Sky Sports pundit heaps praise on Luka Modric after bagging The Best award

Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson believes Luka Modric truly deserves The Best Player of the Year award from FIFA after being influential for club and country last term. The Croatia international bagged his third successive Champions League crown with Real Madrid last season and he thereafter went on to star for Croatia at the World Cup where they were eventually runners up to France.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Merson feels there are no question marks regarding the Croatian’s showing at the World Cup and highlighted the semi-final against England as one of his standouts, he said: “Definitely. For the World Player of the Year, the pinnacle is the World Cup and the way he performed at the tournament was just unreal. In the England game, he just constantly kept on running. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone as fit as that on a football pitch. He just kept on going and going and not just running, his quality. I just think he’s top, top drawer.”
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ENRIQUE NAMES SQUAD TO FACE CROATIA AND ENGLAND

Former Barcelona coach and current manager of the Spanish national side LuizEnriuqehas named his squad to face Croatia and England. Spain named a young crop of stars to face the Three Lions and then World Cup finalist Croatia.

Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique and David Silva, who were part of the award winning teams, have since retired so Enrique is charged with building a new squad that can help restore Spain to their former top spot in Europe.
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WC 18: HOW FAR CAN STAR STUDDED CROATIA GO?

The star studded Croatia side has performed below expectations many times. This time, in Russia, the team is hoping to match expectations. Luka Modric recently bossed the Champions League final, controlling the game with his passes and dribbles. He is a game changer and his blend of skills is expected to help propel the team beyond the group stage of the World Cup.

Modric has the support of Juventus’ Mario Mandzukic, Barcelona’s IvanRakitic and his club mate MateoKovacic.There are also brand names like Ivan PerisicDejanLovren, SimeVrsaljko and others, expected to make a strong push in the finals.
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TURKEY DEFEAT CROATIA, KEEP WC HOPES ALIVE

Cent Tosun’s sole goal was enough to earn the Turks full points against Croatia on Tuesday.


The victory keeps their World Cup hopes alive. With two games left to play, the result was a huge blow to the hopes of the group leaders.

Tosun scored in the 75th minute as the Croatian keeper Daniel Subasic stopped an effort from OguzhanOzyakup, setting the player for an easy rebound goal. The Turk surely didn’t miss from there.

The result is a significant boost to the Turks after losing 2-0 to Ukraine on Saturday. The atmosphere was electric after the goal as fans in the northwestern city of Eskisehir knew their hopes were alive once more. Read more “TURKEY DEFEAT CROATIA, KEEP WC HOPES ALIVE”

PERISIC’S PRIME DESERVE TO BE SPENT AWAY FROM INTER

Inter Milan forward Ivan Perisic, despite playing for one of the most exciting young teams ever witnessed in German football, most times ended up at the peripheral side of activities.


His 42 match appearances in the two year stint he spent under the tutelage of current Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp – amidst stars like IkayGundogan, NuriSahin and Shinji Kagawa – was mostly doctored by substitute appearances

The Borussen won one Bundesliga and a DFB Pokal and all along the aforementioned stars were more involved than the Croatia international.

This was a player who was crowned the Belgian League’s player of the season in 2011 and managed to bag in 31 goals throughout his stay. Dortmund was supposed to be a higher platform on which he could showcase his value most importantly since the then coach took a special likeningto youths over experience. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t get much of the action. Read more “PERISIC’S PRIME DESERVE TO BE SPENT AWAY FROM INTER”

MODRIC APPOINTED NEW CROATIA CAPTAIN

Real Madrid play maker Luka Modric has been named the captain of Croatia, following the retirement of veteran Darijo Srna.


Modric was picked out by coach Ante Cacic to lead the team as preparation for the World Cup gets underway this week.

Modric would lead the team when they take on Turkey on September 5. The 30-year old was in action when Croatia played at the Euro 2016. He does not lack admirers, but he said he would prefer to end his career with his current club. The former Tottenham Hotspur player moved to the Santiago Bernabeu in 2012. He has won two Champions League titles, but was yet to win the domestic trophy.

“I am not interested in anyone but real. I am too happy at Real. Probably there are some others asking about me, but I don’t want to know, I don’t care. My mission is at Real as long as Real want me,” Modric told Sportske Novosti.

Barcelona has exerted their dominance in Spain, winning the La Liga regularly, though Atletico Madrid lifted the title in the 2013/14 season. Last term, Real Madrid finished second, a point below Barcelona. Modric said it was time they changed that, hinting at the possible priority of the team this season. Read more “MODRIC APPOINTED NEW CROATIA CAPTAIN”

Croatia Puts Up Valiant Efforts Against Portugal

Croatia, along with other teams is in the focus due to the euro 2016 tournament that is ongoing right now.

If you have seen the recent match that was played between Croatia and Portugal you will realize that the match had been a difficult one for both teams. Indeed, Croatia definitely puts up a formidable performance in the match. It was only at the end that they could not save themselves from the goal that Ricardo scored for Portugal and secured victory for his team.

You might have seen the game, the way the teams played and how the last minute victory exhausted all the efforts that Croatia put in to keep up their team at the winning edge. The tie position that Croatia was with Portugal was thus changed in favor of Portugal. However, for those who witnessed the game, they will realize that Croatia played brilliantly, against their formidable opponent and made it difficult for the team to score goals. That is after all what determines the level of playing on a team and not how many goals are scored or given away by a team.
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MAXIMUM POINTS

Croatia have revealed that they will be looking to get the maximum points from the opening match against Brazil in the FIFA World Cup 2014. This will be the opening match of the tournament, and Brazil come into the encounter was the overwhelming favourites as the host of the tournament. It took a last-minute miracle from the Croatians to get into the World Cup, but after having done so, they are targeting success of the tournament. It would be great achievement even if they reach the quarter-finals of the competition.

In order to do so, they have set their sights on winning the opening game. Croatia captain Darijo Srna has raised the possibility of an upset in the first match of the tournament by saying that a World Cup is full of surprises and anything is possible. Incredibly, Croatia managed to reach the semifinals and finished third in the competition back in 1998. This was their first appearance in a World Cup, but incredibly, it was only a few years after the war in the nation. Powered by the likes of Luka Modric, Srna believes that the nation can achieve success in the competition.

The presence of Bayern Munich hitman Mario Mandzukic, who has been in fine form for his club, is a major boost for Croatia.

“World Cup opening games are always tense and nervous. Anything can happen. Surprises are always possible,” Croatia captain Darijo Srna said. “Brazil in the first game with the whole world watching, it will be something. We will try to make it difficult for them. We won’t just be there as tourists. You only get a shot at the World Cup every four years, so we want to leave behind a lasting impression,” Croatia coach Niko Kovac said. Kovac was appointed as the national team manager only recently.

CROATIA FACE BRAZIL

The World Cup is one of the prestigious sporting tournaments in the world. It has the highest viewership record amongst any major tournament. This summer’s tournament will be held in Brazil. As the host nation, Brazil will be involved in the opening match of the tournament. They will be up against Croatia, who are one of their group opponents. Mexico and Cameroon are the other group opponents, but the privilege of playing in the opening game has made Croatia manager Niko Kovac extremely happy.

Croatia missed out on the last World Cup at South Africa. Hence, they will be looking to do well in this edition to make use of one of their best generations in a long time. Kovac says that representing his nation at a World Cup is in itself a great privilege, while the opportunity to be part of the opening game is even better. Brazil are undoubtedly the favourites to progress from the group, but Kovac reckons that it will be an even fight between Mexico, Cameroon, and Croatia for the final qualifying spot.

Kovac will be hoping to find his best team as soon as possible after narrowly making it into the World Cup. The nation has had just one win in the last five matches after they recently could only manage a 2-2 draw with Switzerland in a friendly.

“We said immediately after the draw that opening a World Cup is a privilege and an honour for every national team. We are proud to take part in that game, to play in an amazing atmosphere and we will give our best to present Croatia to the world in the best possible light. Brazil is not a favourite only in our group (Group A). Brazil is a favourite of the entire championship, and Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon will fight for the second place in the group, namely a ticket to the next round,” Kovac said.

KOVAC JOINS FIFA WORKSHOP

The head coach of the Croatian national team, Niko Kovak travelled to the workshop which was organized by FIFA at the Brazilian island of Santa Catarina. The reunion involving all of the coaches of their respective national teams serves as preparation for the upcoming World Cup.

Croatia will start their World Cup schedule by playing against Brazil at the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo in their opening match which is scheduled to be played on June 12.

Croatia was pitted in Group H for the 2016 Euro and they have to play against Italy, Norway, Bulgaria, Malta and Azerbaijan. According to Niko Kovac, Croatia are favorites on winning their group along with Italy.

“Together with Italy we are favorites to win the Group H”, Niko Kovac said after being notified that Croatia will meet Italy, Norway, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan and Malta.

Ahead of all the international matches that Niko Kovak has to deal with Croatia, there has been 2 new arrivals into the staff of the team that will be picking up roles as scouters as well as taking up additional responsibilities which include recording matches that Croatia will have to play against for the World Cup and monitoring their live matches.

‘’I am satisfied with the agreement, especially because their football philosophy coincide with those of the coaching staff. Both were excellent professionals with a recognized career abroad, excellent understanding of football and I am confident that the expert panel will provide valuable information’’. Niko Kovac stated.

The arrival of these new scouters into the team is hoping that can it help Croatia on pushing forward and getting positive results out of their upcoming international fixtures.