- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 8, 2014

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) - Croatia has one of the most stylish midfielders in world football, and one of the top strikers.

Combined, Luka Modric and Mario Mandzukic can expect to help Croatia score some goals at the World Cup, and possibly make their way into the knockout round.

Here are five players to watch:



Luke Modric is the backbone of the Croatian national team, and has become a regular in Real Madrid’s central midfield.

The slender-built former Dinamo Zagreb and Tottenham player can also play as an attacking midfielder or winger with his neat technical skills.

At the 2008 European Championship, Modric was included in the UEFA “Team of the Tournament,” becoming only the second Croatian to achieve that honor.



Mario Mandzukic is the strike force of the Croatian team.

Mandzukic, who plays for Bayern Munich, is known for finding space and his off-the-ball play. He also often participates in the defense, making him highly versatile.

At Euro 2012, he and several others led the scoring chart with three goals. He also became the first Croat to score in a Champions League final, getting Bayern’s first goal in 2013.

Bayern says it wants to keep him despite reported interest from several top English, Spanish and Italian teams.


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