Given the manner in which they sailed through arguably Russia 2018’s most difficult group, and survived two stern tests in the knockout stages, Croatia have been one of the teams of the tournament. The greatest asset that Zlatko Dalic’s side possess is undoubtedly their midfield, which ranks as one of the best at this World Cup. The players in that department of the team almost always seem composed, organised and unruffled.
Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic are the lynchpins of this Croatia team. It is not often that players from Madrid and Barcelona combine to such devastating effect, but that is exactly what Rakitic is doing with Modric at the heart of the Vatreni engine room. They are far from alone though. Add in Inter Milan’s Marcelo Brozovic, Real Madrid’s Mateo Kovacic, Fiorentina’s Milan Badelj and it all adds up to a truly superb generation of Croatian midfielders