“Winning is the Only Option”: 24 Hours Before Croatia and Italy at EURO 2024

Daniela Rogulj

June 23, 2024 – Croatia and Italy meet tomorrow in Leipzig for the last round of Group B at EURO 2024. Dalić and Kovačić addressed the press before yet another historic match for the Croatia national team.

It was the calm before the storm – 24 hours before Croatia and Italy kick-off in what feels like a final match for fans of the Vatreni. In just 24 hours, Croatia and Italy play the last round Group B match at EURO 2024. A win would send Croatia through to the next round, and anything but could send them home. A win, unfortunately, is the only safe result.

Before the two teams meet at 9 pm on Monday in Leipzig, Zlatko Dalić and Mateo Kovačić addressed the press for what could be the last time at the Euros in Germany. Of course, we all have hope that will not be the case.

“It will be nice play against some of my old teammates. It will be a very tough game – they are quality and organized. We know what our goal is, and we need to show we are the best once again when it’s hardest,” said Kovačić.

“We are ready. Vida is the only injured. Everyone else is healthy. It’s yet another historic game for us and we know we need to win. We need those 3 points. Everything else will send us home – that is the only way to look at it,” said Dalić.

Is it Luka’s last dance?

“We don’t think about it as Luka’s last competition. We are happy he is still with us and leading us. Tomorrow we will show again that we can do this for him,” said Kova.

What is different from Qatar?

“It wasn’t a good start for us. This isn’t the national team. We conceded too many goals this competition. We don’t have Perišić in the same form he was in Qatar. The players are 2-3 years older,” said Dalić.

“I don’t know how many historic matches we have played so far, haha. We have a lot of pressure, from our fans and international media. When it’s the hardest we always show our best face. We will fight until the end. Our goal this tournament is to get out of the group,” he added.

What happened with our star midfield – Modrić, Kova and Broz?

“We know we weren’t calm on the ball or compact in these last few games. We weren’t ourselves. We know we are not on the level we should be. Now we have Italy, we know that we will be much better tomorrow. We have played together many times, and we will show our experience tomorrow,” said Kova.

Final words

“Italy can play for a draw, and that makes it very tough for us. I believe in my team. I believe we can change our play, just like we did against Brazil, Argentina, etc,” said Dalić.

“We don’t think of this tournament as the last major tournament for this generation,” concluded Kova.


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