EURO is kicking off tomorrow, and since Croatia is playing its first game on Sunday, we bring you the overview of the Croatian team’s strengths, weaknesses, doubts and the atmosphere surrounding the team.
Football lovers are eagerly waiting for June 10, 2016, as the opening match of the EURO 2016 will kick off with the France – Romania match after the opening ceremony at the Stade de France in Paris.
Croatia will play its first game against Turkey on Sunday, and here is our overview of the Croatian team for the EURO.
Individual quality of the players is unquestionable. Luka Modrić, Ivan Rakitić, Mario Mandžukić, Ivan Perišić are football stars on a global scale. They are all experienced players, in their very best years playing top quality football, and yet young enough to have the will, drive and power to play at the highest level. They are joined by young forces, as Mateo Kovačić, Marko Pjaca, and Šime Vrsaljko are eager to show their capabilities on the big stage. Also, the experience of the captain Darijo Srna, Vedran Ćorluka and confident goalkeeper Danijel Subašić can add some extra quality to the team.
Individual quality has to be set up in the team effort. The national coach Ante Čačić is inexperienced when it comes to these sorts of tournaments and has never handled this amount of top quality players in his previous teams. In his work as a national coach so far, he has not shown that he is capable of leading the team with a firm hand as a real boss. It can turn around, and the role of the national coach is often overrated anyway, but we see this as a weakness of the team.
The question of the physical state of the team’s biggest stars is doubtful, as Luka Modrić and Ivan Rakitić, the men who will manage the play in the midfield have played a tough and a long season. Also, there is a question of the left side in the Croatian defensive line, and lack of wing attackers, as there are only two in the team. Should an injury occur in the team on one of those critical positions, the question of not inviting Alen Halilović or Marin Tomasov will inevitably be raised.
While the influential media outlets in Croatia are trying to prove that everything is “business as usual” within the team, one cannot avoid the point that there is nothing “usual” about the atmosphere surrounding the team when we think of the public’s reaction prior to other big football tournaments.In all honesty, if it weren’t for the few commercials on TV trying to lift the national spirit (and of course get you to buy their product) you’d never say such a big tournament is just around the corner. And we’re supposed to be a nation that lives for football. A lot of supporters are boycotting the team, as they feel that the Federation officials have put their personal gain in front of the team’s interest. There will be support for the team at the games, but as someone who has traveled with the team to all the tournaments since 1998, and now I am writing this article at home, I cannot avoid pointing out the lack of real euphoria that usually surrounds the team. This is the first time ever that the tickets are available just days before the main tournament.
Everything is possible, and yours truly will not be surprised by any result. Croatia can be the European Champion, but can end its EURO appearance after the first three games. There is simply too many unknown variables in the team, and around it. There is also the danger of problems with the fans, as there are those who are ready to hurt the team in order to hurt the Federation.
Tomorrow, TCN will bring you the overview of the Turkish team, the first opponent at the EURO for Croatia.