Precious Cargo: Four National Teams After Zlatko Dalić

Daniela Rogulj

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While he decides whether he will continue leading Croatia, Zlatko Dalić’s is one hot piece of real estate – and four national football federations are already on the hunt for the Croatian coaching star. 

The hunt for Zlatko Dalić is open. The Croatian coach is an absolute hit in the world after bringing Croatia to the World Cup silver, and his emotional assertion of whether he should continue leading Croatia has prompted numerous rich national teams to fight for the man who is considered the best coach of the 2018 World Cup, reports 24 Sata on July 22, 2018. 

After returning to Croatia, Dalić received four concrete and, well, pretty generous offers. On the list of the national teams in the fight for Dalić is Japan, Iran, Egypt and Uzbekistan. Moreover, they’re putting up the right dollar amount. The figures are, of course, incomparably bigger than what Zlatko is earning now, though the Croatia coach has said money is not the driving force of his decision. 

The humble Zlatko Dalić has confirmed this several times during his takeover of the team, and especially now that he has reached the top with Croatia. He also said that if he left Croatia’s bench, he would first find a club in Europe and prove himself there. However, millions of deals similar to these are certainly to be considered, so let’s see what’s in store for the coach if he chose to continue his career outside of Croatia. 


Japan was led by Akira Nishino at the World Cup in Russia after the shocking dismissal of Vahid Halilhodžić. According to foreign media reports, Vahid had a salary of about one million euro a year in Japan and there is likely a starting bid somewhere, which of course can be discussed with Dalić. 


Iranian football and Croatian coaches have been closely linked for some time. The leading face of Iranian football is Branko Ivanković, the Persepolis trainer and an expert who Iranians trust most. The national team of Iran was led by Carlos Queiroz in the World Cup, who was blamed for their early elimination. The Iranian salary brings in about two million euro.


Egypt entered the World Cup with great expectations, driven mainly by the football ingenuity of Mohammed Salah. Their best player, however, was not at 100% after a shoulder injury knocked him in the Champions League final and Egypt was eliminated from the group stages in Russia. Egypt has a very strong team, and just Salah alone is worth 150 million euro, though coach Hector Cuper was unable to find a formula for the squad and left his role in Egypt after the World Cup. Cuper’s salary was around a million and a half euro.


Finally, the fourth team in the hunt for Dalić is probably the weakest, cheapest, but definitely not the poorest – Uzbekistan. The worth of the team is estimated at only 11 million euro, and the most expensive player on the team is worth just 1.2 million euro, but they are ready to dig deep in their pockets for the star coach, offering a hefty salary HNS couldn’t give if they tried. 

We are convinced this is only the beginning of the offer marathon. While Dalić will be able to choose from a world of new options after the World Cup, let’s hope he’ll stick by our side in Croatia for a few more years. 


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