International Media Raves About Croatia Ahead of Quarterfinal Matchup

Daniela Rogulj

Croatia and Russia meet in the quarterfinal of the World Cup at 20:00 tonight in Sochi. 

After Dalić’s team soared through the group stage of the World Cup and managed to defeat Denmark in a nerve-racking round of 16 match, Croatia has become a favorite for bookies. Ahead of the match against Russia, many leading world media even announced that they believe Russia has little chance against Croatia, reports on July 6, 2018. 

“Russia has surpassed all expectations, but against Croatia, they will have to play much better than against Spain if they want a chance for the semi-finals. Croatia is far more dangerous than Spain, which attacked only one way, and Russia, without any problems, endured their countless additions. Croatia is much more diverse in the attack. Croatia can build a game, can play on a counter, crossing, and can score even outside of the box. They certainly will not play monotonously like Spain. Russia has so far played against only one extremely attacking team like Croatia and lost 3:0 to Uruguay. They will have to play much better, ” said Reuters ahead of the game. 

American media has heavily analyzed and forecasted the games at the World Cup even though their team didn’t make it to Russia. In the text titled “The World Cup final will include one of these teams — England, Croatia, Sweden, Russia. Really”, The Washington Post said, despite the fact that it is a very small country, Croatia is famous for their 15 fantastic players in the world’s strongest clubs.

“Russia is the 70th best team in the world in the company of Cape Verde, Finland, Albania, Jamaica, and others. Playing in the easiest group in the World Cup, Uruguay broke them and they were lucky that Salah was injured and was not at his best level. Croatia is a better team, but it would not be the first time the host, who before the championship was an outsider, go as far as, let’s say, South Korea in 2002,” says The Washington Post.

Portal Sport360 announced the match through three key comparisons – the goalkeeper, midfielder, and striker. In all three duels, they gave Croatia the advantage. Subašić was characterized as a more reliable goalkeeper than Akinfeev, the talented Golovin is still inadequate to Modrić, and Mandžukić had the advantage over Artem Dzyuba.

“Holding the ball up, tirelessly stretching defenses into submission and making intelligent runs either onto throughballs or to open up space for Croatia’s craftsmen are all caveats to Mandzukic’s game. He has a knack for being in the right place at the right time too (his solitary goal in the last 16 against Denmark is evidence of that) and he always shows up for the big games – so expect him to make a significant impact in Sochi,” writes Sport360.

Forbes even wrote 5 things to know before the encounter, giving Croatia the advantage.

“Since it has been independent, Croatia has always had a good team, but this is still the best, Even with a steady stream of talent coming through, this Croatia team appears blessed with a special blend. The midfield, in particular, has an enviable El Clásico combination of Real Madrid’s Luka Modric and Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitić. Alongside them is Inter Milan’s Ivan Perišić and upfront the warrior-like Mario Mandžukić. Other than Perišić (29) though, the trio are all the wrong side of 30 and may not see another World Cup. If they beat Russia, Sweden or England lie in wait. Croatia shouldn’t be scared of either and will see this as a great chance to better 1998. Russia have had a good run, but Croatia should have enough, provided they improve on their showing in the Round of 16 win over Denmark. I think Croatia will win, 1-0,” said Forbes. 


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