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"I'm a fan of Lionel Messi, but Brazil are going to win" - Croatian striker Andrej Kramaric makes bold claim ahead of 2022 FIFA World Cup

Andrej Kramaric is likely to be part of Croatia
Andrej Kramaric is likely to be part of Croatia's 2022 World Cup sqaud

Croatia international Andrej Kramaric has tipped Brazil to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. With less than three weeks to go before the tournament commences, the 31-year-old, who featured as a second-half substitute in the 2018 final against France, believes the five-time world champions will get their hands on football's biggest prize for the first time since 2002.

When asked by Sportskeeda to name the favorites for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Kramaric admitted that while he's a huge fan of Argentina captain Lionel Messi, Brazil have a strong squad that could see them go all the way this time.

"If you ask me as a fan, I'm a fan of Lionel Messi, but Brazil are going to win."

Kramaric has been capped 74 times by Croatia since making his debut in 2014 and has 19 international goals to his name, making him their eighth-highest goalscorer in history. The versatile attacker is also a household name in the Bundesliga, having represented Hoffenheim since initially joining the club on loan in 2016.

With a whopping 106 goals across 231 appearances in all competitions for the German club, Kramaric is undoubtedly a modern-day Hoffenheim legend. Having played under numerous coaches over the course of his senior career, the Croatian striker has honed his skills to become a key player for club and country.

One coach, however, made a huge impact on his career and he is none other than Julian Nagelsmann. The Bayern Munich coach, who was previously at Hoffenheim, worked with Kramaric for three seasons and even referred to the 31-year-old as the best player he's ever coached.

When asked by Sportskeeda what it was like to work under Nagelsmann, Kramaric lavished praise on the young manager's tactical astuteness and attention to detail.

"Julian Nagelsmann's words mean a lot to me, and it was a big pleasure to play under a coach like this. I said a few years ago that he was going to be one of the best coaches in the world. It was an amazing 3 years, and I learned a lot from him. He's a young coach, so I think he also learned a lot from the players - it was a really nice time."
"We had the best results in the history of Hoffenheim under him. Sometimes, we still talk about him because he had a totally different view of football and training. For every situation in the game, he had solutions directly, which is really hard for a coach."
"There's a reason why I said he was going to be one of the very best coaches around, I hope he wins great things. He has a lot of years left in him, it was a pleasure to learn from him."

Kramaric has three goals in 12 appearances across all competitions for Hoffenheim this season and has been named in Zlatko Dalic's provisional 34-man squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The experienced striker is likely to be on the plane to Qatar as Croatia look to ruffle a few feathers at the tournament.

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Edited by Vishal Subramanian
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