By Kayode Ogundare in Moscow:
Zlatko Dalic, head coach of the Croatian national team, has bemoaned his team’s ill-luck after they were paired with Nigeria at the FIFA World Cup draw here in Moscow on Friday, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
The manager who guided his team to a play-off victory over Greece to qualify for the 2018 World Cup said Nigeria was the one African team he had hoped to avoid meeting at the group stages.
Reacting to a direct question from completesportsnigeria.com, Dalic said he has followed the Nigerian team because of the young and fantastic players paraded by the Super Eagles.
“I know your team very well. They are a very good side. They finished the qualifiers unbeaten and are not afraid of anybody. I’m not very happy to have Nigeria in my group. All of their players are in Europe and they are very unpredictable to play against. It is our first game and it will be difficult for us to play against your team,” he said.
On his team’s preparations for the World Cup, the 51-year old former footballer reckons that work will start immediately in order to have a good outing at the competition next year in Russia.
He said: “We now know our opponents and we must go and start work immediately. We have to go and look for video tapes of the games of all our opponents but I know it’s not going to be easy to play these teams, especially Nigeria.”
Argentina and Iceland are the two other teams in Group D