Photo by Slobodan Kadic
January 22, 2024 – The Croatian Football Federation has set up a friendly match between Croatia and Portugal ahead of UEFA EURO 2024.
Portugal and Croatia will meet on June 8 at 17:45 at the National Stadium in Lisbon, which will be the final test for both national teams before the European Championship in Germany, reports HNS.
The day after the game, Croatia will fly from Lisbon to Berlin and then continue their journey to the base camp in Neuruppin. Croatia will first prepare in Rijeka, where they will play a friendly match against North Macedonia on June 3.
“I am glad that we have reached an agreement with the Portuguese Football Federation for the friendly match, which will be an excellent test for both teams before the Euros in Germany. I am convinced that the fans in Lisbon will enjoy a spectacular match between two of the best national teams in the world and that Portugal will serve as an excellent incentive for our national team to get into a competitive rhythm before going to Germany,” said HNS president Marijan Kustić.
Coach Zlatko Dalić is satisfied with the agreed program before the Euros:
“We arranged everything as we had imagined at the start, from the tour in the Emirates in March to the preparation plan and the opponents for friendly matches. Portugal has been one of the best national teams in the world for years, with exceptional technical skills and a rich tradition, and I especially respect their coach, Roberto Martinez. Against such a strong opponent, we want to see where we are at that moment and what we still need to improve ahead of the Euro opener against Spain, who have a similar style of play. I’m sure the fans will enjoy a quality game, and I hope that we will meet Portugal again during the Euros, in the later phase of the tournament.”
In addition to tests against North Macedonia and Portugal, Croatia will also have two friendly matches in March before the Euros. From March 22 to 26, Croatia will play in the W Cup international tournament in the United Arab Emirates, in which the best African national teams, Egypt and Tunisia, and the best team in Oceania, New Zealand, will participate. Croatia is placed in Group B at the Euros, where they will compete against Spain, Albania and Italy for a spot in the round of 16.
“We had a great desire for the national team to play at Jamor again, and now we have the opportunity to fulfill that goal. The National Stadium has a symbolic value for our national team because we played a lot of games there that have a special meaning for our fans. The return to Jamor had to be in a big way, and therefore, I am grateful to the Croatian Football Federation for accepting our invitation. It will be a great match where we will all be able to feel the magic of Jamor again,” said the president of the Portuguese Football Federation, Fernando Gomes.
Portugal coach Roberto Martínez spoke about the friendly against Croatia:
“Croatia is one of the top 10 teams in the FIFA rankings, so it will be a great test for both teams ahead of the European Championship. We will be playing against a big team, and we know that Croatia has the same respect for Portugal. I am looking forward to this match with great enthusiasm, especially playing at Jamor. It will be an opportunity to be with the fans again in that special place for Portuguese football.”
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