Croatia’s World Cup ended in heartbreak, as a surprise run to the final saw them finish as beaten finalists.
But the momentum of that unexpected finals appearance has spurred some of their players on – not least star man Luka Modric, the man who won the Golden Ball in Russia and has since gone on to pick up more awards.
Ivan Rakitic and Ante Rebic, two of the other architects of Croatia’s passage through the tournament, have also been in excellent form since the summer.
Here’s a look at how all three have fared.
Key passes: 14
From an individual standpoint, Modric has been doing quite well for himself since winning the Golden Ball at the World Cup. Since then, he’s been named the Best Men’s Player of the Year by both UEFA and FIFA, and he’s the favourite to win the Ballon d’Or.
However, he hasn’t been at his very best on the pitch and his club team is suffering. Real Madrid have lost three times already this season, four if you count the UEFA Super Cup, and they’re in the middle of a four-game winless and goalless run. Modric will hope his time with the national team rejuvenates him.
While team-mate Modric has been receiving all the accolades, Rakitic has gone about his business with typical aplomb, emerging from a World Cup campaign where he was one of the best players.
He’s been in excellent form for Eintracht Frankfurt despite his sending off in their most recent game – though not before scoring a goal.
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