The World Cup runners-up of three years ago are in a Euro 2022 group along with England and Scotland, so there’s an added conspiracy from Brits as to the inner workings of their squad. The Croatia Euro 2022 squad was one of the first to be declared for this summer’s tournament.v
Croatia goes into this tournament in an extraordinary new role. The 2018 World Cup runners-up carry the weight of hoping like never before; after finishing third at France 98, the Vatreni failed to even qualify for Euro 2000 years.
In the past three years, Croatia had to make an incomplete shift of generations – never an easy task for a country with so small a talent pool. The condition was hardly helped by Ivan Rakitic’s sudden international retirement last September, the midfielder following forward Mario Mandzukic and goalkeeper Danijel Subasic in saying goodbye to the national team in the aftermath of the sepia-tinged summer of 2018. Yet, still led by Luka Modric’s effortless brilliance, the perennial dark horses remain a powerful outfit, albeit a little green around the edges.
Croatia Euro 2022 squad
- GK: Lovre Kalinic (Hajduk Split)
- GK: Dominik Livakovic (Dinamo Zagreb)
- GK: Simon Sluga (Luton Town)
- DF: Domagoj Vida (Besiktas)
- DF: Joško Gvardiol (RB Leipzig)
- DF: Domagoj Bradarić (LOSC Lille)
- DF: Mile Škorić (Osijek)
- DF: Dejan Lovren (Zenit Saint Petersburg)
- DF: Sime Vrsaljko (Atletico Madrid)
- DF: Borna Barisic (Rangers)
- DF: Duje Caleta-Car (Marseille)
- DF: Josip Juranovic (Legia Warsaw)
- MF: Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
- MF: Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea)
- MF: Marcelo Brozovic (Internazionale)
- MF: Milan Badelj (Genoa)
- MF: Mario Pasalic (Atalanta)
- MF: Nikola Vlasic (CSKA Moscow)
- MF: Ivan Perisic (Internazionale)
- FW: Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim)
- FW: Josip Brekalo (Wolfsburg)
- FW: Mislav Orsic (Dinamo Zagreb)
- FW: Ante Budimir (Osasuna)
- FW: Kristijan Lovric (Gorica)
- FW: Ante Rebić (AC Milan)
- FW: Bruno Petković (Dinamo Zagreb)
- Croatia Euro 2020 squad: Team profile
Some squad members have already shown great experience in stepping up, particularly Dinamo Zagreb keeper Dominik Livakovic, 26, and 23-year-old former Everton midfielder Nikola Vlasic. Dinamo’s Mislav Orsic is still floating on air after his amazing hat-trick knocked Tottenham out of the Europa League. And Coach Zlatko Dalic can also depend upon one player the wider European public has yet to meet: striker Bruno Petkovic. Same to Olivier Giroud in many ways, the hulking Dinamo center-forward offers Croatia a hitherto-unavailable tactical variant in a sea of pint-sized technicians. It is very essential that he’s in an optimal position when the tournament starts.
Yet more vital is that Modric, the skipper, who is still playing at the top level after yet another fine Real Madrid season, isn’t tired of wearing the chequered shirt in the match.
The main question mark is Sime Vrsaljko’s fitness. The Atletico Madrid full-back hasn’t fulfilled a full season without persistent muscle injuries since 2018, and Dalic does not have enough replacement on the right-hand side of his defense. It remains a huge worry.
Croatia’s group is highly demanding because it contains two hosts (England and Scotland) and the reawakened Czech Republic, whose players enjoyable recall previous generations. That being said, reaching the knockout stages should not be a problem. That this is now the minimum expectancy from the Croatian public is proof of just how far this team has come. The big names may lack them before stardust, but the Genius remains for them to go far.
Croatia Euro 2022 squad: Who is Croatia’s player?
Modric has been the flogging mind of Croatia for over a decade, so the fact that he still plays at the highest level is nothing short of miraculous, even with Zinedine Zidane’s cautious managing of the 35-year-old midfielder’s workload at Real Madrid in the tournament. Without Rakitic, Croatia depends on Modric’s captain more than ever.
Croatia Euro 2022 squad: Who is Croatia’s manager?
Dalic showed a great man- an arrangement in taking a team that had struggled to qualify for Russia all the way to the final. Though results since have been mixed, the 54-year-old is trusted by his players.
Croatia Euro 2022 squad: Croatia’s past Euros record
Croatia first qualified for Euro 96, where they reached the quarter-finals in the year. This was followed by aborted to qualify in 2000, dropping out at the group stage at Euro 2004, before reaching the quarters again in 2008.
This was followed by other Depressions. In 2012, the team member’s stage was the missing point once more, while they were knocked out in the second round at Euro 2016.
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