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      Vatreni have uber-experienced core of players

      Group B preview: Croatia

      2024/06/08 15:12
      E5

      The 2018 FIFA World Cup runners-up and 2022 FIFA World Cup semi-finalists once again land at a major tournament billed as ‘dark horses’ despite being almost comically experienced on the big stage.

      With a timeless spine featuring the evergreen Luka Modric, Croatia will aim to replicate their strong World Cup campaigns at a European Championships - the Vatreni having failed to reach the last eight of this tournament since losing on penalties to Turkey back in 2008.

      Keep an eye out for Playmaker's definitive guide to the Euros, complete with profiles on all 24 nations competing, in the latest issue of 'The Mighty Delta'


      Star man

      Still defying time and still world-class at 38, it's hard to look past Luka Modrić while he's still going strong.

      He continues to run Croatia's midfield and control the tempo of games and, as captain, he will look to inspire his team-mates in what could well be his last major tournament for Croatia.

      Now a six-time Champions League winner, Modrić rarely goes the distance in games these days, but he remains a class apart.


      Croatia's Euro 2024 squad

      PositionNameTeam
      Goalkeeper
      Croatia
      HNK Rijeka
      Goalkeeper
      Turkey
      Fenerbahçe
      Goalkeeper
      Cyprus
      Pafos FC
      Defender
      Germany
      1. FC Union Berlin
      Defender
      Germany
      Bayer Leverkusen
      Defender
      Italy
      Lecce
      Defender
      England
      Manchester City
      Defender
      Greece
      AEK
      Defender
      Netherlands
      Ajax
      Defender
      Netherlands
      Ajax
      Defender
      Italy
      Sassuolo
      Midfielder
      Germany
      Wolfsburg
      Midfielder
      Croatia
      Dinamo Zagreb
      Midfielder
      Italy
      Torino
      Midfielder
      England
      Manchester City
      Midfielder
      Spain
      Real Madrid
      Midfielder
      Saudi-Arabia
      Al Nassr
      Midfielder
      Italy
      Atalanta
      Midfielder
      Austria
      Red Bull Salzburg
      Forward
      Croatia
      HNK Rijeka
      Forward
      Spain
      Osasuna
      Forward
      Croatia
      Hajduk Split
      Forward
      Croatia
      HNK Rijeka
      Forward
      Croatia
      Dinamo Zagreb
      Forward
      Germany
      TSG Hoffenheim
      Forward
      Netherlands
      Feyenoord
      [G=Games, M=Minutes, GS=Goals Scored, YC=Yellow cards, 2Y=Double Yellows, RC=Red cards]


      @Zac Goodwin/PA Images via Getty Images

      Young gun

      Given that he plays like  a seasoned veteran for the Premier League champions, it is easy to forget that Joško Gvardiol is still just 22.

      One of the players of the tournament at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar - when he was only 20 - Gvardiol has only improved since joining Manchester City from RB Leipzig.

      After establishing himself as first-choice under Pep Guardiola, Gvardiol will seek to polish an already sparkling reputation back in Germany.


      Wildcard

      Now 32, Andrej Kramarić has scored 17 goals and provided six assists this season for Hoffenheim, with a significant portion of those numbers coming at the tail end of the season prior to the tournament.

      He's heading to Germany in fantastic form, and it wouldn't be a surprise if the former Leicester City man continues his hot streak.

      Not considered a decisive player for the national team, Kramarić could change that perception this summer.


      Opinion

      We've managed to avoid injury issues, so our 26-man squad is as strong as it could be.

      Perišić's return from his ACL injury is fantastic news and, although our qualifying campaign wasn't the best, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic ahead of the Euros.

      Our squad is well-balanced with good depth, including players from our domestic league like Marko Pjaca, Bruno Petković, and Marco Pašalić. We aim to finally win a knockout game in the Euros and at least reach the quarter-finals...if we do, don't bet against us.


      Preferred formation: 4-3-3




      Comments

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      motivo:
      2024-06-08 16h48m by edavidson
      The Real Madrid midfielder was the driving force behind Croatia&
      2024-06-08 16h13m by banderson1976
      The Real Madrid playmaker will once again be pulling the strings for Croatia, and his experience and creativity will be crucial in their quest for glory.



      As a football fan, I have high hopes for Croatia in the Euros. Their experienced team, led by the timeless Luka Modric, has the potential to surprise everyone once again. Can't wait to see Modric pulling the strings and leading his team to victory! Excited to read Playmaker's guide on all the nations competing.
      SP
      2024-06-08 15h53m by sparkerfield
      The captain, who led Croatia to the World Cup final in 2018, will once again be the key orchestrator for his country. His technical ability and leadership on the pitch will be crucial to Croatia's success in this tournament.

      As a football fan, I am eager to see Modric lead Croatia once again at a major tournament. His experience and skill will surely make them a strong contender. Can't wait to see how they perform at the Euros!
      A_
      2024-06-08 15h40m by a_12_shawcross
      His leadership, passing range and ability to control the game from midfield will be key for Croatia&
      OM
      2024-06-08 15h27m by omitchellsonjones
      The Real Madrid midfielder remains the heartbeat of Croatia&
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