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International Break Update: Croatia - Hungary (1-1)

Modric and Kovacic have a quiet day in the office.

Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

Luka Modric

Modric took up the deep lying playmaker role for Croatia, looking to be the base of all his teams moves and the link from defense to midfield. This restricted Modric's involvement in the final third as he sat deep and just looked to spray passes around the pitch in a very Kroos-esque fashion. But this didn't restrict his movement across the width of the pitch, as he put in a shift in order to help create triangles all over the pitch and help his teammates beat the occasional Hungary press. Additionally, his ball control was also good as he dribbled his way out of trouble a couple times, but overall this was a rather subdued performance from Modric. You got the feeling he was trying to conserve his energy, as he really only made an impact in the final third from set-pieces (granted he played a deeper role, but DLP's still have to playing killer balls) and was average on defense. But in the end it was an all-round, if not spectacular performance, from Modric, and that will surely keep him and his manager happy for now.

Mateo Kovacic

Kovacic had a sporadic game, as he seemed to really only make an impact when he engaged in long-winding runs. This forced attempt to spark an admittedly drab game to life, was a welcome sight for sore eyes, but it was also risky at times. Kovacic ran himself into trouble on more than one occasion and also found little end-product at the end of most of his runs. However there were two examples in the first half that demonstrated his immense potential. One was on the 38th minute mark, where he burst into the box and nearly got a shot off, and the second was on the 40th minute mark, when he made a brilliant run from inside his own half and fed his winger, who should have done a better job of finishing his chance. This roaming playmaker role that Kovacic played in, allowed him to express himself, and is something Zidane should look into if he wants to get the best out of the Croatian. Aside from his dribbling though, Kovacic was average, making some clever passes here and there, but never really controlling the game. He was subbed off in the 75th minute presumably because of this.

(Here is the international break schedule)

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