"I have more muscles"; Josip Juranovic talks up Celtic effect on his development
Celtic defender Josip Juranovic believes his improvements at Parkhead this season helped his performances with Croatia during the last international break.
The full-back was only one of two Croatian players to play the entire 90 minutes in each of their four games during the first two weeks in June.
Juranovic impressed many in his homeland with his performances at both right-back and left-back as Croatia picked up seven points to kick off their UEFA Nations League.
Those four games included two clashes against current World Cup holders France, in which Croatia came away with a draw and a win.
Despite playing in the more unfamiliar left-back position during the final game in Paris, Juranovic helped his side keep a clean sheet in a 1-0 win.
The 26-year-old reflected upon the last international break and thanked his manager for his support after returning from a six-week injury layoff with Celtic towards the end of the season.
He also credited his first year at Celtic as part of the reason for his impressive performances, stating that he has become a better player under Ange Postecoglou.
He said [Sportsnews]: “I didn’t even train for six and a half weeks, I needed to get back to my previous form, but the more I trained and played, the more stable I became. I also thank the manager for inviting me, supporting me and being with me.
“That was my 20th cap for Croatia, and I have enjoyed a lot of success. I just want to win as many caps as I can.
“We play a little differently at Celtic than I was used to playing before; I have more muscles in my legs, and I think I have become fitter and a better player.
“I have got more self-confidence now, and I think you could see that in Paris.”
Juranovic ready to go to the next level
During the last international break, Josip Juranovic faced the task of playing in both full-back positions against some of the best players in the world.
He didn’t look out of place at any moment throughout the four games and showed the level of player Celtic have at their disposal.
The Croatian internationalist will now be ready to take his game to the next level when Ange Postecoglou’s side enters the UEFA Champions League group stages next season.
With the chance to jet off to the World Cup in Qatar later this year also up for grabs for Juranovic, I am sure he will be desperate to continue impressing on the domestic and European stage.