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3 Croatian Teens on 50 Best U-18 Players in the World List

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One of football’s most respected portals have named three Croatian teenagers in their list of the 50 Best Wonderkids in the World…

Goal.com called upon the expertise of 37 editions across the globe to compile a list of the 50 best under-18 players in the world. Every footballer on the list was born on or after January 20, 1997.

Two Hajduk Split teens, Nikola Vlašić (34th) and Andrija Balić (19th), and sought-after Dinamo Zagreb midfielder Ante Ćorić (7th) were included on the list.

34. NIKOLA VLAŠIĆ | Croatia & Hajduk Split | 1997 | The brother of the former indoor world champion high jumper Blanka, Vlasic is one of Hajduk’s most prized possessions. Intelligent and versatile, he can play in nearly any role in attack – on the wing, as a trequartista or a ‘false nine’ – and is more suited to creating rather than scoring goals. With an explosive turn of pace and short, powerful legs, he has already drawn comparisons with Xherdan Shaqiri.

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19. ANDRIJA BALIĆ | Croatia & Hajduk Split | 1997 | At just 18, this precocious, impudent, long-haired playmaker is the man that makes Hajduk Split’s midfield tick. Considered a mix of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, Balic is already being courted by half of Europe, with Juventus, Udinese, Stuttgart and West Ham all particularly keen on acquiring the Croat.

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7. ANTE ĆORIĆ | Croatia & Dinamo Zagreb | 1997 | Dinamo Zagreb look to have unearthed another gem in the shape of Ante Coric. The truly exciting thing is that Zoran Mamic says that the elegant, 18-year-old attacking midfielder is even better than Mateo Kovacic and Alen Halilovic were at the same age. Almost inevitably, European heavyweights Real Madrid and Chelsea are poised to fight it out for a player earning favourable comparisons with Croatian icon Zvonimir Boban.

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Check out the full list here.

(photos: Getty/Goal.com)

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