Croatia’s head coach, Zlatko Dalic, says having four players featuring in the final of the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League and the UEFA Champions League confirms the quality in his side ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Completesportsnigeria.com
Croatia will clash with the Super Eagles of Nigeria in their first Group D match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup on June 16 in Kaliningrad before facing Argentina and Iceland on June 21st and 26th respectively.
Real Madrid’s duo, Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic will face Dejan Lovren’s Liverpool in the final of the UEFA Champions League while Sime Vrsalijko is expected to keep his place at right-back when Atletico Madrid face Olympique Marseille in the final of the UEFA Europa League.
“I am happy that many Croatia internationals have the opportunity to fight for club trophies, and I congratulate everyone who won silverware this season,” Dalic told the Croatia’s Football Federation’s official website.
Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic won double with Barcelona and Juventus respectively in the outgoing season.
“We are proud to have a Champions league winner sixth time running, and I wish Luka the best of luck. Mateo, and Dejan, as well as Sime in the Europa League final. This confirms the quality of Croatia’s side, and allow us to feel optimistic on the eve of the World Cup.
“The players look forward to the upcoming challenge, we are aware that the entire Croatia will breathe with us. We must do everything to justify our supporters’ love, trust, and expectations.”
The Croatian team is scheduled get into camp on 26 May in Zagreb, ahead of the two more friendlies lined up next month. The Vatreni will face Brazil on June 3 at Anfield before taking on Senegal in Osijek five days later.
They are expected to depart for Russia on June 11.