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Marcelo Brozovic broke his own World Cup record, that he originally set vs England in 2018

Marcelo Brozovic broke his own World Cup record, that he originally set vs England in 2018

Brozovic was once again integral as Croatia made it through to another World Cup quarter final, once again needing penalties.

Marcelo Brozovic owned a World Cup record going into this year's tournament, and the Croatia midfielder broke it on Monday night.

Croatia made their passage through to the last eight of the World Cup for just the third time in their young history, a bad omen for upcoming opponents Brazil seeing as the previous two occasions they've made it to the semis at least.

As in 2018, when they failed to win any knockout game in the 90 minutes, they required extra time and then penalties to make it through.

It wasn't so much that they were good from the spot, against Japan, as it was their opponents were poor, with the Asian side having three of their four attempts saved.

The European side still needed to put their attempts away of course, and amongst the takers was Inter Milan midfielder Brozovic, who scored their second.

The 30-year-old was a key part of his country's run to the final in Russia four years ago, before the 4-2 loss in the final, their only knockout game that didn't go past 90 minutes.

He is once again extremely important for Zlatko Dalic's side, as he proved in the win over Japan, with a World Cup record, that he already held.

In Russia, four and a half years ago, he ran 16.3 km in the semi final win over England, and, according to Statman Dave, he ran even more on Monday.

The Croatia midfielder covered 16.7 km during the 120 minutes, more distance than any player has ever covered in World Cup history.

It obviously helps the former Dinamo Zagreb player that both those games went to extra time, with both games poised at 1-1 after 90 minutes.

However, plenty of other games have gone to extra time, especially Croatia's recent ones in World Cups, and no one is topping his distances.

No doubt he has to do a lot of the running because he's playing alongside Luka Modric, who is still capable of producing magic but is also 37-years-old.

As well as being known for his running, Brozovic is the 'godfather' of the 'draft excluder' position that lies behind the wall of a free kick.

Whilst he might have not been the first, the Inter star made it popular a few years ago, with his sliding 'crocodile' technique catching everyone's eye, and leading him to dress as a crocodile for halloween.

Brozovic celebrates his penalty. Image: Alamy
Brozovic celebrates his penalty. Image: Alamy

Brozovic may end up doing a lot of running in his side's next game, as they take on World Cup favourites Brazil in the quarters.

Tite's side are on a mission to end the country's 20 years without becoming world champions, just the third time in their history they've had to wait that long.

The South Americans looked in incredible form on Monday, as they danced their way to a 4-1 win against South Korea.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy/Twitter/YouTube

Topics: Football, Football World Cup, Croatia, Japan