Written by Patrick Echatah
Joško Gvardiol is a highly-rated Croatian defender who plays for RB Leipzig in the German Bundesliga. The 20-year-old began his professional career with Dinamo Zagreb, where he quickly established himself as one of the best young defenders in Croatia and Europe. In 2020, RB Leipzig secured the services of the Croatian, where Gvardiol has continued to impress with his tackling, ability to read games and brilliant positioning.
The Croatian defender has shocked the entire globe. Being a left-footed center-back is arguably Gvardiol’s most valuable trait. Leipzig can now line up the Croatian beside a right-footed teammate, and both players will feel completely at home in their current positions.
In 13 Bundesliga games for Leipzig this season, Gvardiol has won 82 tackles and 16 aerial duels. It’s understandable why his prices have skyrocketed given that he finished off a spectacular World Cup run with Croatia, who advanced to the semifinals before losing to the eventual champions Argentina.
Gvardiol is a versatile defender who is equally at home playing at left-back or center-back. The towering and strong build of the Croatian defender gives him the advantage over opponents in the air and makes it easy for him to make tackles. He is a complete defender because of his technical proficiency and passing range. He is a challenging opponent to play against due to his ability to read the game and predict opponents’ moves.
RB Leipzig have often shipped in tons of goals before his arrival, the German club have suffered inconsistency at the heart of their defence with Klostermann and Upamecano seeing their positions at time. Gvardiol brought stability and character to the back line and was pivotal in securing the champions league spot in the German Bundesliga.
Gvardiol, who is only 20 years old, has already won multiple awards for his on-field accomplishments. He has received accolades for being the Croatian Footballer of the Year, the Croatian Football Hope of the Year, and the UEFA Europa League Team of the Season. He has also represented Croatia at the national level and has been a vital player for Croatia.
Gvardiol’s consistently ground-breaking performances at the recently concluded FIFA World Cup in Qatar are more evidence of his defensive excellence. Despite being eliminated from the World Cup, he is still regarded as its top defender.
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Gvardiol might possibly be the most expensive defender in football next summer with a rumoured transfer fee of above $100 million.He has gained popularity quickly and is now well-liked in Croatia. He is renowned for his poise and composure on the field as well as for his willingness to put in a lot of effort for the team.
The 20-year-old’s stock has risen in the football world has increased as a result of his performances for Dinamo Zagreb, RB Leipzig, and the Croatian national team. Some of the top teams in Europe, like Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, and Tottenham Hotspur, have been linked to him.
Josko Gvardiol was recognized by IFFHS as a member of the 2022 team of the year. The likes of Lisandro Martinez, Nicolas Otamendi, Thiago Silva, Virgil Van Dijk and Raphael Varane may have been impressive but it is the young Croatian who stood heads and shoulders above his peers during the year under review.
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