Croatia coach, Zlatko Dalic, says that the appointment of German coach Gernot Rohr has been key to the recent impressive rise of the Super Eagles.
Rohr was appointed Super Eagles coach in 2016, and he guided them to their sixth World Cup qualification after finishing atop a tough qualifying group that also had Cameroon, Algeria and Zambia for 2018 World Cup.
The Eagles’ first game in Russia is against Croatia on June 16. They will also face debutant Iceland and Argentina.
In a chat with Associated Press Television News (APTN) Dalić, 51, admits the game against the Eagles will be his side’s hardest in the group.
“The first match against Nigeria will be the key to our group. We are playing against an African team. They have a German coach that has changed the style of their game and has introduced a lot of young players in the national team who are young, hungry and ambitious and that’s their advantage. This is going to be the toughest game for us,” Zlatko Dalic stated.
On their clash against group favourites Argentina, Dalic believes it will be easy compared to the game against the Super Eagles.
“For me, the match against Argentina will be the easiest match in the group. We are against the favorites to win the World Cup.
“Any team that has Messi can make a miracle. He is the best player in the world for me. It will be a great match for the two teams that play good football and have great technical skills.
“We have nothing to lose in the fight, and we are playing against one of the best teams in the world. It is a great motive for us.”