Mandžukić: If We Didn’t Get that Result at World Cup, I’d Still Play for Croatia

Daniela Rogulj

Along with Vedran Ćorluka and Danijel Subašić, Mario Mandžukić supported Croatia from the stands in their victory against Spain in Zagreb on Thursday. 

After many years, Mario Mandžukić watched the Croatia national team as a fan. He, Vedran Ćorluka and Danijel Subašić received an impeccable farewell at Maksimir on Thursday, and before the game, he revealed his thoughts about the national team today and how he feels after retiring, reports on November 16, 2018. 

How are you feeling? You’re unfortunately not a part of the Croatia national team any longer. 

“I feel good, and I still don’t know what it feels like to watch Croatia, but today I will have the opportunity to feel it,” Mario said before the big game at Maksimir on Thursday. 

I suppose you’re proud? You will be greeted by a full stadium. 

“Yes. I was planning to come and watch the game anyhow, but then HNS called me, as well as Ćorluka and Subašić, and told us that there will be something for us. I’m excited, I admit, especially because we’ll have a full stadium after a long time.”

How does the national team look this autumn after you’ve left?

“I’ve followed everything. I may have left, but I’m there non-stop, I hear from the guys, I follow everything on TV. I do not have much to complain about. We played a great World Cup, there was not much rest, some did not even complete their preparations. We have a tough group in the Nations League, the rhythm is terribly strong, this is a new competition. We need to give them support and motivate them.”

The fans want you to come back. Is there anything to come of that?

“Ah no, but of course I enjoy it. I did everything I could. My goal as a child was to do something with Croatia, and if we did not have that result in Russia, I would still play. I’m proud of myself and I’m glad that I could make not only myself and those close to me happy but also all Croats and all those who support our team. It was my only goal, I did it and now is the time for the other guys.”

You’re playing great at Juventus and scored five goals already. 

“It’s good, yes. I’m not working so much for the goals, I’ve never wanted my goal to be scoring goals. It’s important to me that Juventus wins, that it goes well on all fronts. I feel good and I’m sure it will stay that way.”

Does Cristiano Ronaldo listen to you?

“Everyone listens to me, ha ha. I don’t have any problems, we have a really good team, a good atmosphere, the guys are top notch, and if it wasn’t that way I wouldn’t have stayed here for four years there. I love everyone, I respect the money, the teammates and people from the club and I want to achieve a lot of good results with them.”

Do you see the new Mario Mandžukić on the Croatia national team?

“It’s a tough question for me. And when I started I came off the bench for 5 to 10 minutes, it’s a process you have to get used to. He needs to give support and trust in himself, his teammates and coaches, as well as fans and the media. Someone will come out in time.” 

For more about Mario Mandžukić, follow TCN’s dedicated page here


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