Croatia’s Football Association President, Davor Suker has pledged total support to national team coach, Zlatko Dalic, to ensure the team met or surpassed the country’s third place finish at the France 1998 World Cup.
Suker was Croatia’s top striker in France, where the team, which emerged from the old Yugoslavia stunned the Germany to win the bronze medal at their maiden World Cup.
Dalić’s men will meet Argentina, Iceland, and Nigeria in the upcoming World Cup next summer.
According to Croatia’s FA website, HNS, Suker and Dalic analysed the group and concluded they must be at their best to qualify for the second round.
Speaking on the draw, Dalic said: “We have nothing to lose against Messi’s Argentina, since they are one of the top teams and favourites to win the World Cup, and facing the best player in the world is a great challenge. Croatia, however, has to believe, has to play at the maximum level, and then we can achieve great things.”
“We have to analyse Nigeria in detail, yet we are aware that they have finished the qualifying round without a single defeat. They are young, led by a German coach. On the other hand, we know Iceland very well, and now we have the opportunity to respond regarding the recent Reykjavik defeat. The most important thing is to have our players fit and at the top level.”
Šuker said the draw could have hardly been worse for Croatia.
“This is probably the toughest group at the World Cup, all teams are very much respectable. Moreover, what can we say about facing Lionel Messi, who can make a deciding move in any match. Nigeria remain a bit unknown, but for sure they have quality, considering their qualifying record.