Written by Harry Martin
A lot has been made of Croatia going in to the tournament, about how they could potentially be the ‘dark horses’. Sunday’s impressive win over turkey only enhanced that title as they dictated for large parts. Here is how I feel each player performed.
Danijel Subasic 8/10
A fairly comfortable afternoon for the man between the sticks, he had very little to deal with and when called upon handled well and assertively, a confident performance.
Darijo Srna 8/10
The experienced full-back was a constant menace down the right hand side as well as getting his defensive responsibilities spot on. The link up play he enjoyed with Brozovic was clear to see and provided a constant wide threat for 90 minutes. Great display.
Vedran Corluka 9/10
What a top drawer performance from the former Spurs and Man City man. You could tell from the way he performed that his passion in playing for his country. He gave absolutely everything to the cause, heading and blocking everything in his way, not least the crunching tackle that almost certainly stopped an equaliser in the 89th as the ball dropped in the box. Rock at the back.
Domagoj Vida 7/10
A solid performance from the usual left back, possibly undermined by the shift his centre half partner put in. On the whole Vida looked very solid, again putting his body on the line and wining his battles against his opposite number. Steady.
Ivan Strinic 7/10
Another steady performer in what was a tight knit defensive display from Croatia. Strinic did his defensive duties well, combining well with Perisic and allowing him the freedom to go and influence the game. Apart from picking up a late booking, the Napoli man had an accomplished afternoon. Solid.
Luka Modric 9.5/10
An almost perfect showing from arguably the best central midfielder in the world. Croatia know that if they are to hit the heights this tournament this man has a large part to play. Modric absolutely ran the show, from start to finish he set the tempo of the game, dropping deep to pick the ball up and playing clever one two’s that the Turkish simply couldn’t live with. His partnership with Badelj in the middle was particularly impressive, with the two showing a great understanding of each other whilst being very composed in possession. Finally, Modric’s goal was sublime, to hit a ball on the volley like he did requires a hell of a technique. A technique of a top, top player, and that he is. Classy.
Milan Badelj 8/10
Another player who looked very calm in possession and capable of starting attacks from deep. Again, the link up play with Modric as well as their understanding was great to see. Badelj played slightly deeper than his midfield partner and this allowed Modric to join in going forward. Complete performance.
Marcelo Brozovic 8/10
The Inter man, more naturally used as a central player, found himself utilised on the right, and put in a hell of a shift. Brozovic worked the line brilliantly, helping Srna at all times as well as offering a direct threat all game which Erkin couldn’t handle. Perpetual.
Ivan Rakitic 7.5/10
The classy Midfield player really struggled to get in the game for the majority of the first half, but in the second he really changed the game with moments of brilliance and smart touches, as well as some killer passes. His link up play with Perisic was for all to see, threading some dangerous balls through for the wide man to latch on to. Rakitic will be hoping he can start the next game in the way he finished this one. Talent.
Ivan Perisic 8/10
A constant threat to his full back all afternoon long. It is so refreshing to see a natural wide man that is so direct running at people and be very able on either flank, using either foot. Each good passing team needs a willing runner in behind and with Perisic, Croatia have that. The Inter winger is a very dangerous player and is a natural match winner and was only a goal short of a perfect day. Handful.
Mario Mandzukic 7/10
Not the best of afternoons in my opinion, but still worked tirelessly for the cause. Mandzukic was a constant worker who ran the channels and won his aerial battles. He didn’t really have many chances in front of goal in all fairness but on the whole Mario did his fans proud.
Do you agree with these ratings? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by Nazionale Calcio