In the Croatia: Euro 2016 team preview, we’ve compiled the roster and schedule for Croatia, as well as which players to keep an eye out for, and more.
Croatia: Euro 2016 team preview
Manager: Ante Cacic
Captain: Darijo Srna
Croatia: Euro 2016 team preview: Fixtures:
Sunday, June 12
Friday, June 17
Tuesday, June 21
Croatia: Euro 2016 team preview: Squad:
Goalkeepers: Danijel Subasic (Monaco), Lovre Kalinic (Hajduk Split), Ivan Vargic (Rijeka)
Defenders: Vedran Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow), Darijo Srna (Shakhtar Donetsk), Domagoj Vida (Dynamo Kiev), Sime Vrsaljko (Sassuolo), Gordon Schildenfeld (Dinamo Zagreb), Ivan Strinic (Napoli), Tin Jedvaj (Bayer Leverkusen)
Midfielders: Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Marcelo Brozovic (Inter Milan), Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan), Milan Badelj (Fiorentina), Marko Rog (Dinamo Zagreb), Ante Coric (Dinamo Zagreb)
Forwards: Mario Mandzukic (Juventus), Nikola Kalinic (Fiorentina), Marko Pjaca (Dinamo Zagreb), Duje Cop (Dinamo Zagreb), Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim)
Croatia: Euro 2016 team preview: Overview:
Despite being able to field a classy starting XI, there is plenty of apprehension about how Croatia will fare at the summer showpiece.
Indeed, most sides in the tournament would love to call upon midfield options as grand as Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Mateo Kovacic and Marcelo Brozovic, not to mention the attacking class of Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic. But Croatia seem bereft of any direction at this juncture, despite what was a relatively straightforward qualifying process.
Much of that is down to the manager. Cacic took over this team following the sacking of Nico Kovac last year and given his relatively humble coaching background, his appointment hasn’t been galvanising to fans or players. Performances, systems and gameplans have been extremely inconsistent as a result.
Still, with so many superb technical players to call upon, this is a team capable of going toe-to-toe with anyone when purring. Modric dictates from deep with a real menace, while Rakitic typically has more license to scurry forward and make an impression in the final third than he does at club level with Barcelona.
However, they’re a group of player who lack a physicality to complement their natural elegance; Mandzukic has offered that edge in the past, although he’s struggled for the Vatreni as of late, bagging just one goal in qualifying. Skipper Srna and Vedran Corluka are both past their best, although remain key components in the back four too.
Those traits and a lack of conviction in the manager’s methods have left many expecting Croatia to falter in a difficult Group D. A strong performance against Turkey in their opener is vital to build momentum.
Croatia: Euro 2016 team preview: Key Player:
Luka Modric – Once again, Modric has been imperious in Real Madrid’s midfield, especially under the guidance of Zinedine Zidane since he took over.
As is the case at club level, so much goes through the playmaker. Modric’s touch, turn of pace and passing range is outstanding, making him one of the most desirable midfielders in the tournament. Supported by the likes of Rakitic and Brozovic, he’s at the crux of this side and must show his best if the team is to function.
Modric operates a little deeper than he does for Real Madrid at international level. So while he’ll need to be protected, regardless of all the uncertainty surrounding the manager, his graceful playmaking could push Croatia beyond the group stage.
Croatia: Euro 2016 team preview: Verdict:
Second Round – Spain will be too strong for Croatia in the group stages, but their experience in major competitions coupled with their quality in the middle of the park should just be enough to see them take second place. Belgium await in the second round, though, and they’ll be too powerful for Cacic’s side to handle.
Croatia home jersey
The classic checkerboard home kit is updated for 2016. For the Euros, Croatia will wear a jersey inspired by one worn in the 1998 World Cup that also took place in France. Accent color navy is featured around the collar, on the stripes running down the sides, and on the embroidered Nike swoosh. “CROATIA” is screened on the back collar. Sewn on team badge. Dri-FIT technology for moisture protection. 100% Polyester. There’s no mistaking this design from all of the Euro 2016 jerseys.
Find out how to order the Croatia home jersey today.
Euro 2016 team previews
• Albania team preview
• Austria team preview
• Belgium team preview
• Croatia team preview
• Czech Republic team preview
• England team preview
• France team preview
• Germany team preview
• Hungary team preview
• Iceland team preview
• Italy team preview
• Northern Ireland team preview
• Poland team preview
• Portugal team preview
• Republic of Ireland team preview
• Romania team preview
• Russia team preview
• Slovakia team preview
• Spain team preview
• Sweden team preview
• Switzerland team preview
• Turkey team preview
• Ukraine team preview
• Wales team preview
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