Euro 2016: 5 Things We Learned From Turkey 0-1 Croatia


 There Are Few Finer Things In Life Than Watching Luka Modric

Now, I hate to describe him as this, and I am not too keen on sounding like an 18-year-old kid but Luka Modric is the definition of a ‘baller’. He was simply sumptuous here.

The ease with which he glided past the Turkish midfielders was wonderful and the way he finds teammates in between the lines is at the heart of everything that his national side do. He is consistently Real Madrid’s best performer but is hidden behind the dazzling lights that is BBC. Here he is the star.

If Croatia are to go far in this Championships he is the one who can make the difference. He’s give more license to get forward for Croatia than Los Blancos, and his intelligence means he is always available. He is nearly impossible to play against in this form. Oh, and he can hit a ball too.

 

Group D Is Going To Be A Cracker

This was arguably the most exciting game of the Championships. End to end and full of energy, it was hard not to be engaged by this one.

The Croatians looked the more technically adept but Turkey are no mugs on the ball, while there we a lot of ‘interesting’ tackles going in throughout the game. The Turks tried to bully their opponents at times and it was one of those matches you just go tired thinking about.

Spain will have been watching on here and will be duly concerned. Both teams pressed high and allowed their opposite number little time on the ball. The Czechs are a bit of an unknown quality but if they can nick something against the Spanish the race for the top two will be wonderful to watch.

 

 Ivan Perisic Think He's Paul Pogba

 

Croatia Are Far More than Underdogs

Everyone of a certain generation has a bit of a soft spot for Croatia. It might be the kits, it may be the cult heroes such as Davor Sukur, Robert Prosinecki and Slaven Bilic or It could just be that they were pretty successful in the late nineties and early noughties.

Either way, they see to have been a little underestimated coming into this tournament, which is possibly down to them being in the tournament’s toughest group. Judging on this performance they could win this group, never mind sneak through.

The Croats have players from Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Fiorentina and Napoli. Their midfield boasts two of Europe’s canniest operators in Modric and Rakitic and you could argue it is one of the best in France this summer. They will definitely advance and no one will want to play them.

 

Burak Yilmaz Has To Start For Turkey

Prior to the introduction of the burly centre-forward the Turks had enough of the ball and shifted it well enough but they had very little threat around and in the box.

They lacked a true goal threat and Yilmaz was given 25 minutes to change that. Perhaps it wasn’t quite enough but it is worth noting he has played just twice since a New Year witch to China. He is pretty much a one in two man at international level, which is no mean feat.

He occupied the Croatian defenders a little more in his time on the pitch, actually giving the wounded Vedran Corluka something to think about instead of the blood pouring from his head. If Turkey are to cause real problems, they need him on the pitch. He is their goal threat. But they must use his physical presence to greater effect.