5 Reasons Why Croatia Can Win The 2014 World Cup

5 Reasons Why Croatia Can Win The 2014 World Cup

Ivica Olic, Ivan Perisic and Niko Kovac
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There are some clear favorites to win the 2014 World Cup, but sometimes everything just comes together for an unfavored team at the right time -- as it did for Greece when they, somehow, won Euro 2004. Croatia are a talented team that can beat anybody on any given day and are underrated ahead of the tournament in Brazil. Here are 5 reasons why Croatia can win the 2014 World Cup.

5. A Prosperous Group

Croatia manager Niko Kovac
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5. A Prosperous Group

Croatia manager Niko Kovac
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Although Croatia have been grouped with the host nation, Brazil, they are also joined by Mexico and Cameroon in Group A. The Brazil game will be tough, especially being the opening game, but Croatia will be very confident in all three fixtures. It is also a group which prepares them for the knockout stages after playing a high pressured game against Brazil, a technical game against Mexico and a game against an athletic team like Cameroon.

4. Mario Mandzukic

Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic
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4. Mario Mandzukic

Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic
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Like other nations, Croatia have quality throughout their team, but unlike some, Croatia also have a player who can score the goals to finish off their good play. Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic is an important part of the Croatia team, and he can score the goals the team needs for success. Mandzukic is unfortunately suspended for the opening game against Brazil, but that does mean he'll be fresh for the remaining games.

3. Balanced Squad

Croatia captain Darijo Srna
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3. Balanced Squad

Croatia captain Darijo Srna
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Croatia have a good blend of talented young players eager to impress like Mateo Kovacic and Ante Rebic, experienced veterans like Ivica Olic, Eduardo and captain Darijo Srna and proven quality players in their prime like Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Mario Mandzukic and Dejan Lovren.

2. Underrated Talent

Croatia attacker Ivan Rakitic
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2. Underrated Talent

Croatia attacker Ivan Rakitic
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Croatia have some talented players who are well known to a lot of people, but they also have some players who are not as known and currently underrated. Ivan Rakitic has been outstanding for his club side, Sevilla, and could really shine on this stage. Likewise, Mateo Kovacic and Ante Rebic could really make a name for themselves in Brazil. Even Dejan Lovren, who has just enjoyed a good season at Southampton, is still underrated at this point.

1. Luka Modric

Croatia midfielder Luka Modric
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1. Luka Modric

Croatia midfielder Luka Modric
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No matter who any nation has in their starting lineup, every team needs a star player to have a good chance of success -- and the star player for Croatia is Luka Modric. A long time ago, Modric was merely a creator playing behind a striker, but now, at 28 years of age, Modric has developed into a world class box-to-box midfield player. Modric will be the best central midfielder in every group game for Croatia and quite possibly beyond.

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