30 May 2021: Euro 2020: Decoding the squad of World Cup finalists Croatia
FIFA World Cup 2018 finalists Croatia will be hoping to make their presence felt in the upcoming European Championships.Zlatko Dalic named a strong 26-man squad for the Euro 2020 Championships and there are several experienced figures in the line-up.Croatia haven't quite hit form of late.They are placed in Group D alongside England, Czech Republic, and Scotland.We decode Croatia's squad.
Duo: Rebic and Kramaric bring solidity factor in attack
Croatia will look up to Ante Rebic's versatility in the attacking line.The AC Milan forward netted 11 goals in all competitions in the 2020-21 season.Andrej Kramaric can promise goals aplenty. The 29-year-old netted 25 goals in all competitions for Hoffenheim in the recently concluded season.However, he is yet to open his account for Croatia this year.
Mid-fielders: Croatia boast of a solid mid-field
Veteran Real Madrid star Luka Modric will lead Croatia's mid-field.The 35-year-old made 48 appearances for Real in 2020-21, scoring six times.Croatia will also look up to Mario Pasalic, who played a crucial for Serie A side Atalanta over the last three seasons, scoring 26 goals as well. Inter Milan's Marcelo Brozovic is another key figure alongside Champions League 2020-21 winner Mateo Kovacic.
Defenders: Key figures in the defensive unit for Croatia
In defence, Borna Barisic had an exceptional season for Scottish side Rangers, who didn't lose a single game in the league.The left-back is a prime figure for Croatia and his inputs will be key.Sime Vrsaljko made just 10 appearances for La Liga winners Atletico Madrid, but the title win will give him plenty of confidence.Dejan Lovren brings a lot of experience.
Squad: A look at Croatia's 26-man squad
Goal-keepers: Dominik Livakovic, Lovre Kalinic (Hajduk Split), Simon Sluga (Luton) Defenders: Sime Vrsaljko, Borna Barisic, Duje Caleta-Car, Dejan Lovren, Josip Juranovic (Legia Warszawa), Domagoj Vida, Josko Gvardiol, Domagoj Bradaric, Mile Skoric Mid-fielders: Mateo Kovacic Luka Modric, Marcelo Brozovic, Milan Badelj, Nikola Vlasic, Mario Pasalic, IIvan Perisic, Josip Brekalo, Mislav Orsic, Luka Ivanusec Forwards: Ante Rebic, Bruno Petkovic, Ante Budimir, Andrej Kramaric
Performance: Croatia's performance in major tournaments of late
The Euro 2016 competition saw Croatia get beaten by Portugal in the round of 16.In Euro 2012 they failed to qualify for the knockout stages.The World Cup 2014 saw them unable to make it to the knockout stages.Besides the final appearance in the 2018 WC, Croatia haven't hit the heights.They are expected to get to the knockout stages this time.
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