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Saric revels in late Croatia call

Wednesday 15th May 2002

Panathinaikos midfielder Daniel Saric has been given a World Cup lifeline with a late call-up to Mirko Jozic's provisional 25-man Croatia squad. "I know it sounds boring, but I'm really delighted to have been called upon," said Saric.

Despite not playing in any of Croatia's friendlies in the build-up to the World Cup, Saric has earned a place in the final 25, thanks largely to his impressive performances for Panathinaikos.

He cites the appointment of Sergio Markarian at Panathinaikos as the turning point in his fortunes for both club and country.

"By Christmas I hadn't really played too much, but after Markarian arrived I played every game.

"I'm very satisfied with how it went - we had a great season in Europe. With a little bit of luck we can go on to greater things.

Saric is not happy to go to the Far East purely as a squad player however - he wants to be on the field.

"Although I'm happy to be part of the preparations, I want to be in the starting eleven for the first game against Mexico," he insisted.

Saric also believes the whole Croatia team reflect his own ambition, and that the group assembled by Jozic could even match the third place finish of France 1998.

"It's difficult to predict what we can achieve at the World Cup. In France nobody thought about big results, and we came home with the bronze medal.

"The crucial game is going to be the first one. Italy are the favourites on paper, so Mexico will be our biggest rivals for the second spot. So it will be the crucial game. But Italy must also defend their status of being the star team."

Croatia's final Group G opponents are Ecuador.
 

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Saric wants to be in the starting XI? now this is ambitous. Had Panathinaikos won the CL or something the fair enough, but he is getting a little over-confident.

Zivkovic has a good game for Bayer Leverkusen this morning, although he was found wanting for Zidane's goal (what a goal it was :eek: ). However, i'd prefer to see him on the right side of defence/midfield....he's quick and he has some skill. Babic came on for 7 minutes. looked keen as mustard.

I still think Croatia should play 3 at the back instead of 4....especially against Mexico coz we need the 3 points.
 

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Saric wants to be in the starting XI? now this is ambitous. Had Panathinaikos won the CL or something the fair enough, but he is getting a little over-confident.

Zivkovic has a good game for Bayer Leverkusen this morning, although he was found wanting for Zidane's goal (what a goal it was :eek: ). However, i'd prefer to see him on the right side of defence/midfield....he's quick and he has some skill. Babic came on for 7 minutes. looked keen as mustard.

I still think Croatia should play 3 at the back instead of 4....especially against Mexico coz we need the 3 points.
 

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ah that's great, placebo, Croatia does play 3 at the back some of the time, we played the 3-3-3-1 formation in the qualifiers and some friendlies. We might see this against Mexico
 

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Zivkovic did a fine job in the Champions league final. He was covering Morientes and did his job. Ballack was supposed to have had Zidane covered...and Lucio shat on covering Raul for the first goal.

I only remember Saric from the first game with Scotland for some reason... He started out great making runs down the wing and getting crosses in. After about thirty minutes he disappeared for the rest of the game. I don't see him cracking the line up unless something happens to both Stanic and Niko Kovac.
 

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Saric Confident.............

I look at the players we have now and I too am confident.

We have good footballers and a blend of youth and experience.

........and we shall wipe the slated clean of these so called footballing nations and prove that the Croats are the world's FINEST, the only deserving ones that remain......
 

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Although I don't rate Saric ("impressive" performances? :rolleyes: ) he seems to me much more suitable for a right back role than Zivkovic. Actually, every single time I have seen Zivkovic play I was wondering what is he doing in a team like Leverkusen instead of fighting against relegation in the Albanian second division. The guy has feet made of butter, he is muscled out of every ball content, his positioning is horrendous and he commits several mistakes. But perhaps he plays better for Croatia...

Isn't Simic playing right back for you guys? Or he is gonna play central defence as cover for Tudor? Anyway, even if Tudor is a huge loss, your defence should be ok. And for god's sake, start Anthony Seric over Jarni... Jarni is quite past it while Seric has had some brilliant games for Verona this season, even if he is still quite vulnerable in defence, Jarni is not exactly a great defender either- all his career he was relying on his attacking skills.
 

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Hmm

AMOROSO! said:
Although I don't rate Saric ("impressive" performances? :rolleyes: ) he seems to me much more suitable for a right back role than Zivkovic. Actually, every single time I have seen Zivkovic play I was wondering what is he doing in a team like Leverkusen instead of fighting against relegation in the Albanian second division. The guy has feet made of butter, he is muscled out of every ball content, his positioning is horrendous and he commits several mistakes. But perhaps he plays better for Croatia...

Isn't Simic playing right back for you guys? Or he is gonna play central defence as cover for Tudor? Anyway, even if Tudor is a huge loss, your defence should be ok. And for god's sake, start Anthony Seric over Jarni... Jarni is quite past it while Seric has had some brilliant games for Verona this season, even if he is still quite vulnerable in defence, Jarni is not exactly a great defender either- all his career he was relying on his attacking skills.
I´ll have to agree on the part with Zivkovic. I don´t like him at all. Don´t know but, every time I have seen him he played bad. I don´t feel confident with him on the pitch, nervous every time he has the ball. But..........

Jarni is another story. He is very important to Croatia. Ok, he´s past his zenit, just like Suker has, but...........he has lot of experience, he´s a big instigator, he boosts younger player, marvelous curl on ball, nice corners and still very fast with ball.
 

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what? I've Zivkovic play about 8 times in the Chamops league, and he has been superb, we've never had a player like him. He moves up effectively, he covers the holes, he can man mark, all the 50/50 balls seem to be his, he has great confidence and skill on the pitch.

I really don't know which games you guys were watching, Ziva is always a highly ranked player compared to his teammates.
 

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zikovic is good... but he aint central defender, and luckily Jozic will play 4-4-2 so he will play his best role - winger
 

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Superb Ero? I've seen several Leverkusen games primarily in the CL. Namely, both games against Juventus in the group stage, both games against Liverpool, both games against Man Utd and extented highlights from the final, add to that several highilights from the German league every weekend or so and there you have it (I've also seen Zivkovic last season).

To me Zivkovic seems a bit of a donkey, but thats just me perhaps. Maybe he plays better for Croatia cause for Leverkusen he is by far the weakest link...
 

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weakest link??

I've seen all games you mentioned, and then some, and have to tell you that what you just said describes somene other than Zivkovic.

The experts disagree with you, Kicker magazine disagrees, the Croatian national coach disagrees, the Leverkusen staff and coach disagree, all Croatian and German media disagree as do most of the posters here, including myself.

heck if you don't like a guy that's played or started nearly every game he was fit for, played solidly throughout a long season and played well for his country.

That manchester game where he scored an own goal, he was rated with a 2 from German media, only two other players on the park got such a high ranking. What game were you watching? Do you even know he's a defender? Are you basing your accusations on the fact that he never scores or something?

I guess we'll see come WC time.
 

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Yeah, you are right, I've started watching football yesterday and I judge defenders from the number of goals they score. :rolleyes:
 

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Hmm

Cool it lads............we shall see after WC, who was right!;)
 
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