Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Football London
Football London
Tom Coley

Josko Gvardiol proves Tony Adams wrong with Croatia goal after Lionel Messi Chelsea warning

Josko Gvardiol proved people wrong by bouncing back from his difficult time at the hands of Lionel Messi in the World Cup semi-final. Having been twisted and turned inside and out by the Argentine superstar, the RB Leikpig star saw his near spotless tournament tainted somewhat.

The 20-year-old has been one of the best players in Qatar and saw his already high stock rise even further within the wider footballing community after leading his side to the last four before beating Morocco in the third place play-off to take a bronze medal away from his first ever World Cup.

Chelsea had tried to beat the queue by making attempts to sign him over the summer only for the defender to sign a new long-term deal and shut the door on a move. As the season has progressed though, there has been more and more growing interest in him, with Manchester City and Real Madrid powering their way to the negotiation table.

READ MORE: Rafael Leao Chelsea transfer mission must overcome one Romelu Lukaku question before £100m move

Although it is unlikely that Todd Boehly will be outbid for someone Chelsea admire so much, City and Madrid's financial capabilities, on top of established managers and successful teams that effectively blow the Blues out of the water currently, mean there is a genuine challenge to secure his signature.

Teams that see his progressive passing, aggressive defending and signs of potential won't have been put off by Messi's moment of brilliance in the semi-final, but given the disappointment following that match, Gvardiol responded with his own sign of maturity, powering in an early header and going on to win the Man of the Match award.

Many were quick to jump on Gvardiol for his eagerness to beat Messi in a duel, and Tony Adams joined them, saying, “Croatia’s Josko Gvardiol was touted as the best defender at this World Cup before he got ripped to bits by Messi." This criticism seemed harsh at the time for one of the standout centre-backs in Qatar, and the goal just days later demonstrated what he has to offer still.

"But he’s only 20,” added Adams. “Gvardiol will grow from his experience as I did and come back stronger. He is a talent.”

Gvardiol's talents are clearly more than his goalscoring, and defenders better than him have been shown up by Messi before this, so it won't be putting Chelsea off, but they might hope it slows other sides down as they battle to do a deal.


Todd Boehly's crucial Chelsea January transfer choice to set tone following Armando Broja injury

Todd Boehly inventive £21m Borussia Dortmund plan can break Chelsea January transfer trend

Chelsea's Joao Felix transfer stance revealed following Armando Broja injury news

Ziyech, Hutchinson - Six Chelsea stars to be impacted by Armando Broja's season-ending injury

Chelsea news and transfers LIVE: Latest news, rumours and gossip from Stamford Bridge

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.