Coming into it, I am one of several million who kind of wrote Croatia off and never really gave them a chance. Even rolling through the group stage I found myself more interested in other teams like Argentina, Portugal, Uruguay and others, still never really giving Croatia a second thought.
This was despite the fact that Inter Milan was well represented with Ivan Perisic and Marcelo Brozovic.
This continued even into the knockout stages.
I remember telling other people to that Croatia had one of the best midfields in the field and that Perisic and Brozovic were Inter players. But, still never really gave them a shot.
But, Sunday I found myself becoming kind of a bandwagon fan, cheering for the ups and swearing at the downs as France won its second World Cup, 4-2.
After the game, I started to think … not really about Croatia, but more about how Perisic and Brozovic will be back with Inter as soon as they take a few well-deserved days off.
In looking back, Perisic really came into his own in Russia. He kind of dominated the wing position, albeit quietly, throughout the tournament. But, his time really came in the final two games for Croatia.
Brozovic, on the other hand, was sometimes present and sometimes not during the season for the Nerazzurri but playing alongside the strong midfield — Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric — for Croatia, Epic Brozo started to become a tournament-wide name.
Both Brozovic and Perisic increased their stock price over the course of the tournament and both started to be linked to other clubs upon the closure of the tournament.
Rightfully so, I think.
“So far I have thought of Croatia. Now I will rest, I will return to focus on Inter,” Perisic said after the tournament, according to the Manchester Evening News.
For Brozo, his play during the tournament was good enough to keep Real Madrid midfielder, and past Inter target Mateo Kovacic out of the starting XI.
“Marcelo is happy at Inter, so much that he could extend his contract on improved terms,” Brozovic’s agent, Miroslav Bicanic said prior to the final, according to The Daily Star. “Another club coming in is a possibility, as there is a release clause, but we are in no rush.”
I see this as very good news for Inter. Adding in the fact that Luciano Spalletti reportedly told Inter management that neither player are to be sold during the transfer window adds an sense of surety that both players will be ready to contribute once the season begins.
Inter Milan have a startling lineup, adding players like Lautaro Martinez, Stefan De Vrij and Kwadwo Asamoah to a sheet that already features Milan Skriniar, Mauro Icardi and Radja Nainggolan means that the Nerazzurri seem ready for the next level. Get a solid right back — my vote is for Sime Vrsaljko by the way — and Inter could have all the pieces together to really mount a strong challenge for the Scudetto and even make a deep run in the Champions League.
I know that all the news has been dedicated to Cristiano Ronaldo going to Juventus and that Inter missed out on Rafinha and Joao Cancelo, but let’s be honest … this isn’t about splash signings or money spent, but who best fits the system.
I really think we have all of that coming together.
Perisic and Brozovic just add to that puzzle.
What do you think? Post your comments below!