In Other Croatian National Team News: Ivica Olić Returns to Bench, Carlo Ancelotti in Running for Coach?

Daniela Rogulj

Another exciting day in the wonderful world of Croatian football.

HNS announced on October 19, 2017, that former Croatian representative Ivica Olić would return to the Croatian national team. The legendary striker, who has more than one hundred appearances for Croatia, will be a member of the Zlatko Dalić’s professional team in the playoffs for the World Cup this November. 

“It is a great honor to be part of the Croatian national team again, this time in a new role. I thank Dalić for his trust, and I will do my best to contribute to the achievement of our common goal, which is the advancement to the World Cup in Russia,” said Olić.

“I believe that with my experience as a career player and the knowledge I have gained by working with great coaches, as well as knowing the specificity of a representative environment, I can help the team as a member of the coaching staff. As a coach, I will also respect what I believe as a player – and that is the belief that devoted work and honest relationships are the keys to success,” added Dalić’s new assistant.

Dalić will immediately put Olić into action this weekend, tasking the former footballer with tracking the games and the players the coach intends to use in the fight for the World Cup. Croatia will play against Greece in the World Cup playoffs this November. 

“I am very happy that Ivica Olić accepted my invitation, and we agreed on everything quickly because we share the same opinion of what the Croatian national team represents. Ivica knows the representative environment very well and has experienced virtually everything through his clubs and the national team. His fighting spirit, optimism and contagious positive approach will be of great use to the entire dressing room. Olić will start watching matches this weekend, and the rest of the staff will be completed by the gathering of the team in November,” Dalić said.

Behind Olić are 104 appearances for Croatia and 20 goals – making him the fifth best scorer in the history of the national team. In his impressive club career, Olić performed for Marsonia, Hertha, Zagreb, Dinamo, CSKA, HSV, Bayern, Wolfsburg, HSV and 1860 München, where he retired from football in 2017.

Olić retired from Croatian football in March 2016. The Croat was part of the team that defeated the greats of Italy, Germany and England, and in 2014, he became the oldest goalscorer at the World Cup in Brazil, scoring against Cameroon at nearly 35 years old. 

In even more exciting (and somewhat strange) Croatian football news, reports on October 19, 2017, that HNS could be looking to replace Dalić after his one-month mandate with Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti.

Cult Italian sports newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport has apparently announced today in their printed edition that the Croatian Football Federation has been negotiating with the Italian coach, who is said to be interested in the position.

The one thing standing in the way of Ancelotti and Croatia is likely to be the demand for a high salary, and nothing will be confirmed anytime soon as Zlatko Dalić will lead the team through these next two critical playoff matches.

But if Croatia does advance to the World Cup? HNS could be considering the Italian as a serious candidate.

Ancelotti, after all, has led only the biggest clubs in Europe including Juventus, Milan, Chelsea, PSG, Real Madrid, and Bayern who dismissed him in late September. The Italian coach is said to be ready for new challenges in his career, and a spot on the Croatian national team bench could surely be it.

This is a story we will be following closely – stay tuned. 


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment