Euro 2020 Profile Croatia
Can the small but talented nation defy the odds and replicate their 2018 World Cup success will be the big question. Key players Rakitic and Mandzukic have retired but Croatia have some up coming talents which will hope to announce themselves in EURO 2020.
Goalkeeper: Lovre Kalinic (Hajduk Split), Dominik Livakovic (Dinamo Zagreb), Simon Sluga (Luton Town)
Defenders: Domagoj Vida (Besiktas), Dejan Lovren (Zenit), Sime Vrsaljko (Atletico Madrid), Borna Barisic (Rangers), Duje Caleta-Car (Marseille), Josip Juranovic (Legia Warsaw), Domagoj Bradaric (Lille), Mile Skoric (Osijek), Josko Gvardiol (Dinamo Zagreb)
Midfielders: Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea), Marcelo Brozovic (Inter), Milan Badelj (Genoa), Mario Pasalic (Atalanta), Nikola Vlasic (CSKA Moskva), Luka Ivanusec (Dinamo Zagreb)
Forwards: Ivan Perisic (Inter), Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim), Ante Rebic (AC Milan), Josip Brekalo ( Wolfsburg), Bruno Petkovic (Dynamo Zagreb), Mislav Orsic (Dynamo Zagreb), Ante Budimir (Osasuna)
Midfield: Croatia’s quality midfield led by Modric played a big part in helping them create history by reaching the 2018 World Cup. Even though Ivan Rakitić retired last year, Croatia still has more than enough talent to make up for his absence. With Modrić, Vlašić, Mateo Kovačić, Marcelo Brozović, Ante Rebić, Milan Badelj and Ivan Perišić in their ranks, Croatia’s dynamic midfield group gives them a chance to continue punching above their weight in Euro 2020.
Defence: In their last 13 matches Croatia have managed to keep clean sheets in only 2 matches which were against Cyprus and Malta highlighting their defensive struggles. Even the likes of Armenia and Slovenia have penetrated the Croatian backline. Croatia need their defense to get their act together for any chance to replicate their World Cup success.
Lack of a proper no 9: Since Mario Mandžukić retired after the World Cup Croatia have struggled to replace him. Hoffenheim striker Andrej Kramarić had a great season, scoring 25 goals in 34 appearances, but is yet to prove himself with the national team. This will be his chance to finally step up and lead the line.