The runners-up of the previous edition of the World Cup were certainly made to sweat against Japan in the Round of 16, with the game finally going Croatia’s way after a penalty shootout.
One player stood out over and above the others in a victory that could just have been a major upset.
It is easy to be overshadowed in a midfield which also has Kovacic and Modric, but Brozovic has done more than enough to earn his place in the squad, playing all available minutes in Qatar so far.
Marcelo’s WhoScored rating comes out to 6.8 but that rating does not even begin to cover the work the Inter Milan player did against Japan.
The Inter Milan player covered more ground (16.7km) against Japan than any player in a World Cup match since records began, beating his own record (16.3km) from 2018.
The Japan game is not an anomaly. In fact, Brozovic has run the most distance in the WC among all players in Qatar. He is half a km clear of Tunisia’s Ellyes Skhiri.
Bearing in mind that Marcelo has just recently come back from an injury, calling this ‘impressive’ is a grave injustice.
It wasn’t just running around against Japan that he stood out for.
Brozovic’s four key passes are double what the rest of the team managed between themselves.
Furthermore, his two higher-profile midfield partners made 113 accurate passes. Marcelo? 115.
Some are even calling him the best midfielder in the team right now. The same team that houses Modric. Such are the levels he is reaching.
While Brozovic is rightfully getting all the attention for his footballing abilities, fans have also caught a rather cheeky tattoo on the player’s neck.
Here’s a closer look:
It is a tattoo of the bomb emoji. Amusingly, this is not the first emoji he has gotten tattooed on himself. He also has a thinking face in his hand.
Brozovic apparently loves getting inked and has over 20 tattoos on himself.
The bomb one was first seen back in April of last year when his club Inter Milan played Bologna in a Serie A match.
While we can find some sort of meaning in most tattoos, Marcelo is yet to publicly confirm what the neck tattoo of the bomb means.
As far as his other tattoos are concerned, they do have some context attached to them.
On his left arm is a praying hands tattoo, as Brozovic is a staunch believer of Jesus Christ and this signifies the same.
On his left arm is the shirt number he wears when playing for the national team.
His right arm has blackbirds. Blackbirds are a symbol of high intelligence, power, intellectual vision, and closeness to God.
His right forearm has a clock with 2:15 and a date, denoting his love for his daughter, who was born on the date and time tattooed.
The rolling dice is a symbol of luck and chance in life.
An adorable tattoo on the right hand denotes the loving relationship Brozovich shares with his son Rafael.
As can be seen, most tattoos Marcelo has have a close and deep meaning to his relations with the family or with God.
While we are not sure what the bomb emoji tattoo means, we are sure it will be of something that is close to the player’s heart.
Whether he decides to disclose it or not is for him to decide.
All the fans would be hoping for is another bomb of a performance in the next game, when they face Brazil in the Quarter Finals on Friday.