the spot for Croatia against
Ivan Rakitic has not always been the coolest man in world football. Maybe it was the dog that did it, maybe it was his wife or maybe it was his mother-in-law. He delivered the perfect riposte, that is for sure. Not long after the midfielder missed a vital penalty for Sevilla against Rayo Vallecano, in 2012, sending the ball well wide of the right post, victory denied, his phone beeped. A message landed from Puri, literally a mother-in-law joke. He opened it to see a photo of his golden retriever with a ball at its paw and a message: “Your dog takes better penalties than you do.” Six years on the message was different, skipping a generation. On the morning of Croatia’s last-16 tie against Denmark Rakitic’s Spanish wife, Raquel, told him it would go to penalties and he would score the fifth. He spent the next couple of hours watching videos of Kasper Schmeichel, speaking to Andrej Kramaric too – Schmeichel’s former teammate at Leicester – and that night there Rob Gronkowski Authentic Jersey he was by the spot, the prophecy fulfilled. Six days later and 1,444km away, it happened again, this time against Russia. All alone once more, only you are never alone standing there. He http://www.texasrangersprostore.com/WOMENS-EDINSON-VOLQUEZ-JERSEY.html barely blinked. Rakitic is the first player to have scored the fifth, decisive penalty twice at a World Cup. Each represented a giant step. He told his teammates they had to do it for Luka Modric, who had missed in normal time, but it went far further than that. From Denmark to Russia, Russia to England and a semi-final. “Amazing,” he called it. Rakitic was 10 in 1998, the only other time they got there, watching players he describes as “more than idols” on the TV with his brother Dejan, wearing the Croatia shirts their father, Luka, had bought them, a package arriving one day in the post. He was born and raised in Mohlin, Switzerland, and admits to being a fan of curling. The day he was born Croatia did not officially Darren Helm Womens Jersey exist but his father is a Croat, his mother a Croat from Bosnia and Herzegovina, they spoke Croatian at home – one of six languages he speaks – and his idol, Robert Prosinecki, is a Croat. His father played too, a No 4, and set up in Mohlin with the help of a police chief who ran the local football club. Luka sent for his wife soon after and Ivan was born there in 1988. Rakitic was Cornellius Carradine Womens Jersey grateful to be shielded from the Balkan war but as he grew he read, listened to stories. “It’s your history, your people,” he said. Although he represented Switzerland at youth level, ultimately he chose Croatia. Slaven Bilic – “mad, but in a good way” – had much to do with it and so did his dad. When Rakitic finished speaking to Bilic and to the Switzerland manager, Köbi Kuhn, on the phone, his dad pacing outside, he opened the door and announced that after careful consideration he was sticking with Switzerland. Luka accepted that, then cried when Rakitic said, “Nah, only joking: it’s Croatia.” There were death threats, letters arriving from furious Swiss supporters, people calling at his home, but Rakitic was clear. “It was a decision of the heart. I didn’t think, ‘With this team I will play more’; that thought process is for club football.” He has played plenty with Croatia – the semi-final against England will be his 98th cap – and has played a huge part too. He has been talked about less than Modric, the man banging on the screen like Benjamin Braddock as Rakitic stood pitchside at the end in Sochi, trying to make sense of it all, but he has been pivotal. “Modric and Rakitic are the best pair of midfielders,” the former Spurs player Vedran Corluka said. That they are presented as a pair is not coincidental. Rakitic calls them brothers and insists Modric is now the greatest player in Croatia’s history. Rakitic has been delighted to play alongside Modric, prepared too to take a step forward when he has been called upon. There are few more back-handed compliments than reliable but, boy, have Croatia been able to rely http://www.officialauthenticstexans.com/YOUTH+JAY+PROSCH+JERSEYon himRakitic. cheap jerseyscheap nfl jerseyswholesale jerseyswholesale jerseyscheap jerseys china
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