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FIFA World Cup: A team, more than the sum of its parts

Striker Mario Mandzukic, with 13 international goals to his name will be leading the Croatian attack.

Written by Chinmay Brahme |
June 5, 2014 10:19:45 am

The Croatian national team, apart from being a feared force on the football field, boasts of a bunch of diverse individuals among its ranks. They have a ceramic tiler, a fashion label owner and a philanthropist apart from a couple of siblings leading the coaching staff. Striker Mario Mandzukic, with 13 international goals to his name will be leading the Croatian attack, he is a professional ceramic tiler. Interestingly, the striker also has the names of his girlfriend Ivana and his dog Leni, a pug, embossed on his cleats. Dejan Lovren, the 24-year-old Southampton defender owns a successful fashion line, which counts Karim Benzema and Franck Ribery as its brand ambassadors.

Darijo Srna, the Croatian captain, once bought 920 tickets to a Shaktar Donetsk game for orphans. Srna’s father was orphaned during the second World War and the 32-year-old who operates on the right for his side, has made it a custom to buy tickets to games for orphans. At the helm of the Croatian team’s affair are the Kovac-brothers. The 42-year-old Nico, is the side’s manager. The older Kovac had a successful club career in the German Bundesliga, appearing for a host of top-notch clubs. His younger brother, Robert, who has played for Juventus and Bayer Leverkusen, will be giving him company in the dug-out as Croatia’s assistant manager.

FIFA Ranking: 20

Betting Ranking: 19

ELO Ranking: 20

Coach: Niko Kovac

Star Players: Luka Modric, Mario Mandzukic


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