Rangers ace Borna Barisic is earning rave reviews on international duty with his partnership with Ivan Perisic ensuring Croatia have the ‘best left side in Europe at the moment’.
At least, that is the conclusion former Croatia midfielder Jurica Vranjes took from two successive wins during the September international break; Zlatko Dalic’s side thumping Latvia 5-0 before defeating Armenia 1-0 on Monday night.
Rangers’ own Borna Barisic, meanwhile, was rewarded with a start against Armenia after coming off the bench and setting up a goal vs Latvia; a typically wicked free-kick assisting Andrej Kramaric late on.
And, according to Vranjes, it is no coincidence that Barisic’s return to the XI coincided with one of Croatia’s finest performances of the qualification phase, that narrow-looking one-goal triumph over Armenia not befitting a display which saw the visitors muster nearly 30 shots and dominate 68 per cent of the possession.
Rangers’ Borna Barisic shines in Croatia win
“In my opinion, the key to the victory was that Borna Barisic played at left back, because he works much better with (Ivan) Perisic,” Vranjes tells Danas; Rangers’ long-serving £2 million man allowing the Tottenham veteran to push on into a more attacking role.
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“We have a great national team, and now we have got that left side; starting with Josko Gvardiol, Barisic at the left back, Perisic in front of him in attack and (Luka Ivanusec). Croatia has the best left side in Europe, at the moment.”
Barisic has done his hopes of securing a starting role under Dalic no harm at all, outshining fellow left-back Borna Sosa as Croatia retain their place at the top of Group D.
“Borna Barisic has been playing at a serious level for years in Glasgow,” Vranjes adds.
“What we have is top quality. I believe that, in Germany, there will be a real explosion of Croatia, with the quality of this team.”