Celtic defender Josip Juranvoic shines vs elite France attack; helps Croatia to impressive away win

By John McGinley

June 13, 2022

Celtic defender Josip Juranovic helped his country Croatia to a big away win against World Cup holders France in the UEFA Nations League tonight.

Juranovic was again starting at left-back for his nation, for the second successive match, tasked with facing off against attacking talents such as Karim Benzema, Kylian Mbappe and Christopher Nkunku.

Croatia got themselves ahead at Stade de France thanks to an early Luka Modric penalty, facing a further 85 minutes of determined French forward play.

Photo by Anthony Dibon/Icon Sport via Getty Images

Juranovic and the rest of the defensive line held firm, picking up a famous 1-0 victory and giving Croatia a chance of getting through to the next stage of the competition as group winners.

Nkunku was Juranovic’s primary foe, with the RB Leipzig attacker starting on the right flank.

The Celtic man did a fine job of keeping the Bundesliga player of the season quiet, restricting his opportunities before the Frenchman was subbed off in the second half.

Josip Juranovic impresses vs France

The Croatian had a busy night, earning an impressive 7.8 match rating on FotMob, one of the highest on the pitch.

He won all three of his attempted tackles, made six clearances, two interceptions and four ball recoveries. He also won all four of his ground duels on the night.

It’s the kind of performance that bodes well for big occasions to come with Celtic.

Juranovic will be making a step up to Champions League group stage football this coming season, so testing himself against an elite attack and coming out on top is a positive sign.

Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The display will also help cement his international reputation. Tonight was his 20th cap for Croatia and there’s no sign of Zlatko Dalic dropping him any time soon. Juranovic has started all four of his country’s matches during this window of matches.

Congratulations Josip, we can’t wait to see you back in Glasgow!

In other news, EFL boss talks up why Celtic should sign free agent Benjamin Siegrist.