Croatias Road To FIFA 2010

croatia122332There are many reasons why Croatia will go to the world cup. Here are ten reasons why!

Reason # 10 – Croatia has a great squad and team. We play great football, we are technical, quick, creative and pass great.

Reason # 09 - Tradition. We are known as footballing country. The only reason why people know the little country called Croatia is because of football. We are referd  by many country’s as the “Brazilians of Europe.”

Reason # 08 – Team spirit. Our squad has a great atmosphere. It is an honor for a player to represent his national team when he has the red checkered jersey on. Many national teams around world pay their players to play for their country. Not Croatia. No Sir.

Reason # 07 – Coaches and Staff. Slaven Bilic one of Europe’s most talented coach is running the Croatian squad. His branch consists of Asanovic and Prosinecki. All three are members of Croatia’s golden generation that won bronze in 98 and introduced the world to Croatian football.

Reason # 06 - Fans. Croatia has one of the worlds craziest football fans. They consist of very patriotic people! Grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles…everyone…even hooligans! Croatian fans are literally known as the 12th person on the field when a match is being played. A roar of fan chantings unleashes unbelievable  adrenaline to the Croatian squad. Giving them the required lift and motivation to play attractive football.

Reason # 05 – Respect. We respect all teams that we face. We don’t ever estimate our opponent. Every game is played like a world cup final.

Reason # 04 – Family atmosphere and an open mindset. Our squad is like big family, when they get together its like a big band of brothers uniting. Everyone respects each other on the pitch and off the pitch. The relationships between Croatia’s squad  and the coach is not imitated on any other squad in the world. Bilic is like a councilor, players come to him for advice, questions..etc He isn’t divided from the squad but is very much a part of the players personal lives…like a good friend. Every players is on his speed dial.

Reason # 03 – Pressure. We can cope under pressure. We are cool as ice when we play big games. Our best performances come when we have to play to stay alive.

Reason # 02 – Offensive. We have great attacking footballers. Eduardo Da Silva  is the most dangerous fox in the box. 1 out of 3 shots on goal will go in. Luka modric, Kranjcar, Srna and Rakitic provide our forwards with precision passes that makes us lethal when we attack.

Reason # 01 – Pride. Croatia has played lots of matches since their independence from Yugoslavia in the early 90’s. In many matches when a win seemed unlikely Croatian pulled of the impossible by simply playing for Croatian pride and beating tough opponents. In 98 it was beating Germany, and Holland. In 2002 it was beating the Italians even though our squad wasn’t  the greatest. And recently it was beating England at home and in Wimbley. We are considered dark horses when we play. But that is what we like, we like being different. Just like our tablecloth looking jerseys.Pride makes us “Tick”  and therefor pride is our number one reason why we will participate in FIFA 2010.

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Croatia coach Slaven Bilic believes England will pip Russia in the race for a place at Euro 2008.

England’s fate is out of their own hands after slipping to a 2-1 defeat to Guus Hiddink’s side in Moscow.

When asked whether Russia or England will qualify from Group E, Bilic told Sky Sports News: “I don’t know, I think England.

“You should leave him to work in peace. England are still in with a chance. It wouldn’t be a surprise for me if Israel stops Russia.

“Well for me, England are the better side, although I respect Russia at the end of the day as they are the only team that we haven’t scored against.”

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We’re barely into the second month of the season, but speculation has already begun about who Arsene Wenger might be looking to bring in to Arsenal in the January transfer window.

One player who seems destined to move clubs is Luka Modric of Dinamo Zagreb, the 22-year-old midfielder who was Eduardo’s main provider last season when the striker notched 34 goals in 32 games. To find out more about Modric, have a look at the above interview I found on YouTube.

Modric has been linked with big money moves to both Ajax and Bayern Munich, but if Le Gaffer is interested – and rumour has it that he has made enquiries – then we could see Luka on his way to London in the New Year.

The benefits of reuniting Modric and Eduardo could be fantastic. Despite Eduardo’s massive goal haul last season, Dinamo Zagreb did not stand in his way to move on, but they will put up a bigger fight to try to keep Modric, who they rate as their best player. And Modric himself can put them away, having scored 20 goals in 69 appearances for Zagreb and three in 18 games for the national side.

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by Bill Pierce, PA Sport

Harry Redknapp’s optimistic prediction that Niko Kranjcar would be out for only a fortnight after breaking his foot looks likely to ring true.

The Croatia midfielder, of whom great things are expected in his second season at Fratton Park, is confident he will soon be back from what turns out to be a stress fracture sustained in a pre-season friendly against Bournemouth two weeks ago.

Kranjcar, a £2.2million buy from Hadjuk Split last summer, has not featured for Pompey since his injury.

And Matthew Taylor – scorer of some remarkable goals last season – will take his place on the left of midfield in Saturday’s Barclays Premier League kick-off at Derby.

New £7million striker John Utaka is expected to shake off an ankle problem and make his debut but might have to wait a while to link up again with fellow Nigerian Kanu.

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The Croatia coach Slaven Bilić has named a 22-man squad including one newcomer for the friendly against Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo on 22 August.

Two out
Portsmouth FC midfielder Niko Kranjčar misses out with an ankle injury, and Milan Rapaić has been omitted as he is without a club. “I’ve spoken to Milan and told him that I will count on him in future but until he finds a new club he will not be in my squads,” said Bilić, who has responded by calling in Ivan Rakitić. The FC Schalke 04 midfielder has elected to represent Croatia over Switzerland but is still awaiting clearance to play, however.

Unbeaten
Croatia are eager for a good performance before they return to UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifying. They are unbeaten in Group E after seven matches and have posted 17 points, the same tally as an Israel team who have played a game more and two clear of Russia. “We’re ready for the next phase of qualifying,” Bilić continued. “The new season is just beginning and it’s stupid to think that success will come easily. In Sarajevo we’ll be playing a team who’ve had some good results in a difficult group and they will be very strong on their home pitch.” Bosnia-Herzegovina are in second place in Group C.

Croatia squad
Goalkeepers:
Stipe Pletikosa (FC Spartak Moskva), Vedran Runje (Beşiktaş JK).

Defenders: Dario Šimić (AC Milan), Robert Kovač (BV Borussia Dortmund), Josip Šimunić (Hertha BSC Berlin), Hrvoje Vejić (FC Tom Tomsk), Vedran Ćorluka (Manchester City FC), Dino Drpić (NK Dinamo Zagreb), Dario Kenežević (AS Livorno Calcio).

Midfielders: Niko Kovač (FC Salzburg), Jerko Leko (AS Monaco FC), Marko Babić (Real Betis Balompié), Darijo Srna (FC Shakhtar Donetsk), Luka Modrić (NK Dinamo Zagreb), Jurica Vranješ (Werder Bremen), Danijel Pranjić (SC Heerenveen).

Forwards: Mladen Petrić (BV Borussia Dortmund), Ivica Olić (Hamburger SV), Boško Balaban (NK Dinamo Zagreb), Eduardo da Silva (Arsenal FC), Igor Budan (Parma FC), Ivan Rakitić (FC Schalke 04).

By www.euro2008.com

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24sata.hr ( A Croatian Online News Portal ) Has announced that Arsenal have offered a seriouse offer of 12 million dollars to talented Luka Modric.

Although I have done a little research and found an article written August 9th that Luka Modric will stay in Dinamo until winter. Who should we belive? The media takes football transfers too far sometime. But I hope this really does happen. I would love to see Luka, and Dudu together in Arsenal showing the world Croatia football.

 I will notify more on this story very soon. Keep your eyes open…

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By Erik Kirschbaum

BERLIN (Reuters) – Schalke 04 drew 2-2 at champions VfB Stuttgart in the opening match of the Bundesliga season on Friday.

Croatian 19-year-old midfielder Ivan Rakitic beat three defenders with a fine move to score the equaliser from long range for last season’s runners-up after Stuttgart had scored two goals in four minutes midway through the second half.

Mexico midfielder Pavel Pardo converted a penalty in the 67th minute after team mate Sami Khedira had notched Stuttgart’s first goal.

In an high-tempo match between Germany’s two Champions League qualifiers, Schalke went in front against the run of play in the 25th minute when a Levan Kobiashvili shot was deflected by Roberto Hilbert past his own goalkeeper Raphael Schaefer.

Stuttgart, who won their last eight matches at the end of last season to pip Schalke, kept the pressure on Schalke after falling behind but it was the visitors who had got closer to the goal, twice nearly doubling their lead.

Christian Pander’s free kick sailed just wide to the right in the 54th minute and three minutes later Schaefer made a fantastic save to deny Fabian Ernst, who broke free on the left to get a foot to a low cross.

Schalke paid the price when Stuttgart, cheered on by the sell-out crowd of 57,500, then scored twice.

But Rakitic, who came on in the 70th minute for Kobiashvili, saved the point for Schalke with his late equaliser.

“If we had only got that second goal everything would have been different,” said Schalke coach Mirko Slomka.

“Stuttgart have a great team. I’m delighted the season got off to such a great start. As far as I’m concerned that can keep going.”

Stuttgart coach Armin Veh, whose team had struggled in the pre-season but were impressive on Friday, was less content with the result than he was with the performance.

“We played well even though the pitch was difficult,” he said. “I’m not at all pleased with the result because we controlled much of the match.”

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