Čačić Talks Nikola Kalinić, Modrić, Srna Ahead of Upcoming World Cup Qualifiers

Daniela Rogulj

Before the Croatian national team gather for their September World Cup qualifying matches, coach Ante Čačić has turned to the media for a press conference. 

The Croatian national team awaits just four more matches in Group I on their road to the World Cup in Russia, announces HNS on August 28, 2017. 

On Saturday, Croatia will face Kosovo in a homecoming match at Maksimir in Zagreb, and just three days later, the team will head to Eskisehir, Turkey. Croatian coach Ante Čačić said in a press conference that he believes his team is in a good position for the final fight.

“We said that at the beginning of the World Cup qualifications we wanted to be in first place. A year later, after games held without the spectators, successfully overcoming injuries, and the last match against Iceland that extended the uncertainty, we are still at the top of the group with the best goal differential. I think we have enough strength and quality to be effective in the next four games and finish happy and satisfied,” Čačić said.

Croatia defeated Kosovo 0-6 in their first meeting for the World Cup qualifiers.

“There are no two identical matches, each one is new, and we have to prepare ourselves to be at our level. Only then will our quality will be sufficient to win all three points. It is important that players come from clubs where they are at peace with their transfers, happy, and in good form. The national team is a big motive for everyone, and I truly believe that we will please everyone that loves the national team. The players are a lot more relaxed than in June, are looking for new challenges, and we will talk more about Turkey after Kosovo. Of course, we will also speak of the training we will do on Tuesday as well,” added Čačić.

The coach spoke about his call up to Ivan Santini and briefly referred to the status of Mateo Kovačić and Ivan Perišić.

“I talked to Nikola Kalinić who told me that he was not in top physical condition and would not compete against Kosovo. Because of that, we will work on a different program, and I was looking for an attacker that I could have for two full teams in training. Kovačić is the future of the team, this will soon be his game, and I am thrilled that he is getting more and more playing time at Real Madrid, with impressive performances. As a player, he is progressing and growing and will be of great use to us all. Perišić is very happy at Inter, his new coach greatly appreciates him, and they are preparing a new contract.”

Over the last few months, media headlines have been busy following the current and former captain of the national team, Luka Modrić and Darijo Srna.

“Modrić is our captain, the best midfielder in the world, he is a proud man of Croatia, the man who represents our country at the highest level with great enthusiasm, and he will continue to do so. He has never thought of leaving the Croatian team,” said Čačić.

“I was in contact with Srna. I explained the situation of the injuries we had regarding Ćorluka, Vrsaljko and Jedvaj and that it would be good for him to be with us. There was no consolation, he thought about it and kept the decision he made a year ago. Srna has given a great deal to Croatian football and will continue to do so. We now have to focus on what we have on hand,” concluded Čačić.

Translated from HNS


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