills, Prosinecki and Suker already did so. Modric I genuinely feel will not be matched in my lifetime but I hope I am wrong.

  13. Maminjo says:

    Well we have the next Sergej Milinković-Savić in Luka Sučić if that is any consolation 😉

  14. Medo says:

    Curious as to how many u-18s have played for us then switched allegiances to another country.
    I recall the one to Germany forget his name ..but have there been others ?

  15. Anonymous says:

    What do we know about Sucic’s family?
    Do they live the ZDS lifestyle? Maybe senior
    Luka can call him?

  16. Anonymous says:

    His name is Stanisic

  17. gbvh says:

    Kovacic had two, maybe three, passes v. France that made one think he had led in his foot and was passing a beach ball.

    Polako, brate.

  18. BZ says:

    You guys already annointing Sucic as the next Modric?

    @Soul Champ- Kova finally showed where he can contribute immensely. France’s tired midfield had no antidote for Kova’s “Slalom runs”, but in this case all he had to do is beat one midfielder and the field was wide open. Kova can do that all day. It helped that the topline was spread out in lanes, occupying France’s defense, and opening up the space Kova exploited so well.

    So if our first team can run the opponents ragged, Kova can come in as a false CDM and do the Croatian Waltz all day.

    The problem is, Brozo and Modric can play all day. It isa waste of a sub to take one of them off the field.

  19. Anonymous says:

    If Modric had a modicum of ME ME ME that is so pervasive in 2020, he’d be one of the best known soccer players ever. No not top 5 or whatever blah blah blah.

    He was the best player on the field Wednesday, at age 35.

    Humble rock star, man.

  20. Poglavnik says:

    That’s what many of us love about Luka!
    Imagine if he were like Ronaldo or a Lebron. Not sure I could stomach that.

  21. Maminjo says:


    It’s the Luka effect.

    Anyone named Luka (spelled with a ‘k’) immediately has the interest of every top team in Europe (that’s how lazy and rich these clubs are).

    If Luka Jovic was named Slobodan Jovic instead, he’d still be at Frankfurt and not Real Madrid.

    Luka Sucic is likely going to be purchased by Juventus.

    Sucic is no joke though. Salzburg is an incredibly good developmental system and he was one of the tournament’s leading scorers at the 2019–20 UEFA Youth League where he lead Salzburg to the semis (narrowly losing to the champs, Real Madrid).

    If Sucic becomes a key player for us in the near future, we’ll have had three players come from Salzburg with Caleta-Car and Pongracic coming from there as well.

  22. Maminjo says:


    There was Josip Stanisic (Germany), Arijan Ademi (Macedonia), Abdurahimi (Macedonia)…and I’m sure there were a few that went to BiH after they couldn’t make the senior squad.

    For all the grief we give the HNS, they are pretty good at getting the best diaspora talents to play for us (Rakitic, Kovacic, Kovac bros, Sucic) and leaving out the ones that seem like they are going to be good but are not (Gavranovic, Drmic, etc).

  23. ElviSS says:

    To be fare Stanisic was strong armed by
    Those assholes at Bayern. That’s is why I will
    Never support them. The HNS was expected
    To cap him but Bayern said he would be out
    If he didn’t pledge to the Fatherland. We let
    Zlatan slip away. Imagine if we had him as our
    Striker last 10 years? Our mid field feeding him balls
    We would have won the 16 Euro and advanced
    In the 14 World Cup. He would have also put France
    On their heels last WC. A motivated and angry Zlatan
    Is lethal.

  24. Anonymous says:

    ElviSS Zlatan did not live the ZDS lifestyle

    He was stinking Muslim Yugoslav

    Only maybe now he’s beginning to understand which is now too late

  25. Anonymous says:

    Having the name Luka gives you magical powers I believe

  26. Anonymous says:

    Dirty Austrians

    Keep our hands of our young boys

  27. Anonymous says:

    Boban will forever be remembered as our first captain of this new Croatia


  28. Medo says:

    Thanks Maminjo …so In effect none have gotten away that were world beaters.
    Will Stanisic even ever suit up for the senior Germany squad ?
    I say get Kovacic to talk with him since they both went thru the same channels …raised in Austria playing for our youth system.
    As an added bonus maybe Mateo can have his smoke show wife make Luka dinner in a tight skirt ,heels snd low cut blouse that would persuade any teen I’m thinking?
    I think this kid is different than former flame outs Coric and Halilovic …far bigger far stronger and the kid has a cannon.
    The game is trending towards more physically imposing players which this kid is.
    We can’t afford to let him go at any cost.

  29. ElviSS says:

    He’s catholic

  30. ElviSS says:

    Mateo just had a kid. Maybe that was in head
    Last two matches? Like Stipe when he lost to DC
    Cloudy head. Just saying….

  31. Maminjo says:

    Zlatan is actually Catholic

  32. Iggy Iggy says:

    Stipe lost to DC cos he had to fight him on the day of a huge game for us in the WC and, yes, wife was also expecting, so no doubt that fucked with his head. Was terrible timing that fight for him. Imagine going through the emotional roller coaster of one of our knockout games like vs Denmark in the day and then having to go out and fight a heavyweight title a few hours later after expending the adrenaline just from WATCHING us in that WC, lol, it was exhausting!

  33. Maminjo says:


    Luka Sucic doesn’t need persuasion. He already chose to represent Croatia’s U17 and U19 teams above Austria’s when he had the chance to pick either one.
    He won’t choose their terrible senior side over ours.
    He’s pretty hardcore Croatian (like most Croats from Austria).

    To add fuel to the fire…I believe the last name Sucic comes from either Hercegovina or Hinterland Dalmatia…so that pretty much ends any discussion of him playing for anyone other than Croatia.

    Re: Stanisic…

    I doubt he will amount to anything.

    He’s turning 21 in a few months and he’s only ever played for the Bayern u19 and Bayern II team (which plays in the German third division).

    He started only 7 games for them last year and was an unused sub for half the season. He hasn’t played a minute yet this season (after 5 games) and there are 17 year-olds starting ahead of him on that team.

    The only reason why we are talking about him is because he played in two preseason Bayern friendly games a couple of years ago when Kovac was the coach…who probably did it as a favor to him (so Josip could get some exposure).

    Since nobody knew who he was, and it came out of nowhere, the Cro media picked it up and was wondering who this kid was. I believe a German U19 callup came shortly after (so the media kinda made a story out of nothing, making it seem like he was some hidden gem that we missed out on). He hasn’t played a game for their juniors since that callup, nor has he even come close to playing for Bayern’s senior team again (even in preseason).

    I hope it works out for Stanisic, but I don’t think there’s a good chance for him to ever play for Germany or Croatia considering how little he has achieved at club level to date (or in any junior competition as well).
    He has just so few games under his belt in any sort of league or tournament.

    Playing as a substitute for third division Bundesliga is nothing.

  34. Anonymous says:

    If he’s from dalmatinsko zagora then playing for anyone else is out of the question really

  35. Dannyj says:

    Remember boys if they don’t bleed checkers we don’t want him
    He will choose us
    Seriously checkers or Austria come on now
    I could see maybe if was Germany but no way

    We need this kid Tho For our future
    I like the size of our team going forward

  36. Soul Champ says:

    Zlatan is the ONE that got away.

    39 and dominating the Milan derby.

    Was Eduardo more Croatian than Zlatan?

    Mamić factor was complicated in those days.

    I love the size of Luka Sučić.

    Why not throw him in the deep end for Turkey.

    We have result against Sweden.

    Then put him in against Portugal.

    We are little too conservative with our young phenoms.

    Vlašić only got his shot on a Mexico-LA anomaly Croatia C squad.

    The blue chip players have to be given a shot.

    We are still bit conservative with our young call ups.

    Let some other younger kids pick up the slack in the youth teams.

    It’s clear we have one Luka legend Modrić to support. A few core veterans in Perišić and Brozovic.

    The rest have to be hard running hungry young guns.

    Sub par older players like Badelj and company have to be cut.

  37. Bilo says:

    @Soul – agree that Badelj is replaceable and I’m with you on moving forward with the youth. However, I am sure you agree, the experience factor can be a big deal sometimes though. Badelj or Rakitic coming on in the second half to close out wins (when the other team is trying to pile on) would always be safer than having Moro or Bašić coming n and potentially making a crucial mistake.

  38. Maminjo says:

    Badelj isn’t that great anymore.

    Maybe two years ago, but he had a hard time finding a club and he hasn’t been great for us in these recent games.

    I don’t mind keeping him on the team as a veteran presence in the locker room. He seems like a nice low-ego guy with a cool head.

    However, we do need depth in the pivot position to back up Modric/Brozovic, since both Pasalic and Kovacic have proved that they cannot play there.

    I think Toma Basic will impress when he is called up next month and he’ll probably lock in that backup role. In which case, we can probably drop Badelj if we want to add another player (like Budimir) at another position.

  39. Soul Champ says:

    @ Bilo and Maminjo

    Badelj has to go.

    Kovačić is better than him.

    We can debate Kovačić short comings, but I am bringing him on before Badelj every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

  40. The Great Anonymous Doom says:

    In general, the team that won silver in 2018 should be replaced, with Modric, Brozovic, Kramaric and Perisic as the holdouts simply because they still are in world-class form.

    Badelj is an interesting player because of his ability to slow down the game and be in exactly the right place at crucial moments. Even so, his glory moments are likely behind him: important interventions in the world cup qualifying and very solid substitute shifts at the world cup. I still think we might have won the final if he had been there to slow things down, but younger, faster defensive midfielders are a better choice going forward.

  41. Maminjo says:


    Yea. The World Cup success was largely on the backs of our four stars (Modric, Rakitic, Mandzo and Perisic)…with very strong contributions from our key role players like Lovren, Rebic, Brozo, etc.

    We still have Modric and Perisic, both in top form for us. We need to get a couple of more players to take that next step forward for us and become stars at the next tournament.

    Krama looks like a candidate. So does Vlasic. Brozovic has gotten better these past couple of years too.
    Everyone else on the roster can simply be strong role player types to complete that starting eleven.

    Nobody should be guaranteed spots, simply because they were on the Russia 2018 team.
    Lovren and Vida were good in that tournament, but they were still role players for us. That doesn’t buy you anything today.

  42. BZ says:

    Let’s be very clear, Vlasic is no “candidate.” He was inaugurated last year. Anyone resisting his position, or in doubt of the legitimacy of his position can go wear a pussy hat (and a rainbow armband.)

  43. Maminjo says:

    I said “star” not “start”

    Vlasic is no doubt a starter, and I was always pro “Vlasic over Rakitic as a starter”.

    It’s whether or not he will be one of our stars.

    He’s still a candidate because he hasn’t starred in a tournament yet…but I am a big believer in Vlasic and in these Euros, he will break out and star in them.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Ivan Sunjic should be the first to replace Badelj

  45. Maminjo says:

    Sunjic, Basic, Moro, Bistrovic…

    We have lots and lots of capable young midfielders who can play deep.

  46. Maminjo says:

    Lovro Majer is having a great season, but he’s more offensive oriented. He’ll eventually back up Vlasic in that CAM role.

    Speaking of which…

    I didn’t know Lovro Majer’s family was from the Zadar region (yet another footballing talent from Zadar like Modric, Vrsaljko, and Gvardiol).

    It looks like his dad owns apartments and rents them. Check out his dad on, ha ha.

  47. Maminjo says:

    All the grbs with the white checker first. Damn. The Majer family will be fan-favorites along with the Sucic family.

  48. Anonymous says:

    The white checker always comes first


  49. ElviSS says:

    The Zadar area is truly the flower of Croatia

  50. BZ says:

    What I am saying, regardless of whether Croatia is successful in a tournament, Vlasic is a star. Barring a major injury he will be a star for the next 8 years.

    I know we are on the same page about his talents. I am generally responding to comments to the effect, “he is BECOMING a great player.” I have seen a few of those over the last week (not from you Maminjo, but your “candidate” comment made me feel it necessary to chime in.)

    Vlasic is the only youth player since Modric and Rakitic that ratified his position so clearly and early. This is what a star looks like.

    Furthermore, he performs at his club, and on our National team. This means he creates on his own, and his talents make others around him better. That is star power.

  51. Anonymous says:

    Sunjic to play for Bosnia

  52. Crnokovic says:

    I cannot believe he choose Bosnia

  53. Dalmatia says:

    Moro had good goal yesterday

  54. Maminjo says:

    Ivan Sunjic to play for Bosna?

    LOL. Fake News.

  55. Anonymous says:

    According to “”, ex Dinamo and Birmingham midfielder Ivan Šunjić (24) might be joining the Bosnian national team.

    This really sucks considering I like him a lot as a player and a person. He’s just so likeable.

  56. Crnokovic says:

    He really is a nice guy. I wouldn’t mind
    My sister giving him sex in the mouth.

  57. Soul Champ says:

    I can’t believe Bosnia exists?

  58. Dannyj says:

    Is this sucic kid most likely going cro?
    Šunjić whatever. Good luck to him
    He’s alright but we have nuff of his type

  59. ElviSS says:

    It’s occupied Bosnia.

  60. Anonymous says:

    If the Bosniaks don’t join Croatia soon then half of it will join Serbia

    It’s a clear choice for them

    They must join us or die


  61. Anonymous says:

    The Vlasic runs and shots were lethal

    He’s the man for us

  62. Anonymous says:

    Perišić played well assisted on inters goal always looked dangerous not his best game but far from poor not sure what game you watched.

  63. Anonymous says:

    For inter Perisic holds on to the ball too long

    Needs to whip in the cross to Lukako earlier

  64. Bilo says:

    @maminjo- you forgot to mention Šime in your “stars and role players” comment. Cuz he’s hurt or was he not our star defender??

    Šunjić is decent, better than Moro?
    Bistrović looks solid as well. My gut says Dalić sticks with Badelj and keeps Paša(2 non impactful players) instead we can have another attacker or winger(budimir,pjaca,oršić)

    He didn’t try out a 352 formation, ever, during this cycle. Šime and Rebić might be the key, if they can get fit and in form by summer. Otherwise our right side looks very stale. Krama, Luka, Kova can all play the 10 behind Vlašić. Who to bring in when we are looking for goals Brekalo and Paša?? Why didn’t Orsic get a chance or will Pjaca make a return 4 years later to euros??Give me
    A Budimir over Petko any day of the week. His movement alone is impactful!
    There were several crosses in the last two matches petko could have scored a goal had he ran into the box like he wanted to score a goal? Blatant in the France game. Or when Perišić steps over beats his man left and the only angle for
    The cross is to run at the 6 yard line instead petko drops back further from goal expecting ball to feet(the only way Perišić get is it to his feet is if ihe puts it between his chasing markers legs).

    Lefty yo Sučić looks like the truth!!

    Dalić will probably call up another keeper and defender, pongracic hopefully. That leaves 2 spots although I don’t think Paša or Badelj should have guaranteed places. Like I said, many of our midfielders can play the 10 and having an extra DM in Bašić would be nice. We play 3 forwards at all time so one would think we do need more depth other than Brekalo Budimir and Petko?

  65. Anonymous says:

    Hajduk legend Branko Lezar passed away


  66. Slavonac from Canada says:

    so Hajduk played yesterday and lost. their fans are once again behaving abusive and once again, blaming the HNS. I saw this on twitter and thought WTH man:

    Dinamo have a monopoly on the league and every player in the country outside of Hajduk. They send guys to RI n Lokomotiva to sharpen their teeth. They can make mistakes and they go unnoticed. The HNS is another corrupt institution in the country, and they are in bed w dinamo.

    when you have people that continue to blame the HNS for Hajduk’s poor decisions, you know this will continue!

  67. ElviSS says:

    Zbog Jedne Ljubavi !

  68. gbvh says:

    Would have thought Zidane would not have not started Modrić Saturday v. Cadiz, so soon after that France game.

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