Croatia forward Andrej Kramaric has revealed to Croatian media that his country’s biggest challenge at the group stages of the 2018 FIFA World Cup is how to stop group D opponents Nigeria in order to get through to the next round of the competition and ultimately do better than they did at the 2016 European Championships.
What are your expectations for the 2018 World Cup?
We have an excellent generation of players in this team but we can do with a little bit of luck if we must qualify from this group.
Which team in group D are you afraid the most of?
Nigeria are the most difficult opponents for us because they are our first match in the tournament and it is very important to start very well. In addition, we expect a difficult match against Argentina who are also very strong opponents.
As an attacker, how easy is it to play in front of such a stellar midfield line of Rakitic, Modric and Kovacic?
This is one of the best midfield in the world and they play for the best teams so I need to try to match their level.
What do you think about the atmosphere in the team?
Everything is great, we are collected, concentrated, have good team spirit and unity. We need to prepare well for the first game.
How do you like St. Petersburg and the base camp in Roshchino?
We just arrived in Russia and almost immediately we were off to training. We did not have time to see the city, but I can say that the hotel is excellent – it’s natural, the lake and the forest.
Will the elimination of Croatia in the first round of Euro 2016 strongly motivate the team to perform better in Russia?
We were worried that the European Championships ended just like that for us. In France, we could have played better if we were a little bit more lucky. But we want to do better in Russia.
What is Modric’s role in the team?
Luka is a very important player for our team. This is one of the best players on the planet.