In his youth, Mario Mandzukic was often compared to Croatian great Alen Boksic, but the forward from Slavonski Brod long ago surpassed the achievements of his renowned predecessor. Mandzukic counts many more goals and trophies to his name at club level, while he has scored three times as many as Boksic’s ten for the national team, trailing only Davor Suker on 45 in the all-time Croatian rankings.
During their time together at Bayern Munich, Pep Guardiola said that Mario was the best in the world at heading when inside an opponent's penalty area. Confirmation of this was provided when the striker powered home a header against Cameroon in the group stages of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™. It is not a surprise that three of Mandzukic’s five goals in qualifying for Russia 2018 came from his dominance in the air.