Zlatko Dalic: No Rakitic for Upcoming Euro Qualifiers

Daniela Rogulj

September 2, 2019 – The Croatia football team gathers in Zagreb on Monday ahead of qualifying matches against Slovakia and Azerbaijan for the 2020 European Championships. Zlatko Dalic addressed the press before the upcoming games, reports Gol.hr.

“Two tough matches await us, two tough away games where we will try to get a good result, and a good result will require good concentration, quality and knowledge. We will have to put forth a lot of effort and energy to get back points,” said Dalic at the beginning and also revealed team changes.

“Yesterday I spoke with Ivan Rakitic who still has not resolved his status at his club, and we have concluded that he is not ready or focused on the national team, that he cannot give his maximum that we need and he will not join us. Instead, we called up Marko Rog,” Dalic said.

Could this mean Ivan is nearing his end on the national team?

”I have no need or time to think about Ivan Rakitic. We must now focus on those who are here, and I do not have any fear of going on without him. We have Vlasic and Brekalo, players who are coming, who are full of will and ambition,” Dalic added.

“Mateo Kovacic had a medical review this morning, so we will see what the situation is with him. We have these small problems, but I am optimistic. I believe in these players who are here, and I have no doubt that we will be of good quality,” explained the coach. 

What is the condition of the players, are they happy at their clubs?

”Some are happy, some are not. Some are still working on it. The problem is that a lot of our players have had indications, it is a long transition period, there are a lot of questions, and that takes away concentration and focus. We’ll have some problems on that side, but it’s a normal thing, it happens every day, and I won’t cry and complain.”

Luka Modric isn’t in his best form, either.

“I always had the least problems with Modric, he always gave his best, he is the captain of the team, and I really don’t have to think much about him.”

The national team will train in Zagreb until Wednesday before traveling to Trnava where they will play the first of the two Group E matches on September 6.

After three games played in the qualifications thus far, Zlatko Dalic’s side is third on the table with six points, the same amount as second-placed Slovakia. In first place is Hungary with nine points, though they have also played one game more.

After Slovakia, Croatia will visit Baku to play Azerbaijan on September 9.

For the remainder of the qualifications, Croatia will meet Hungary on October 10 at Poljud, Wales in Cardiff on October 13, and Slovakia in Rijeka on November 16.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.


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