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Who is Duje Caleta-Car? Things to know about the defender


Ligue 1 has plenty of young center-backs to watch out for, but the one you should pay special attention to is Marseille’s Duje Caleta-Car.

The Croatia international has made his way on Liverpool’s radar, as sources have confirmed 90 mins that Manchester United and Manchester City closely monitor the development of Caleta-Car.

Caleta-Car has a lot of admirers and is set to make a breakthrough soon, so here’s what you need to know about him.

Dejan Lovren
Dejan Lovren is a fan | Pixsell / MB Media / Getty Images

Whenever Caleta-Car has been linked with the Premier League, the contribution of ex-Liverpool man and fellow Croatian Dejan Lovren is never far away.

“In my opinion, Duje could easily play in England,” Lovren told La Provence of Caleta-Car’s skills.

“He is physically very strong, stronger than the other players. It will explode in a few years and get even stronger. ”

Duje Caleta-Car
Caleta-Car is a real unit | Eurasia Sport Images / Getty Images

When you watch Caleta-Car play, the first thing you’ll notice is that it’s absolutely huge.

Standing at a towering 6’4, the Croatian isn’t someone you want to face in an air battle. He’s dominant in the air, but still has surprisingly impressive agility for working on the ground.

He might look like a towering old-school defender, but Caleta-Car knows how to mix that no-frills old-fashioned style with a technical grace of modern gaming.

Caleta-Car will never claim to be the best passer in the world, and he hasn’t been given a role that demands it, but that doesn’t mean he hates having the ball at his feet.

One of the Croatian’s best attributes is his love for a forward pass. Whenever he receives the ball he’s always looking to move his team forward, and more often than not he’s good enough to pull the pass.

Above all, he has confidence in possession. While he doesn’t always hit a pass, he’s unlikely to be confused or make a mistake. Calm is the key.

Gerard pique
Caleta-Car bases its game on Pique | Quality sports images / Getty Images

As a great defender with an eye for an assist, it’s no surprise that Caleta-Car feels his game is similar to that of Barcelona’s Gerard Pique.

He confessed to La Provence that Pique was his main source of inspiration and he tries to shape his game on the Spaniard, while praising fellow models Sergio Ramos, Alessandro Nesta and Paolo Maldini.

In several interviews, you’ll see Caleta-Car talking about how much he wants to play in the Champions League. This is his sole objective.

He is so determined to play in Europe’s best competition that he rejected the possibility of moving to West Ham in the summer of 2020, openly admitting that the lack of European football was behind his decision.

Marseille were ready to ship it for around £ 20million, but Caleta-Car had other ideas.

Duje Caleta-Car
Caleta-Car has been embroiled in controversy | James Williamson – AMA / Getty Images

Caleta-Car became public enemy number one in Croatia in 2019 when he refused to call on the squad for the European Under-21 Championships.

Rumors circulated that this was because he had gone on vacation to the Maldives instead, creating real tension and leading to Caleta-Car’s exile from the Croatian setup for the better part of six months.

Caleta-Car has always insisted that it was Marseille who urged him to give up because he looked physically exhausted during his disappointing debut in France, telling 24sata and sportske novosti everything was totally out of proportion .

Dimitri Payet, Duje Caleta-Car
FIFA 21 is kind to Caleta-Car | John Berry / Getty Images

Football Manager or FIFA fans are probably already familiar with Caleta-Car, who has long been seen as a potential star of the future.

In FIFA 21, Caleta-Car was given a ranked 78 gold card, but if you treat him well in Career mode, you might see him shoot up to 85.

This has been the case for several years. Boy Scouts have always agreed that Caleta-Car really has something special, and it’s only a matter of time before he arrives.

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