Son of a diplomat and future Bayern star? How Dominik Livakovic lit up the World Cup

Son of a diplomat and future Bayern star? How Dominik Livakovic lit up the World Cup
Son of a diplomat and future Bayern star? How Dominik Livakovic lit up the World Cup
Son of a diplomat and future Bayern star? How Dominik Livakovic lit up the World Cup
Since the start of the World Cup, Croatia's number one, Dominik Livakovic (27), has been one of the leading lights during the tournament. Admired by his peers, hated by his opponents, his future bright. But could his next step be to one of Europe's giants?

Along with Yassine Bounou (31), Livakovic has been one of the best goalkeepers and revelations of this month in Qatar.

Against Japan and Brazil, the Croatian gave his opponents no chance and stopped or pushed back all their balls, so much so that he played with their nerves with 11 saves in 120 minutes.

He also made history, as he saved four penalty kicks in shootouts. A feat reserved for the elite of goalkeepers, like his compatriot Danijel Subasic (38), the Argentinian Sergio Goycochea and the German Harald Schumacher.

Livakovic is showing his level for the whole world to see and at the same time preparing his future. If he is not certain to win the World Cup trophy, Livakovic can be sure that someone will come looking for him in the new year.

According to the German press, Bayern appear to be a serious contender, as they need to prepare for the post-Manuel Neuer (36) era. 

Late bloomer

The goalkeeper may be relatively unknown internationally, but in his home country he is a true star.

The son of Croatia's former state secretary at the Ministry of the Sea, he is also the great-cousin of Josip Skoblar, the former Yugoslav striker of the 1960s and Marseille's all-time leading scorer for a season. He joined the NK Zagreb training centre at the age of 12.

He became a professional with them in 2012, then climbed the ranks little by little to leave for Dinamo Zagreb in the Croatian capital in 2016.

Retained the same year, he would spend the Euros on the bench. In 2018, just as Livakovic was excelling with Dinamo, he was selected and started at Euro 2020.

The goalkeeper did not have time to shine though - he was eliminated by Spain in the round of 16, after conceding five goals.

A five-time league champion in his homeland, he arrived in Qatar with the hope of making a difference. Livakovic has been relentless, solid on his line and in his aerial duels. The world has finally noticed him.

Praised by one of his role models, Iker Casillas, he is currently experiencing a meteoric rise. The hopes of his entire nation are pinned on him and his captain, Luka Modric (37).

A future among the greats?

Although his worldwide fame has only been made possible by the World Cup, Livakovic is building the foundations of his future.

At 27, he is in the prime of his life and is bound to get offers from top European clubs.

Stade Rennais, and Montpellier had already tried to poach him in 2019, anticipating his success. But where the Croatian could land next is in Germany instead.

Under contract at the club until 2024, just like Neuer with Bayern Munich, 'Liva' has a chance to succeed him in the Bavarian team.

The German will be out for the remainder of the season due to injury, so Bayern will be looking for a replacement.

In the Bundesliga, at one of the biggest clubs in the world, Livakovic would make further progress, even if it means replicating his international performances over a longer period.

Already accustomed to playing in the Champions League - or at least the group stages - he will only increase his experience with a more renowned team. 

It's the best thing we can wish for this exceptional goalkeeper, ready to parry Lionel Messi's biggest shots this Tuesday.


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