croatia at the 2018 world cup

one of the top stories at russia 2018 was the exceptional play of croatia. they qualified for the final after playing tough (strong, physical), exciting football the whole tournament.

domagoj vida
croatia’s domagoj vida (afp)
shireen khalil at labelled croatia’s victory over england in the semi-final a major feat (achievement) that defied the odds (did the opposite of what was expected). this headline accompanied the article…

There’s more to Croatia’s win than knocking England out of the World Cup

knock out means eliminate. it’s more than just knocking out england because as cristina abellan matamoros points out

things haven’t always been easy for the croatian national team. many of its talented players still carry the scars from the war of independence by yugoslavia and local serb forces.

scar in this context is emotional–bad memories, trauma.

scar from lion king

scar from lion king has a scar on his left eye.v

cool elt practice :) richyrocks english on youtube

abellan tells that goalkeeper danijel subasic

[was] born in zadar [croatia] to a serbian father and a croatian mother, [he] was only 11 when his family home was destroyed during the croatian war of independence in 1995. his serbian heritage also hasn’t made things easy for the goalkeeper as it raises suspicion about his allegiance to croatia.

heritage is legacy, cultural tradition. raise in this instance is generate, provoke. allegiance is loyalty, devotion.

danijel subasic stops a penalty vs denmark

danijel subasic stops a penalty vs denmark. (julian finney/getty images)

defender dejan lovren

comes from a town in bosnia-herzegovina [and] was forced to flee to germany with his family during the war….after the war ended, their legal permit was taken away and the family was forced to move to croatia which was still in a fragile state.

take away means confiscate, seize. flee means escape, run away. similarly midfielder ivan rakitic and his parents

fled to switzerland to escape the war in the former yugoslavia.

and according to franklin foer at the atlantic, mario mandžukić, who scored the game-winning goal against england…

fled to germany to wait out the war.

fled is the irregular past tense of fleewait out  means wait longer than the duration of an event.

mario mandzukic carrying luka modric

just an awesome picture

foer reports that golden ball winner luka modric also lived the horrors of war.

serbian militia burned down his family’s home, and murdered his grandfather and six of his relatives.

burn down means completely destroyed by fire. relatives are familiy members, usually extended family.

luka modric with his golden ball trophy

croatia got second place, but modric got the golden ball. (getty)

khalil also talks about modric’s childhood

he grew up in a war-torn country and was a child refugee. now he earns $320,000 a week and is on the cusp of greatness.

grow up refers to the process of going from child to adult. torn means devastated. refugee means modric was forced to leave his home and didn’t have a permanent residence. earn is used to talk about making a salary. on the cusp of means next to, almost there.

the former yugoslavia (

the article offers a few more details from modric about his childhood…

modric rarely talks about his blighted childhood, but back in 2008 when he signed for [tottenham] spurs he briefly addressed the hardships of his childhood. “when the war started we became refugees and it was a really tough time.”


in a rare recent interview he said: i think a lot of things that happened to me as a child in croatia have left me feeling like i should never ease up…. i never relax because if you relax in football your level drops and it can be difficult to get back into it.

rarely is an adverb. it describes the verb talks. rare is an adjective–it describes the noun interview. they both mean not frequently. blighted means full of disturbance and unrest. hardship is adversity, difficulty. tough means difficult. ease up means work less, take it easy. drop means decrease, go down.

don’t expect modric to ease up (kyodo via ap images)

what did u think of croatia’s performance at russia 2018? share your thoughts under leave a reply




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