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Croatians Around Europe XXVI: Brekalo Bags Winner For Wolfsburg

April 4, 2021

Brekalo (center) getting mobbed by Wolfsburg teammates



Josip Brekalo got the start on Saturday for Wolfsburg and scored the game’s lone goal in the 69th minute as he slotted home a shot from the left side of the box. Brekalo has been getting more playing time with the injury bug hitting Wolfsburg and he’s making the absolute best of it. With the win, Wolfsburg solidify their top-4 position in Germany and a Champions League spot next season. With seven matches left in the season, they sit 11 points in front of Borussia Dortmund for a CL berth.



Brekalo Winner



Left-back Borna Sosa



Borna Sosa wasn’t able to play for the Croatia U-21 side during last week’s international break due to a card suspension, however, he picked up where he left off on Sunday with another mighty cross from the left side. The 23 year-old Sosa has been a madman with his crosses this season for Stuttgart and aided another goal in the 81st minute Sunday. His in swinger was headed home by a Werder Bremen defender to earn Stuttgart all three points in the 1-0 win. Sosa was being looked at by Bayern in 2020. Could he make a big move this summer? Looks like it.



Sosa Inswinger





Mateo Kovačić had a solid game on Saturday but Chelsea definitely did not. Thiago Silva’s first half red card shifted the entire mood of the match as relegation candidates West Brom defeated Chelsea 5-2. Kovačić got a 8/10 rating as “he too was guilty of giving the ball away carelessly at times. However, those moments came late into the second half—the Croatian had run himself into the ground by then. He was exceptional despite the result and was easily Chelsea’s best performer. The central midfielder broke the West Brom lines almost single-handedly with his dribbling and was always looking to pick out his teammates in dangerous positions.” This week, Chelsea face Porto in the Champions League quarterfinals first leg.



Game on in Spain! Luka Modrić played 61 minutes in Real Madrid’s 2-0 win over Eibar on Saturday and Sevilla defeated Atletico Madrid 1-0 on Sunday. Šime Vrsaljko watched from the bench for Atletico. With those results, Real Madrid now sit three points behinds leaders Atletico with nine matches remaining in the La Liga season.


Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 43 comments

  1. Stanko says:

    Brekalooooooo….maminjo gonna cream his knickers!!

  2. Maminjo says:

    Was it a nice goal?
    Brekalo hasn’t hit that age yet where Croats explode. Guys like Perisic and Rakitic were still struggling to find themselves at this age.
    Give him another year or so, and (hopefully) a transfer out of Wolfsburg.

  3. BEĆAR says:
    Brekalo’s goal.

  4. Iggy says:

    Good stuff from Brekalo. We are gonna be okay this qualy 🙂

  5. Suba says:

    I still think Brekalo should leave Wolfsburg regardless
    Sretan Uskris to everyone and God bless

  6. Anonymous says:

    Olic is coaching CSKA.
    Sretan Uskrs to my Catholic brothers.

  7. Eric says:

    Sretan Uskrs svima!

  8. Andrej L says:

    If your worried about Brekalo getting playing when Renato Steffen comes back then ya maybe he should leave Wolfsburg but I think it’s a good challenge for him and can learn from Steffen. Wolfsburg will likely be in Champions League next year which means a lot of football.
    Yesterday, Brekalo barely got any touches in the first half and coughed up the ball a lot. That said, he has such good technique and ability to score from outside of the box with either foot.

  9. Miki says:

    If healthy Dalic will play this 4 3 3 1.01 kladionica..

    Livakovic Vrsaljko Lovren Vida Barisic Modric Brozovic Kovacic Perisic Petkovic Rebic.

  10. CiganJeCigan says:

    Sosa 80th min cross game winner…

  11. Markus says:

    I think Dalic has realized that DCC has to start after this break. I doubt we’ll see Lovren-Vida.

  12. Maminjo says:

    Barišić and Melnjak are on borrowed time.
    I don’t think that even Dalić can deny Bradarić and Sosa a callup for the next round of games.

  13. Soul Champ says:

    Sretan Uskrs Svima!!

    Brekalo is the goods.

    Sosa is cultivating a sweet looking cross into the danger area.

    The problem is that there is no Mandžukić to gobble those opportunities up.

    Bradaric announced himself with that golasso.

    Impact England beat down goal needs to be respected.

  14. Anonymous says:

    ‘who’ preserve their neutrality – i meant to say.

  15. Vuk says:

    The difference In quality between Barišić and Melnjak was so obvious during that Malta game. Barišić is serviceable, but I think Dalić seeing that cross to Perišić is going to solidify him as our starting LB going forward.
    It’s too bad he values age more than the quality when it comes to some of these players. That and they seem to care way too much about U21 results to have given Bradarić and Sosa a fair shake at integrating into the senior lineup.

  16. BEĆAR says:

    Atletico had literally only 5 subs today and Vrsaljko still can’t get any minutes.
    I’m ok with supporting the U21’s. Dealing with the drama and pressure of that England game cannot be taught on the A-Team’s bench vs. Cyprus or Malta.

  17. Maminjo says:

    Well if Sosa is available for the remaining U21 games, does that mean that Bradarić can come back?
    (since one of them will probably have to be on the bench)
    Or is it too tough to just pull Bradarić off the U21s after scoring the goal that took them to the quarters?
    Ironically, the goal may have just ended his chance to make an appearance at the Euros with the senior team.
    Even funnier is the fact that our U21 team will have a better LB playing off the bench than our senior NT starter.

  18. Vuk says:

    Yeah that is comical.
    My guess is Bradarić comes back for the seniors but is still back up to Barišić. And I also think he’ll be #3 on the depth chart and if we need more offense late, Dalić will drop Perišić to LB and sub in Oršić or Brekalo (assuming he’ll have Rebić/Perišić starting on the wings).

  19. Dannyj says:

    Can one of bradaric or Sosa back up the right side if need be??

  20. Markus says:

    Idk, they’re both lefties and I’m not sure how ambidextrous they are. If one of them could play well with their right they would be helpful on that side. I don’t get why perisic can’t go RB? Even he’s said he doesn’t have a favoured foot so just play RB when Vrsaljko can’t and leave LB for Sosa or Bradaric.

  21. caine says:

    @Anonymous that’s great info on Sosa’s attacking quality but the writer points out his weaknesses in defence also. He should work on that

  22. Maminjo says:

    To be fair to Borna,
    The author compares him to Robertson, who plays on another team (Liverpool) where they use Klopp’s pressing tactic.
    Despite this, the defensive gap isn’t huge (the author even says that Borna holds his own)…but the offensive gap is massive in Borna’s favor. That chart is an eye opener.
    If someone told you that we had a 23 year-old LB who is better than a 27 year-old LB that starts for Liverpool (much better on offense, and not much worse defensively)…people would wonder why he’s never received a callup.

  23. Medo says:

    He kind of reminds me a bit of Robert jarni…jarni was a maestro offensively as a left back but his defensive prowess was lacking.
    As someone pointed out earlier it doesn’t matter if he has all this crossing ability if we don’t have a forward proficient in the air on the receiving end of these dangerous in swingers.
    Sosa is serving up a 5 course meal to men with no appetite on the repka.

  24. Medo says:

    Budimir might be our best bet with sosa playing.

  25. Anonymous says:

    A shame we don’t have Mario at the top anymore.
    Will his milan stint be a flame out.
    That 18 month hiatus might have made him injury prone for good.

  26. Eric says:

    Mario’s got about 8 games left to make an impact and get his contract extended.

  27. Branko says:

    We need to be patient with bradaric he’s on a solid team who are ahead of PSG in the standings.
    Obviously there are some talented older players ahead of him at the moment.

  28. Maminjo says:

    I find it odd that 6’4″ Bruno Petkovic doesn’t really score any headers.
    Then again, he’s never played on a team where he would receive good service on the flanks.
    Even on the National Team, it’s not like Rebic or Perisic were sending in crosses to him. They almost always cut inside.
    Dinamo doesn’t really play like that either. He did score a header against Krasnodar, but it wasn’t from a cross from the flanks. I also doubt he had anyone good on his Serie B teams he played on before too that would have provided him service.
    Would be interesting to see if Sosa can find Bruno in the box.

  29. Branko says:

    Great point maminjo

  30. Medo says:

    Funny how Mario is 3” shorter then Bruno but plays so much taller.
    Better hops and isn’t afraid to get hurt when a keeper and him are battling for a ball in the air.

  31. Andrej L says:

    Despite the last senior call ups, we should consider Bradaric a senior squad player. He was called up for the Nations League games in the fall.
    Igor Biscan (U21 manager) has used Sosa and Colina as LBs in 5 games in the fall 2020.
    The latest World Cup qualifiers were not against highly ranked teams and Dalic/HNS clearly thought that Melnjak is not that much of a downgrade to Bradaric. He likely would’ve played a supporting bench role anyways.
    The U21s were playing the group stages of a major tournament against good teams. Bradaric played all 3 games and got probably more valuable experience with those games at least that’s seems to be the sentiment from the savez.
    If Sosa is healthy and consistently starting for his club; I would expect Bradaric to be back with the senior team at the Euros this June.

  32. Slavonac from Canada says:

    I highly doubt Petkovic’s lack of goals by head are because of poor service for the past 6 + years. He just doesn’t fight to get in those scoring positions inside the box

  33. Maminjo says:

    Who’s the better player? Sosa or Bradaric?
    That’s what I want to see.

    I love Bradaric’s technical ability, and he obviously has some offensive skills…but Sosa’s got some amazing ‘chance creation’ stats.
    We’re very lucky to have two young and capable LBs. The longer we drag this on (by delaying their callup to senior squad) the more we will hurt our results. I’m tired of watching Barisic and Melnjak lol.
    You’re probably right, but with Sosa being able to consistently deliver so many pinpoint crosses into the penalty box…one of those will end up at Petkovic’s technically skilled feet.
    Sending multiple crosses into the box, especially if you have a bull like Rebic in there too…will create chaos.

  34. Slavonac from Canada says:

    That’s what I want to know also…I don’t know Sosa at all and Bradaric doesn’t do much for me so far…I just can’t wait to see a real solid option for left back…we’ve had issues there for what seems like decades

  35. Soul Champ says:

    Jarni was a thoroughbred.

    His speed was world class.

    That makes up for a lot defensively.

    Going forward his crosses were pinpoint accurate.

    Bradaric has the quickness.

    It seems Sosa has that golden bend to his crosses that find his teammates in scoring spots.

    Colina was supposed to be talented as well?

    Barišić is serviceable as well.

  36. Markus says:

    I don’t think you can judge wether or not Bradaric does it for you yet unless you watch Lille so you see him consistently. I don’t think it’s fair to judge him based off 2 games for the repka at LW and half a game at LB. Hes 20, I didn’t expect him to blow us off our feet in his first game.

  37. Slavonac from Canada says:

    You’re right Markus!

  38. Andrej L says:

    @ Maminjo
    I still rank Bradaric higher than Sosa but do acknowledge his recent statistical lead in certain categories. I’d like to see him do it longer and maybe with a team that plays in European competitions. Regardless, some good competition at the LB position for years to come with David Colina not a bad prospect either.
    Funny how we have some many LBs coming up but no promising RBs besides maybe Filip Pobi…

  39. Maminjo says:

    Well, we could probably get away with playing Marin Pongračić at RB (since it’s listed as a secondary position for him).
    Rijeka has some 18 year old (Filip Braut) who gets some minutes here and there at RB.
    Very young to be getting time already. It’s a development year for Rijeka, so this is good news for any young player on that team.
    Dinamo also has Tin Hrvoj playing on their second team. I’m sure they’ll bring him up and somehow turn him into a 15M dollar player in a couple of years lol.
    Vrsaljko is still good for the next few years, but yea, we lack depth there in case of injury.
    Shame that Fran Tudor’s career went weirdly south.
    Two years is a long time, and we’ll probably see one of these young guys come up just the same as how we suddenly got Bradarić and Sosa as LB options these past couple of years (Barišić too).

  40. Maminjo says:

    Funny. I got curious about Fran Tudor and looked him up.
    He actually plays for a top-3 club in Poland (Raków Częstochowa) and there is a Jutarnji interview with him that’s about a month old.
    He recently became captain of the team (rare for a foreigner) and they have ambition.
    Maybe the guy is not licked yet. If Juranović (also a Polish league player) can get called up, so can Fran.
    He was good. He might end up having an Oršić resurgence.

  41. Andrej L says:

    Ya Tudor had some hype around him. At 25, he still has time. Pongracic definitely has the ball control and passing range to play RB. Might not be a bad option. But we still have time with Vrsaljko, Juranovic and maybe even Uremovic. Is Jedvaj ever going to leave Leverkusen?!? dude needs some consistent playing time. He’s still the same age as Juranovic and Tudor but always said he feels more comfortable at CB.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Jedvaj is lovren jr. far too mistake prone
    He’s done

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