Davor Šuker Comments on Argentina, Dismissing Kalinić

Daniela Rogulj

Croatia and Argentina will play the second game of Group D tonight at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Russia. 

Davor Šuker, the president of the Croatian Football Federation, announced the match between Croatia and Argentina (20:00) in the second round of the World Cup, reports Index.hr on June 21, 2018. 

Šuker believes that the Argentinians, who in the first round drew against Iceland, are the favorites against the leading team in the group. 

“Argentina is the favorite because they have Messi. It is not easy to play against them, but our players have to enjoy the match. If Argentina is better, they should congratulate them. Our match of truth will be against Iceland,” said Šuker who continued to praise Messi.

“He is a player who can solve a game or hit a hat-trick. But we’re not afraid, and we were able to beat Germany, England, Italy… We have a young coach, and players with us who are our future and we have to play football. We are at the World Cup, and in the first round we saw a number of surprises.”

Šuker was surprised by the poor performance of Argentina at their opening match of the World Cup against Iceland. 

“No one expected this, and I thought Argentina would celebrate 3:0. We are not afraid of Argentina or big teams like Germany and Spain. Croatia has nothing to lose and can achieve a lot.”

Spanish journalists were interested in hearing Šuker’s comments surrounding Nikola Kalinić, the Croatian striker who was dismissed from the national team after he refused to enter the pitch against Brazil and Nigeria.

“I do not want to talk about Kalinić. He is in the past. We have to concentrate on the remaining 22 players. These are the things that can happen in football,” Šuker concluded. 

Coach Zlatko Dalić and Ivan Rakitić also commented on tonight’s game against Argentina. 

“We all know that Messi is the best in the world and he will certainly have his shining moments, and we will try to stop him. He could have scored against Iceland a couple of times, but we believe in his quality to achieve his dreams,” said his Barcelona teammate Ivan Rakitić, who also shared his thoughts on Nikola Kalinić leaving Russia.

“I’m sorry that this has happened, but it’s in the past. Argentina is in focus, and we move forward.”

Coach Dalić, fortunately, has all of his players available against Argentina, except for the striker who left the national team camp on Monday.

“There will be a few changes in the tactics and set-up, but not much because we were good and organized against Nigeria. It is not the time to make great changes, and we will stick to our style and try to show our quality. It will be a great match and a great challenge. 


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