Zlatko Dalić and Ivan Strinić spoke about Croatia’s upcoming performance at the World Cup in Russia.
The highly anticipated World Cup in Russia is finally knocking on our door, and the Croatia team gathers this afternoon in Zagreb for their World Cup preparations. The team will then head to Rovinj on Saturday to kick off intensive training to be in the best shape for their first World Cup game on June 16 against Nigeria.
As expected, hoards of international news agencies are hoping to find out everything they can about the participating teams in the upcoming tournament, and APTN has thus spoken with Croatia national football team coach Zlatko Dalić and Croatia defender Ivan Strinic. In announcing what we can expect from Croatia in Russia, Dalić said that the match against Argentina would be the easiest in the group, reports Gol.hr on May 25, 2018.
“The first match against Nigeria will be the key to our group. We are playing against an African team. They have a German coach that has changed the style of their game and has introduced a lot of young players in the national team who are young, hungry and ambitious and that’s their advantage. This is going to be the toughest game for us,” Zlatko Dalić said.
The most significant interest in Group D is the match between Croatia and Argentina. The South American team is going to Russia the ambitions of winning the World Cup title – and they have Messi on their squad, which is an incredible motive for Croatia.
“For me, the match against Argentina will be the easiest match in the group. We are against the favorites to win the World Cup. Any team that has Messi can make a miracle. He is the best player in the world for me. It will be a great match for the two teams that play good football and have great technical skills. We have nothing to lose in the fight, and we are playing against one of the best teams in the world. It is a great motive for us,” says Dalić.
Ivan Strinić is one of the Croatia players who will be responsible for stopping the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
“We know everything about Messi, and he is perhaps the best player in the world, and he will certainly be a difficult player to defend. I hope that it will not only be me marking him and that we will work on him collectively,” says Strinić.
The last game in the group will be June 26 when Croatia faces Iceland.
“And in the end, we face Iceland who was ahead of us in the group stage, and this is our chance to get them for the defeats in the qualifications,” concluded Dalić.
Croatia will also play two tough friendly matches – on June 3 against Brazil and June 8 against Senegal ahead of the World Cup.