FIFA 21 Wonderkids: Best Young Croatian Players to Sign in Career Mode

The 2018 World Cup finalists were one win away from winning it all. Can any of these prospects take them over the top?

Throughout their footballing history, Croatia have produced world-class talent. Players like Davor Šuker, Mario Mandžukić, Ivan Perišić, Darijo Srna, and 2018 Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modrić being the prime examples.

Having played as part of Yugoslavia until independence in 1991, Croatia’s first major international tournament was the European Championship in 1996, in which they reached the quarter-final.

They were unable to go further in a major international tournament until they became the runners-up in the 2018 World Cup, losing 4-2 to winners France. Croatia may just be on the cusp of glory, and one of the wonderkids on this list could help them make the jump.

On this page, we start by looking at the five best Croatian wonderkids in 21 before providing a table with all of the best Croatian wonderkids for your Career Mode.

Choosing the best Croatian wonderkids of FIFA 21

All of the players in this article assign their footballing allegiance to Croatia and are all 21-years-old or younger.

When considering who to sign for your Career Mode, playing the long game is key to establishing a legacy. Therefore, all of the Croatian wonderkids below have been sorted by their potential rating (POT).

Joško Gvardiol (72 OVR – 87 POT)

Team: Dinamo Zagreb
Best Position: CB, LB
Age: 18
Overall/Potential: 72 OVR / 87 POT
Value: £4.6 million
Weak Foot: Four-Star
Best Attributes: 85 Sprint Speed, 84 Strength, 83 Aggression

Joško Gvardiol is a left-footed centre back who, after playing for his hometown club Dinamo Zagreb, has secured a big-money move to RB Leipzig – which will be completed this summer. Yet to make his first-team debut for Croatia, he has played for the under-21s team, and a call-up is on the cards.

With Gvardiol in defence, Dinamo Zagreb have only lost once in the 16 league games this season. Traditionally a centre back, he has found himself playing as a left back more often than not this season, showing his versatility.

Strength and speed standout as Gvardiol’s best attributes in FIFA 21. His 85 sprint speed combined with 84 strength and 83 aggression show the Croatian wonderkid’s ability to be a power player. Having a centre back with 85 sprint speed and 77 acceleration is also very valuable, particularly when their potential rating is 87 POT.

Luka Sučić (67 OVR – 84 POT)

Team: FC Red Bull Salzburg
Best Position: CM, RM, LM
Age: 17
Overall/Potential: 67 OVR / 84 POT
Value: £2.3 million
Weak Foot: Three-Star
Best Attributes: 76 Sprint Speed, 72 Shot Power, 72 Free-Kick Accuracy

Luka Sučić is a midfielder who was born in Austria but has chosen Croatia for his footballing citizenship. He made the move to RB Salzburg last summer from fellow Austrian side FC Liefering, and the move is paying off.

The 18-year-old has been playing regular football with Salzburg since the turn of the year and seems to have established himself in the first-team. Positionally, he has played on both the right and the left of midfield, but in the past he’s primarily played a more central role.

In FIFA 21, Sučić is listed as a central attacking midfielder. Ratings-wise, his 76 sprint speed, 72 acceleration, 72 shot power, 72 ball control, 72 free-kick accuracy, and 71 short passing are the wonderkid’s only stats above a 70 rating. However, his 67 overall rating and his 84 potential makes him a valuable asset for the future.

Ante Palaversa (72 OVR – 83 POT)

Team: KV Kortrijk (on-loan from Manchester City)
Best Position: CM, CDM, CAM
Age: 20
Overall/Potential: 72 OVR / 83 POT
Value: £4.6 million
Weak Foot: Three-Star
Best Attributes: 76 Short Passing, 75 Stamina, 75 Composure

Manchester City paid over £5 million for Ante Palaversa in January 2019, before loaning him out in the two years since. He currently on-loan to Belgian side KV Kortrijk – a spell which ends in June 2022. The 20-year-old will hope to make a name for himself during this spell.

At the time of writing, Palaversa has two goals in seven Jupiler Pro League games from the centre of the midfield, playing a couple of those games further back as a defensive midfielder.

Palaversa is a workhorse-type player in the middle of the park in FIFA 21, with his high attacking and high defensive work rate being bolstered by his 75 stamina.

Beyond the physical attributes, what separates Palaversa from his contemporaries is his 75 composure and 73 reactions. With 83 potential, he could grow to become a vital asset in central midfield for club and country.

Domagoj Bradarić (75 OVR – 82 POT)

Team: LOSC Lille
Best Position: LB
Age: 20
Overall/Potential: 75 OVR / 82 POT
Value: £9.5 million
Weak Foot: Three-Star
Best Attributes: 79 Acceleration, 78 Sprint Speed, 76 Stamina

Domagoj Bradarić was signed by LOSC Lille in 2019, making the move from his hometown club Hajduk Split. Since signing for the French club, Bradarić has cemented his place in the first-team as a left back, also accumulating game time in both the Europa and Champions League.

Bradarić’s impact at club-level has allowed him to make his debut for Croatia; in October 2020, he played all 90 minutes of a friendly against Switzerland, during which he even bagged an assist. The exposure in one of Europe’s top leagues as well as international experience puts the 21-year-old in good stead for the future.

Statistically, Bradarić has a very balanced range of ratings, with 14 ratings over 70, even though he himself has a rating of 75 OVR. His defensive awareness, standing tackle, and sliding tackle are all 71-rated, but his 79 acceleration and 78 sprint speed lead his individual ratings. Bradarić has 82 potential in FIFA 21, cementing him among the best Croatian wonderkids to sign.

Ivan Šaranić (60 OVR – 81 POT)

Team: Dinamo Zagreb
Best Position: RW, CAM
Age: 17
Overall/Potential: 60 OVR / 81 POT
Value: £700,000
Weak Foot: Three-Star
Best Attributes: 74 Agility, 72 Acceleration, 72 Dribbling

One of the youngest players on the list, Ivan Šaranić still plays for Dinamo Zagreb’s under-19s squad. At the time of writing, Šaranić has played once for the senior team, coming on as a substitute in a cup game. The left-footed Šaranić predominantly plays as an attacking midfielder.

The signing of Šaranić in FIFA 21 would be a long-term investment, unless you are using a team in the lower leagues. HIs 60 overall rating makes him an affordable option for almost any team, but his 81 potential means that his purchase will pay off if given ample time to refine his skills.

His 74 agility, 72 acceleration, 72 dribbling, and 71 ball control highlight his individual ratings. The Croatian wonderkid also carries the Finesse Shot and Flair traits. Listed as a right winger in-game, he is better suited as an attacking midfielder and would benefit from a position change.

All the best Croatian wonderkids in FIFA 21

In the table below, you will find a list of all of the best Croatian wonderkids to sign in FIFA 21 Career Mode, sorted by their potential ratings.

Joško GvardiolDinamo Zagreb187287CB, LB
Luka SučićFC Red Bull Salzburg176784CM, RM, LM
Ante PalaversaKV Kortrijk207283CM, CDM, CAM
Domagoj BradarićLOSC Lille207582LB
Ivan ŠaranićDinamo Zagreb176081RW, CAM
Luka IvanušecDinamo Zagreb217279CAM, LM, CM
Boško ŠutaloAtalanta207279CB
Dominik KotarskiAjax206778GK
Renato JosipovićDinamo Zagreb196077GK
Bartol FranjicDinamo Zagreb206677CDM, CB
Ivor PandurHellas Verona206976GK
Mateo LešHeracles Almelo206074CB
Jozo StanićFSV Zwickau216073CB
Dominik OrozVitesse195973CB
Stipe RadićBeerschot AC206272CB
Franko KovačevićFC Cincinnati206072ST, LW, RW
Davor MatijašRoyal Antwerp FC206271GK
Jakov MedićSV Wehen Wiesbaden216370CB

Now that you know all the best Croatian wonderkids to sign in Career Mode on FIFA 21, it’s up to you to decide who best fits your team’s needs.

Tim M

Tim is an avid football and basketball fan supporting West Ham and Toronto Raptors respectively. He also enjoys playing their digital counterparts FIFA and NBA 2K. When he’s not watching or playing, you’d find him relaxing in front of the tv with his fiancee and a glass of wine.
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