Ante Ćorić is better at 17 than Zvonimir Boban, Robert Prosinečki and Luka Modrić, say GNK Dinamo Zagreb insiders – no surprise some of Europe's biggest sides are keen.
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Name: Ante Ćorić
Club: GNK Dinamo Zagreb
Debut: 16 April 2014
Date of Birth: 14 April 1997
Preferred foot: right
They say ...
"Ante is a treasure for our club. He is a greater talent than Luka Modrić and Mateo Kovačić were at his age."
Zoran Mamić, Dinamo Zagreb coach
"He is still just a kid and he is attracting so much acclaim from the stands. He is better than Zvonimir Boban or Robert Prosinečki were at the same stage. I am impressed."
Zdravko Mamić, Dinamo Zagreb president
"Ćorić is not only a prospect for Dinamo Zagreb, but for the Croatian national team too."
Romeo Jozak, Croatian Football Federation (HNS) technical director
Although Ćorić was born in Zagreb, his talent quickly drew international attention and he had trials at Chelsea FC and Bayern, where he set a new benchmark by scoring full marks in several tests. He eventually decided on FC Salzburg aged 11, returning four years later to the Croatian capital in 2013 to join Dinamo Zagreb in a €900,000 transfer. He made an immediate impact.
Playing style ...
His all-round ability is impressive, and he has all the tricks a top midfielder needs and more. Already capped by Croatia's Under-21s, Ćorić possesses great ball control, a smooth dribbling style, creativity and fantastic vision. Speed is another strength; he is also a persistent goal threat.
Shades of ...
His style of play and dribbling recall Prosinečki. His intelligence and pace have echoes of Boban. However, Ćorić says his hero is Ronaldinho.
Eureka moment ...
Netting a stoppage-time goal in September's 5-1 home victory over FC Astra Giurgiu in UEFA Europa League Group D – and, in so doing, becoming the competition's youngest ever scorer.
Best-case scenario ...
With Marcelo Brozović's departure to FC Internazionale Milano, it appears the perfect moment for Ćorić to step up and become a key player for his side. The question seems to be: how long can Dinamo keep hold of him? People at the club are convinced he will the next big outgoing, following a path trodden by some famous names. Apparently, Bayern are first in line.
He says ...
"My dreams are coming true. When I was nine, I made my first trip to the Maksimir and I dreamt that one day I would play on that pitch and score a goal in European competition. I can't believe it's now come true."