Sunday, 5 June 2022

Who's Next? Five Croatian Footballers That Could Change Clubs

June 5, 2022 - Five months from the start of the next World Cup, many Croatian footballers will surely have to make decisions to secure a place in their national teams. Ivan Perišić recently signed for Tottenham, but which of his teammates could follow in his footsteps?

Typically, players looking to secure a World Cup ticket would switch clubs up to a year before kick-off, giving them a full season to prove themselves. On the other hand, some were waiting precisely for June to arrive to play the World Cup and for it to serve as a jumper to stardom. This year is an atypical one, as the 2022 World Cup will take place in November, in the middle of the club football season. That is why those players who are looking for more minutes or a higher level of competition are already starting to change clubs this summer.

This is the case for many national teams, and one of them will surely be that for Croatian footballers. The Croatia national team has gone through many changes since the World Cup in Russia in 2018, where it touched the glory of reaching the final. Several Croatian footballers announced their retirements from the national team, such as Ivan Rakitić and Danijel Subašić, and others even announced their definitive retirement from football, such as Mario Mandžukić or Vedran Čorluka.

For this reason, and despite the fact that Zlatko Dalić can still count on players like Modrić, Brozović, Kovačič, Vida, or Kramarić, the national team has seen the arrival of new Croatian footballers who are looking to make a place for themselves for the next World Cup. To do this, they must find an ideal club where they have enough playing time and a suitable level of competition to convince Dalić and his staff. Ivan Perišić, who has a guaranteed place in the Croatian team, has recently completed his transfer from Inter Milan, with whom he decided not to renew his contract, to Tottenham London. Which Croatian footballers could follow in his footsteps?

Josip Juranović

Josip Juranović has taken over the right-back position on the Croatia national team, which seemed to have no competition with Šime Vrsaljko. However, injuries and lack of minutes for Vrsaljko at Atlético de Madrid added to the high level shown by Juranovic in the qualifiers and at EURO 2020, seem to have changed things. Juranović, who played five years at Hajduk Split, has had a great season at Celtic Glasgow, a club he joined in August 2021 from Legia Warsaw. In just one season, he became an undisputed starter and even the one responsible for taking penalties for his team. Juranović was instrumental in Celtic defending the title in a tight season with the Rangers, and his performances earned him a place in the team of the tournament. Juranović could continue with Celtic and play in the Champions League, but he is also aware that important clubs want him, such as England's Leicester City. The market value of the Croatian defender is 4 million euros, and it remains to be seen what decision he will make this summer.


Photo: Igor Kralj/PIXSELL

Borna Sosa

On the other side of the Croatian defense, Borna Sosa is a player who has also aroused the interest of important clubs in Europe. Despite the controversial media case of being tempted by the German national team and later apologizing to the Croatian fans, the left-back is part of Dalić's plans and he vindicated himself with his performances in the qualifiers, showing his high level both in defense and in the attack. Despite not having been a great season for his club, Stuttgart, the Croatian was an undisputed starter and somehow the end of the season brought a lot of joy to his team and the city, avoiding relegation with a goal at the last minute on the last fixture of the German Bundesliga. Borna, who arrived at Stuttgart in 2018 after playing for Dinamo Zagreb, could now make the big leap to a European giant. According to various sources, both FC Barcelona and Manchester United have asked about the Croatian defender, who has a market value of 20 million euros.


Photo: Davor Javorovic/PIXSELL

Nikola Vlašić

The talented and hard-working midfielder is not having the best time of his career. Despite arriving as West Ham's big signing for the 2021/22 season, Vlašić has made just 19 appearances in the English Premier League, most starting from the bench. The same has happened in the Europa League, where he failed to secure a place in the ideal eleven despite his versatility both in the center and on the wings. This lack of playing time could affect his role in the national team, despite the fact that Dalić and his staff consider Vlašić to be an undisputed player among the rest of Croatian footballers. Therefore, the Split-born footballer could consider a loan or force an exit. The 24-year-old midfielder may find a loan the easiest way to add more minutes unless he decides to continue fighting for a place in the London team.


Photo: Igor Kralj/PIXSELL

Luka Sučić

Sučić has been one of the great surprises on the Croatia national team. Despite not being a big part of Croatia's journey to the World Cup in Qatar, the 19-year-old midfielder's talent has not gone unnoticed, even in a team with plenty of top midfielders. A regular at Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, the country where he was born, Luka has enjoyed a season full of minutes and success, after winning the Austrian league title and making important appearances in the UEFA Champions League. Luka has a current market value of 20 million, and two European giants have their eyes on the Croatian midfielder: AC Milan and Liverpool, two teams where he will have to compete a lot to earn a place, but which would greatly raise his status ahead of the next World Cup.


Photo: Vjeran Zganec Rogulja/PIXSELL

Ante Rebić

Rebić's case is a very complicated one. The striker, who was one of the great sensations at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, has suddenly lost Dalić's confidence. Not precisely because of his performance, since the striker has shown a high level both in Frankfurt and AC Milan, the latter with which he became champion of Serie A. Rather, Rebić was removed from the national team after criticizing his own manager, Zlatko Dalić, after the EURO 2020 campaign. It is up to Rebić himself if he wants to regain the confidence of the national coach and a place in the squad, and to do so he must also consider his future at AC Milan, as according to various sources, the Italian team would be thinking of selling him to invest in other players.


Photo: Slavko Midzor/PIXSELL

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

Sunday, 29 May 2022

Luka Modrić Wins 5th Champions League, Extends Real Madrid Contract!

May 29, 2022 - Croatian legend Luka Modrić wins the fifth Champions League of his career with Real Madrid after beating Liverpool 1-0 in Paris. To celebrate, he has extended his contract until June 2023!

Yesterday, Real Madrid beat Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League final in Paris with a goal from Vinicius Jr. in the 59th minute. This way, the team from the Spanish capital achieved its 14th European Cup in its history, greatly lengthening the difference with the rest of the continent's clubs. Some players from the squad, such as Karim Benzema, Dani Carvajal, Nacho Fernández, Marcelo, Isco, Casemiro, and Gareth Bale added the 5th Champions League trophy to their showcase, after winning the first one in 2014 in Lisbon. Likewise, Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti became the first coach in history to win four Champions League titles, two with AC Milan (2002-03 and 2006-07) and two with Real Madrid (2013-14 and 2021-22).

The captain of the Croatian national team, Luka Modrić, is also among the select group of footballers with five Champions League titles to his name. The 36-year-old Zadar-born midfielder played 90 minutes of the match before being replaced by Dani Ceballos. Luka has been considered by many journalists, fans, and even players from other teams as one of the architects of this new title for Real Madrid. Prior to playing the match against Liverpool, Luka stood out in the previous matches against Paris Saint Germain in the round of 16, against Chelsea in the quarter-finals, and against Manchester City in the semi-finals, showing that his great form doesn't seem to wear off over the years.

Luka played all 13 games in the European competition, where he gave 4 assists and received just one yellow card. The Croatian ends his tenth season with Real Madrid in a great way, winning both the Spanish league and the UEFA Champions League, as well as being a decisive piece in Carlo Ancelotti's team.

And the good news, both for Luka and for Real Madrid, did not end there. As confirmed by the Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, for many considered the most reliable source in terms of football transfers, Luka has signed the extension of his contract with Real Madrid for one more year, until June 2023, pending an official club statement. Luka will now join the Croatian squad ahead of the Nations League matches against Austria, France, and Denmark.

Congratulations Luka!

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Croatia is 8th Largest Exporter of Footballers in the World!

May 10, 2022 - Croatia is the 8th largest exporter of footballers in the world!

Namely, 400 football players from Croatia play abroad in 135 professional leagues worldwide. According to those statistics, Croatia is the eighth largest exporter of footballers in the world, reports Slobodna Dalmacija

One of the few Croatian industries that are very competitive globally is football. Even though there are less than 4 million inhabitants, hardly any adequate infrastructure, stadiums, or pitches, coaches in the younger categories are often underpaid, and laws do not adequately support investments in sports, Croatia is a real football miracle - especially when you factor in it was the 2018 World Cup finalist. 

Croatia is at the top of the world in producing and exporting quality footballers and is the fifth largest European exporter. A recent study by CIES, the International Institute for Sports Studies in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, analyzed the 80 football federations with the most significant number of players abroad in 135 world leagues. The five years from 1 May 2017 to 1 May 2022 were analyzed. That last date was taken as a reference, while this research was done five years earlier for the first time. The study included 135 world professional leagues (83 from Europe, 20 from Asia, 18 from South America, 10 from North and Central America, and 4 from Africa), or 2198 clubs.

As expected, the most footballers playing outside, in these leagues, on May 1 this year were Brazilians (1219). It is no surprise that the current world champion France follows (978). The world’s third-largest exporter of footballers is also predictably Argentina (815). Brazilians and Argentines are the most famous representatives of South American football and have long been known as class players. It isn't easy to find a league in which they are not strongly represented. England (525) is on the list of a vast number of footballers who play in other leagues in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and Germany (441) has a significant number of players of Turkish origin who were born and live in Germany but play abroad, even in the homeland of their parents and ancestors. The highest percentage of foreign players from one country is Belgians in the Netherlands (29.6 percent).

On average, teams had 6.3 foreign footballers (22 percent). As far as Croatia is concerned, this is an increase of 25 percent compared to the identical analysis made five years earlier, on May 1, 2017, or an increase of 81 footballers. Five years ago, 319 football players from Croatia were in the mentioned leagues.

In addition to quality, Croatia has also shown incredible quantity, given that according to the latest census, it has only 3.88 million inhabitants. For comparison, the world's largest exporter of football players, Brazil, has 212 million inhabitants, France 65 million, Argentina 45 million, England 56 million, Germany 83 million, Colombia 50 million, and Spain 46 million. Behind Croatia are the great football nations such as the Netherlands, Portugal, and Belgium.

The favorite destination of Croatian footballers abroad is Slovenia, with 102 Croatian footballers. The next leading destination is the neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina, with 49 players. 

Top 10 largest exporters of footballers in the world

1. Brazil 1219
2. France 978
3. Argentina 815
4. England 525
5. Germany 441
6. Colombia 425
7. Spain 409
8. Croatia 400
9. Serbia 379
10. The Netherlands 367

To read more about sports in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Tuesday, 5 April 2022

Joško Gvardiol Named 4th Best Young Footballer in Europe, Marin Ljubičić in Top 100

April 5, 2022 - RB Leipzig's Joško Gvardiol is the 4th best young footballer under 21 in Europe, while Hajduk's Marin Ljubičić takes 71st place. 

The International Center for Sports Studies (CIES) from Switzerland has published the results of a survey that revealed the 100 best footballers in Europe under 21, excluding goalkeepers.

CIES made this ranking using 15 technical categories, and data for 8 different aspects of the game was obtained from InStat. This study took into account air defense, ground defense, recovery, distribution, take on, chance creation, air attack, and shooting. The strength of the club was also valued, as well as the strength of the league, i.e., the opponent.

The current stopper of the Croatia national team and RB Leipzig, Joško Gvardiol, took an admirable fourth place in the survey as the 'ground blocker playmaker'. Ahead of him are only Bukayo Saka, Mason Greenwodd, and Patrick Wimmer of Arminia Bielefeld.

The three factors that were taken into account when ranking players were their performance in relation to teammates, the results of their club, as well as the quality of opponents. The CIES states that for each of the 100 best young players in Europe, they highlighted two categories of technical skills in which, based on statistics, they are the best out of a total of 11.

Saka is thus marked as a dribbler and creator of chances, while Gvardiol's defense and ball distribution is emphasized, which confirms the epithet of a modern stopper.

Gvardiol played the most minutes for his team out of the 20 best young footballers. Namely, he played 86.8% of all available minutes for Leipzig. In the top 20, according to that criterion, Saka is in second place with 85.3% of minutes played for Arsenal. 

In addition to Gvardiol, another Croatian football player made the list of the 100 best under 21s. Namely, Hajduk striker Marin Ljubičić took 71st place. He played 44% of the available league minutes this season, and CIES pointed out that winning the ball in the air and shooting (‘target man’) as the greatest qualities in his game.

To read more about sports in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

What Will Happen to Croatian Footballers in Russia? FIFA Makes Decision

 March 8, 2022 - FIFA has finally made a decision on the contracts of Croatian footballers in Russia. 

The contracts of foreign footballers and coaches employed in the Russian and Ukrainian championships will be "suspended" until the end of the season, and in the spring they will be able to freely engage in other clubs and countries, FIFA announced on Monday, as reported by

On the Russian side, which has been banned from the sports world since the invasion of Ukraine and deprived of international competitions, the goal is to "facilitate the departure" of all those who have not found an agreement with their clubs, explains FIFA.

Therefore, they will have the “right to unilaterally suspend their employment contract” until June 30, 2022, and will be able to play for clubs from another championship, even outside the transition period. Foreign players and coaches in Ukraine will benefit from the same provision, to allow them to “work and receive a salary” while the conflicts continue.

Finally, underage players fleeing Ukraine will be treated by FIFA as underage refugees, thus entering an international transfer market that is otherwise closed to under-18s.

FIFA, which has already banned Russia from participating in the 2022 World Cup but risks appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the decision, reiterated its "condemnation of Russia's use of force in Ukraine" and called for a "quick cessation of hostilities".

FIFPro called FIFA’s temporary solution “too timid.”

“It will be hard for players to find employment for the remainder of the season with uncertainty looming over them and, within a few weeks, they will be in a very difficult situation once again. It is unsatisfactory even for players who are tied to short-term contracts in Russia — where contracts typically end in December — and who may not want or be able to return after 30 June 2022.”

This includes Croatian footballers Dejan Lovren, Nikola Moro, Filip Uremović, Tin Jedvaj, Zoran Nižić, Silvije Begić, Filip Mrzljak, and Mateo Barać. 

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Wednesday, 9 February 2022

Return of Perišić to Poljud? Hajduk Fans Say ''It's Time''

Februay 9, 2022 - With his contract due to expire in June, the euphoria of the fans, and the complicity of returnees Marko Livaja and the recently introduced Nikola Kalinić, there are plenty of reasons to believe in the return of Perišić to Poljud. The petition, created by Hajduk fans and supported by Livaja himself, is already underway with the slogan #PerišićVrimeJe (Perišić, it's time).

It is impossible to deny the influence and insistence of the Hajduk Split fans, especially when one recalls their great effort to retain their star player, Marko Livaja, under the motto: ''Livaja, ostaje u Hajduku'' (Livaja, stay at Hajduk). Said and done, the idol born in Split decided in the end to stay and today he has contributed 17 goals in 20 league games so that Hajduk finds itself fighting for the title, 5 points behind leaders Dinamo Zagreb and 2 points behind Osijek and Rijeka, with one game less than both.

The Dalmatian club presented yesterday at the Poljud its brand new signing, striker Nikola Kalinić, who arrived from Hellas Verona after a prolific career that includes top clubs such as Atlético de Madrid, AC Milan, and Fiorentina. Hajduk surprised everyone on Sunday night when they posted an emotional video on their social media that appealed to nostalgia and memories, as well as the connection between Split and Verona, which in the end revealed the agreement reached for Kalinić's return to Poljud.

During Kalinić's presentation, the player revealed in the press conference that both Edin Džeko and Ivan Perišić called him the night before, but did not reveal the details of the conversations but added that he told his teammate from the national team that ''everything was on him.'', reports Hajduk fans, quick as no other, began to speculate on the return of Perišić, even more so considering that the winger ends his contract with Inter Milan in June this year, and will go on to become a free agent. At the moment, nothing is certain regarding a possible renewal with the Italian team, as well as offers from other clubs, which invites one to dream of the return of Perišić to Poljud.

Speculation has now turned into a petition, and even Hajduk fans already have a slogan to kick off the motion: #PerišićVrimeJe (Perišić, it's time). It should be remembered that the intentions of signing the 33-year-old winger from Omiš are not new, since the motto was coined last year after the long-awaited renewal of Marko Livaja. But hope in Hajduk fans has increased considering Perišić's contract situation, and even more so after Livaja himself joined the petition in a video that has now gone viral on social media.

At the moment, with nothing certain about his future, Perišić is focused on his current team, with whom he beat Roma 2-0 yesterday for the Coppa Italia, in a match in which he played 85 minutes. The Croatian player has the full confidence of his coach, Simone Inzaghi, and is an undisputed starter in his formation. Ivan's commitment and concentration are necessary for the remainder of the season. The 'neroazzurri' will visit Napoli on Saturday in a decisive match that could help them secure the top spot in Serie A, as they are coming off losing to arch-rivals AC Milan and the Napolitan team is currently second with just one point behind. Also, next Wednesday they will face powerful Liverpool at home in the return of the UEFA Champions League, for the round of 16.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Tuesday, 28 December 2021

Two Croatian Players Among The Guardian's Top 100 in 2021

December 28, 2021 - The Guardian, which has been making a list of the 100 best footballers of the year since 2012, recently published its ranking for 2021. Two Croatian players made the list. Find out who they are and where they rank.

Since 2012, The Guardian publishes a list of the 100 players who stood out the most in the year. The collective achievements with both their clubs and national teams, as well as their individual performance, are decisive factors in assembling the ranking. In 2021, two Croatian players have been included in the top 100 footballers of the year: Luka Modrić and Marcelo Brozović. You can check the full list here.

Despite the fact that the Croatian national team failed to repeat in EURO 2020 what they achieved in the last World Cup in Russia in 2018, they managed to secure their ticket to the next World Cup in 2022 in Qatar. In this way, Croatia finishes in 15th place in the last FIFA ranking of the year, being 11th in Europe.

But 2021 was, despite everything, a year of very good results for Croatian players around the continent. For example, Mateo Kovačić managed to lift his fourth Champions League, his first with Chelsea FC. However, the two Croatian players on The Guardian's list were Real Madrid's Luka Modrić and Inter Milan's Marcelo Brozović.


Photo: Davor Javorovic/PIXSELL

The historic captain of the Croatian national team continues to defend the Real Madrid crest with the same energy and passion as in the past decade, despite his 36 years. Years pass and the Zadar-born footballer continues to own his position in the white midfield, well ahead of young footballers who have come to the club in recent years such as Federico Valverde, Martin Odegaard, or Dani Ceballos. Luka is ranked 40th on the list, and The Guardian writes the following about his inclusion:

‘‘Ah, Luka, don’t ever go. At the start of last season it looked like he might, like time had finally caught up with him, like Madrid’s midfield was about to be renewed, and that was reflected in this list: he was 71st. But then he returned to the heart of everything good and this season he has been superb. Up 31 places – and he could be even further up than that. Aged 36, he’s still better than the rest. Just don’t say the word rest to him. “I feel happier when I’m playing,” he says.’’

Indeed, Luka did not get any title with Real Madrid at the end of the 2020/21 season, but he was chosen as the Player of the Season by the club and the fans. Likewise, in the course of this season (which is also taken into account when drawing up the list at the end of the year), Luka has been decisive in placing Real Madrid at the top of the La Liga table, much less in front of their eternal rivals, Atlético de Madrid and FC Barcelona. For his teammates, Luka continues to play as a promising youngster and that is, in addition to motivating, important for the team's performance both in attack and defense.

Marcelo Brozović is the second national representative on the list of the 100 best footballers in 2021. The 29-year-old Zagreb-born midfielder won the Serie A title with his club, Inter Milan, thus breaking the dominance of his eternal rivals, Juventus, who had just won 9 Scudettos in a row. Brozović was in fact one of the determining players in Antonio Conte's team, along with Nicolo Barella in midfield, and Lautaro Martínez and Romelu Lukaku in attack, all of them also included among the 100 best footballers of the year.

''Brozo'' arrived on the neroazzurro team in 2015 from Dinamo Zagreb, and it has been the passage of time that has managed to forge his maturity as a footballer. Thus, the midfielder has gone from being a discreet player to one of the most notorious for his involvement both in defensive work, as well as when providing assists to his teammates and even scoring goals on his own.

About Brozovic, who was ranked 81st on the list, The Guardian wrote:

‘‘Antonio Conte defined Brozović as “the darling of the [Inter] team” that won the Scudetto for the first time since 2010. Even in a side that prided themselves on hard graft, the Croatian pushed himself further than the rest – covering more distance per game than any other player in Serie A last season. Yet Brozovic is much more than a domestique peddling away anonymously so that teammates can shine. His vision and incisive passing were fundamental to Inter’s fast-break approach under Conte, and remain so now that Simone Inzaghi is adapting the Nerazzurri to a more possession-focused approach.’’

Marcelo Brozović continues to be decisive in the functioning of the Italian team, and this is how they are currently positioned at the top of the Serie A table. Inter is currently working on the renewal of the Croatian midfielder's contract, as they consider him as a fundamental piece of the neroazzurro project. It should be noted that the two Croatian players faced each other in the group stage of the Champions League, and both made it to the round of 16.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

Saturday, 18 December 2021

Two Croatian Players in Real Madrid's Plans for 2022

December 18, 2021 - The Spanish giants seek to reinforce their squad, even as current La Liga leaders and after a successful group stage in the Champions League. According to Spanish media, in addition to Mbappé and Haaland, the "whites" would also be interested in two Croatian players.

According to, the mythical club Real Madrid already has a list of potential signings for the next summer transfer window. The football world already knows that the ''Galáticos'' made an offer for Kylian Mbappé last summer, but in addition to trying again (considering that the PSG star can negotiate a free transfer from January 2022), they have also included the Norwegian Erling Haaland in their plans. Thus, Real Madrid seeks to unite both forwards with their current star, Vinicius Jr., to form a lethal trident.

However, at the club, they know that they must sign more than just forwards. Despite the good moment of Militao and Alaba as centre-backs, the departure of Sergio Ramos and Raphaël Varane has left the position with few variations. This is how Real Madrid has set its sights on RB Leipzig's center-back and ex-Dinamo from Zagreb, Josko Gvardiol. After very good seasons at the club in the Croatian capital, the young defender migrated to Germany and has quickly made a place for himself in Leipzig's defense. Furthermore, he is an undisputed starter in Zlatko Dalic's squad in the Croatian national team. It seems that Real Madrid would have liked that, despite his 19 years of age, Gvardiol has accumulated quite a few minutes of experience with both his clubs and the national team.

Another Croatian player listed as a potential signing for Real Madrid is Rennes midfielder, Lovro Majer. Majer, who also left Dinamo Zagreb last summer, seemed unable to find his place in the French team. However, in recent months, the young midfielder has shown a very good level, with impressive statistics: 4 assists and 1 goal in 10 games. Lovro surely caught the attention of many when on December 5, in a match against Saint Étienne in Ligue 1, he provided 3 assists for his teammate Martin Terrier, who scored a hat-trick. Majer's good form led Dalic, who did not call him up for EURO 2020 and left him on the provisional lists later, to finally decide to call him up for the qualifying games for the Qatar 2022 World Cup. On his debut, Majer scored two goals in the bulky 7-0 win against Malta. Real Madrid wouldn't think twice when it came to signing a Croatian midfielder, after the good memories and the success of players like Luka Modric or Mateo Kovacic. What is clear is that, after the bad moment of Isco or Hazard, Real Madrid is looking for a creative player in their midfield.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Friday, 8 October 2021

Marko Brkljača Among Best Young Talents in World Football

October 8, 2021 - In this year's Next Generation, a list in which The Guardian carefully selects the 60 best prospects in world football, a Croatian player has stood out and it is 17-year-old Hajduk Split midfielder Marko Brkljača.

Every year since 2014, the British medium The Guardian publishes a list called Next Generation, in which 60 young players in world football stand out for their precocious and surprising performance in the minor divisions of their clubs and national teams. Some of them even add minutes with the first team, but the main objective of the list is to recognize the main promises in football.

The list is compiled by a diverse number of journalists and soccer analysts, who constantly follow the major soccer leagues not only in Europe but all over the world. Although any type of list can be subjective in nature, it is true that many of the players who have appeared on these lists in the past are today part of the football elite, such as:

  • Ousmane Dembélé - Barcelona (Next Generation 2014)
  • Luka Jović - Real Madrid (2014)
  • Dayot Upamecano - Bayer München (2015)
  • Manuel Locatelli - Juventus (2015)
  • Dani Olmo - RB Leipzig (2015)
  • Christian Pulisic - Chelsea (2015)
  • Federico Valverde - Real Madrid (2015)
  • Kai Havertz - Chelsea (2016)
  • Gianluigi Donnarumma - PSG (2016)
  • Matthijs de Ligt - Juventus (2016)
  • Vinicius Júnior - Real Madrid (2017)
  • Alphonso Davies - Bayern München (2017)
  • Jadon Sancho - Manchester United (2017)
  • Erling Haaland - Borussia Dortmund (2017)
  • Ferrán Torres - Manchester City (2017)
  • Mason Greenwood - Manchester United (2018)
  • Eric García - Barcelona (2018)
  • Eduardo Camavinga - Real Madrid (2019)
  • Ansu Fati - Barcelona (2019)
  • Pedri - Barcelona (2019)
  • Jamal Musiala - Bayern München (2020)

Many Croatian players who are now part of the national team also appeared in previous editions, such as Nikola Vlašić (2014) and Josko Gvardiol (2019). Other Croatian players who were selected for the Next Generation roster were Ante Ćorić (2014), Davor Lovren (2015), Michele Sego and David Colina (2017), Antonio Marin and Mario Vušković (2018); and Bartol Barišić, Ivan Ćubelić, and Tomislav Duvnjak (2020).

This year, The Guardian has placed a Croatian player on the list, the Hajduk Split midfielder Marko Brkljača, born in Zadar on July 15th, 2004. This is how journalist Aleksandar Holiga describes Brkljača on The Guardian's Next Generation 2021 list:

''A left-footed box-to-box midfielder in the vein of, say, Georginio Wijnaldum. Regarded the biggest national prospect of his generation by some distance, Marko Brkljača attracts immediate attention with a smooth first touch and impressive physical capacity. His coaches particularly praise his ability to withstand challenges against older and bigger opponents, but also his sense for timing runs from behind, which regularly gets him into goal-scoring positions. Juventus tried to sign him last winter but they are not the only big club interested. Hajduk will want him to establish himself in the first team before considering any offers and he will get his chance soon enough – he made his senior debut in a cup game in September''.

The 17-year-old Croatian midfielder has yet to make his senior debut but continues to add minutes for the Hajduk U-19 team, where he is currently playing the UEFA Youth League, and the Croatian U19's. In a Croatian national team where the absence of the great Luka Modric will be felt in the coming years, it would not be bad for another Zadar-born midfielder to emerge as his successor. Let's hope so!

The Croatian national team plays today against Cyprus for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers at 8:45 p.m. Stay tuned for updates from Total Croatia News.

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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Thursday, 13 May 2021

Croatian Footballers Rule Serie A: Rebić Hat-Trick, Goals for Brozović and Pašalić

May 13, 2021 - It was an incredible evening for Croatian footballers in Serie A on Wednesday, with an Ante Rebić hat-trick and goals for Marcelo Brozović and Mario Pašalić among the highlights. 

Croatian footballers were extremely efficient in the 36th round of Serie A on Wednesday, and they were led by an Ante Rebić hattrick which he achieved in just 12 minutes! 

On Wednesday night, the 36th round matches of the Italian football championship were played, and the most convincing was Milan, who won 7:0 away against Torino.

Milan's last three goals were scored by Ante Rebić (67', 72', 79'), who previously recorded one assist when he played Theo Hernandez for 4:0 in the 62nd minute. The Croatian striker played until the 80th minute when Mario Mandžukić replaced him. Rebić has now recorded 11 goals this season. 


The newly crowned champion of Italy also joined the Croatian scoring spree as Marcelo Brozović scored Inter's leading goal in the home clash against Roma. He was precise in the 11th minute, and Inter won 3:1. Brozović played from start to finish, and Ivan Perišić left the match in the 59th minute. 


This was Brozović's second goal of the season and the first after October 31 last year in Inter's draw against Parma.

Mario Pašalić scored in Atalanta's victory against Benevento just eight minutes after entering the game in the 59th minute. The Bergamo side celebrated 2:0. This was Pašalić's fifth goal of the season. Boško Šutalo remained among the reserves. 


Genoa beat Bologna with the same result on the road, with Milan Badelj assisting Zappacosti for the leading goal after 13 minutes of play. However, Badelj soon came off due to an injury, and Marko Pjaca played in the final ten minutes.

Inter has already won the title, but the fight for the Champions League is more than dramatic. There are three spots and four candidates. For now, Atalanta (75), Milan (75), and Napoli (73) are in, while Juventus is fifth with 72 points. 

Source: HNS

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