Two Young Croatian Footballers Selected in the Guardian’s ‘Next Generation’

Daniela Rogulj

Like last year, two players from Dinamo and Hajduk have been included in the world’s greatest young talents.

Two Croatian footballers have been selected in the prestigious ‘Next Generation’ vote by the British Guardian, highlighting the world’s greatest young talents this year. Among the 60 players from all over the world are Dinamo’s Antonio Marin and Hajduk’s Mario Vušković, reports on October 11, 2018. 

This list is published every year and includes only players of the same generation or those who are 17 years old in this calendar year. Marin and Vušković inherited the positions of David Čolina and Michele Šego who were elected last year. Guardian associates from around the world participate in choosing the future of football. 

Antonio Marin is a winger for Dinamo, who signed a professional contract with the Zagreb club as a 16-year-old.

“One of those natural talents to whom the eye is instantly drawn because of the energy, superior coordination and high confidence he displays, wreaking havoc in defences with his rapid changes of direction, dribbling skills and ability to shoot with both feet. A Croatian Neymar in the making, if you will. Best suited for the role of inside forward, he made his debut for Dinamo’s senior squad in May. Has been drawing the interest of top European clubs for years,” said Aleksandar Holiga, the Guardian scout for Croatian talent. 

Hajduk’s Vušković plays at the other end of the pitch, but his defensive qualities are only part of his arsenal.

“Aged 15 years and three months, he was the youngest member of Croatia Under-17s squad on his debut in February 2017. And then the youngest in the next Under-17s crop as well. ‘What sets him apart and suggests he might end up playing at an elite level is his unusual set of skills,’ says Kresimir Gojun, head of the Hajduk academy. ‘He’s not just dominant in challenges but also exceptional in buildup play. He often scores goals and can score from free-kicks like a No 10.’ Made his debut (and scored) this summer for Hajduk’s reserves in the second division,” Holiga adds. 

Ante Ćorić and Nikola Vlašić represented Croatia in 2014, while Davor Lovren was honored in 2015. In 2016, Croatia did not have a representative in this selection. 

You can find the Guardian’s list in its entirety here


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