Zlatko Dalic and Ivan Perisic Address Press Ahead of France Rematch

Daniela Rogulj

Slobodan Kadic
Slobodan Kadic

Slobodan Kadic

September 8, 2020 – Zlatko Dalic and Ivan Perisic addressed the press ahead of the Nations League rematch against France on Tuesday evening in Paris.

Ivan Perisic has fond memories of the Stade de France. Perisic played for the first time for the Croatia A national team at Saint-Denis on March 29, 2011, in a friendly match that ended without goals in front of seventy thousand spectators. Tonight, he and the Vatreni will replay the World Cup final in Russia, unfortunately without spectators. The Nations League meeting between France and Croatia begins at 8:45 pm.


Slobodan Kadic

“When you play for Croatia, it doesn’t matter who is on the other side, this match is special because it is the first against France after the Moscow final during which we dominated in the first half, but we, unfortunately, received two goals. We tried to change things in the second half, but it didn’t work. There is no rematch; this is a new game for me. There are a lot of new players on both sides, France will play in the new system, so this is a completely different story. I hope that we will be ready; we have to give our best,” says Ivan, who is just getting in the right shape after a hard but successful season and a few days off until the start of new obligations.

“After the Champions League final, I only had seven days off, in general, neither of us is one hundred percent, but that should not be a reason not to get something positive out of these two games. We didn’t get into the game against Portugal well; we didn’t stand well on the pitch, there wasn’t enough aggression, we didn’t even try to play, which is one of our best traits, we just kicked the ball… There are many things we need to fix and do better because it won’t end well if we continue like that. We spoke, we know where we went wrong, tomorrow is a new day, a new game, and we will get something positive. Not even France is one hundred percent, because most of the players, almost no one has played games. However, we have to give the maximum be it 45, 60, or 90 minutes. We are playing for Croatia against the World Cup finalists, every game must be like the last one for us,” points out Ivan and points out the strength of the next opponent.


Slobodan Kadic

“France is a football force and, regardless of the character of the match, they have a player staff of about forty or fifty top players. Simply, whoever they put you don’t know where the greater danger will come from, and they also have a great coach, and we will really have to be at a high level if we want to get a positive result.”

Coach Zlatko Dalic spoke in selected words about Perisic’s contribution to Croatia’s game.

“Ivan is one of our most important players, the holder of the game, this year he had a great season with Bayern, which he crowned by winning the Champions League. When there are not a few main players, Modric, Rakitic, and Vrsaljko, he is the one who, as captain, will be the main one on the pitch on our side. He said that he is not very well prepared, which is normal considering that he recently played in the Champions League final. Still, I expect him to be the team leader, get a new impetus with him, and raise the level of our game compared to the game against Portugal,” says Zlatko Dalic, who is aware of the fact that the team failed in Porto.


Slobodan Kadic

“We suffered a very difficult and painful defeat that we absolutely deserved. There were many bad things, it was not a game at the level of the Croatia national team, but we must understand that it is the beginning of the season, that there are a lot of new players in the national team. After all, our goal is the European Championship; we have to make a selection of players through these matches and try to find what is best. This is not the same team that played in the World Cup in Russia, which is normal; we had to make a slight change of generations. I repeat, we were not good in Porto. The players’ physical condition is not at the level; there was not enough energy and aggression, we simply overslept in the game. We will make some team changes because some players who played first cannot run in another strong game in three days. We will have to change the way we play and approach; we have to be much more responsible; there has to be a lot more discipline in our game. Anyway, I expect a better match than in Portugal. I have tremendous respect for the French world champions who have great players. We have to set ourselves up much better, helping each other in the defense phase. Against Portugal, we lacked that compactness and homogeneity; we were not together; we were not close; there was no support. We stayed in situations where the opponent had a surplus; it looked like Portugal was playing with 15, and we with 10 players. Even harder work awaits us against France.”

Of course, everyone misses the fans.

“We all miss the fans, and football doesn’t make sense without them. We are all handicapped, but, given the overall situation, we need to adapt to the new measures. It is not easy for us; football is played because of the fans. I hope they will return to the stands soon,” concluded Dalic.

Source: HNS

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