EURO 2024 Qualifiers: Dalić & Modrić Announce Croatia’s Crucial Match against Turkey

Daniela Rogulj

October 11, 2023 – Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić and captain Luka Modrić addressed the press ahead of the EURO 2024 qualifier between Croatia and Turkey on Thursday at Opus Arena in Osjiek.

It’s a battle for first place in the group tomorrow as Croatia and Osijek share points in first place. Only the top team in the group directly qualifies for EURO 2024 next summer in Germany.

Croatia is slightly weakened going into tomorrow’s match, with Andrej Kramarić leaving the Croatia camp due to injury. Kramarić is thus the latest injured attacker in Croatia’s ranks, following Ivan Perišić and Bruno Petković. Recall, Marko Livaja also announced his retirement from the Croatia national team on Sunday.

Luka Modrić addressed the press questions first

“Opus Arena looks very impressive. It’s amazing to have a chance to play at a stadium like this in Croatia. A real European stadium. I hope that we will do it justice with a good result tomorrow.

We are fresh and have the motivation for these two big games. I look forward to leading Croatia again as the captain.

We definitely have injuries which is a big handicap for us, but it is also a great chance for new players to show what they have. These are big games against big teams, and winning tomorrow can bring us the Euros.

I didn’t speak to Marko Livaja about leaving the national team. I am sorry he is no longer with us. He made the decision, and only he knows why. In Qatar, he was very important or us. We can only thank him for his time with us.

Tomorrow is a big game against a great team. We have played against Turkey many times. It is always tough for us, and we await the same tomorrow. We have a lot of respect for Turkey.

I am in contact with Ivan Perišić. We know how much he means to our team, our play. Due to his character and hard work, I am certain he will come back and play for us. When that will be, we are not sure, but we will wait for him as long as we need to. That’s how important he is for us.”

Dalić addressed the press next

“This is a key game tomorrow; it leads us to the Euros. That’s how we are looking at it. We are without two of our best attackers, which is a big handicap, but we will give the chance to new players who are motivated to fill their shoes.

We will not force Juranović and Petković tomorrow due to injuries. They will be on the bench. Maybe they will be ready against Wales.

We are working on solutions in the attack. Brekalo is playing well, we have Majer and Vlašić, Pašalić plays excellent on the right wing and as a second attacker, and we have Musa. We will see how we will combine the players.

We need to play defense as a whole team, not just with the 4 in the backline and Livaković. I am very confident in our defense, especially when we all play together defensively.”

Croatia and Turkey meet tomorrow at 20:45. The Opus Arena fan zone opens at 10 am.

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.


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