Coach Dalić Ahead of US Tour: “I Support Modrić and Lovren, We Need Peace Before World Cup”

Daniela Rogulj

Croatian national football team coach Zlatko Dalić commented on the somewhat worrying situation around the HNS staff and announced the team’s tour of the United States.

The Homeland War Veterans Association “Zagreb velesajam” and the Association of the Croatian Homeland War Veterans Association 1991, in cooperation with other associations derived from the Homeland War and under the auspices of the Ministry of Croatian War Veterans of the Republic of Croatia and the City of Zagreb, awarded the “Great Golden Heart” to the coach of the Croatian football team Zlatko Dalić, reports on March 15, 2018.

“It was an extraordinary honor to be here in front of the Croatian defenders and to receive this great acknowledgement. Because of it, I am very proud of, and it’s really a great honor. I can promise that as a Croatian coach I will always represent fellowship, peace, tolerance and, above all, patriotism. In front of us is the World Cup in Russia, and I know how much Croatians are expecting from us and how much love and hope will follow us. We will do everything to make the Croatian people happy and proud,” Dalić said before the issues in Croatian football followed.

Two friendly matches are coming up this month in the US. What do you expect from the games against Peru and Mexico?

“They are crucial matches. It will be good preparation, we will get together again after four months, and it is important that all players are healthy and that we do something before the World Cup. I cannot expect much of these games because I know that the European championships are in progress and that the players are having a difficult season. It is best that we can get together and be together. We will see who will go to the US because some players are injured, but I will think about that in a day or two and decide. I hope for a good tour, good matches and good results.”

How will you decide on the players so quickly with games still going on across Europe?

“We will wait another day or two to finish the championships before the break. The situation is a bit unfortunate, and we do not have much time, but we have to wait for the matches to be played so we can then define the list of players. I hope everyone will be healthy, and if there are any problems, there will be changes.”

The pressure is on you to form the team, and the staff picks started long ago. How would you comment on the statement by the head of Osijek who is disappointed that their players are not among the candidates?

“I cannot comment because I did not read or see that.”

What about Dražen Ladić?

“There is no conflict between me as the coach and HNS, nor will there be. I have given my list of staff, we will sort it, and everything will be fine. I do not want it to be constantly potentiated – no problems, no conflict, and we will solve everything we need to. I know it has taken a long time, but everything will be fine. Drazen is on my list.” 

Will Ladić go to the United States with you?

“I said everything, and there is no conflict – we will solve everything. The most important interest is the Croatian national team, it is above us all. I am patient enough, and it will be good.”

Can you imagine what kind of psychological state Luka Modrić and Dejan Lovren will be in considering the context of the court proceedings?

“I give my full support to Modrić and Lovren, and I do not understand the constant jump at them in the media. This is not right. Okay, I understand these processes and everything that’s going on, but they’re pioneer players. We need peace ahead of the World Cup; we need a good atmosphere. They have my full protection, and I will do everything I can to get it done as best I can.”

Are you afraid of bad results in the US? The opponents will not be easy…

“The result is not primary, and I’m afraid of nothing, not even poor results. I want to play strong games, to see what shape we are in, where we are, what we are, and not to play against ‘little’ opponents to win 5:0. For that I have nothing to say; I would instead work hard and lose and see where we are.”

Some Croatian players are in even better form than before. 

“I look forward to a good performance by every one of our players, but I’m not afraid if they are not in great shape now. There is still plenty of time before the World Cup, a long season, and they cannot always be at the highest level. They will be the best when it is most needed, which is in June,” Dalić concluded.

Translated from


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment