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Croatia boss aims to end Messi’s World Cup dream

Doha, Dec 12 (Prensa Latina) Just one day away ahead of semi-final clash with Argentina, Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić said on Monday that "it is incredible to reach two semifinals in a row, but we want more" in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Runner-up in Russia 2018, Croatia sneaked back into world´s top four teams as few gave a penny for their results, despite stability in the last five years.

In that regard, Dalić considered that if Croatia manages to beat Argentina it would be “the greatest success of all time”, slated for coming Friday at 22:00, local time, at the Lusail Stadium.

During the press release, the Croatian coach eased his message, as on Sunday he praised star forwarder Lionel Messi, but he also left a striking assessment of his actions on the field.

“He does not run a lot, nor does he run behind the ball. He awaits and receives the ball with all his strength and energy,” he said in an interview with the Spanish press, while adding that they will pay special attention to Messi.

“Man-to-man marking doesn’t work. We didn’t do it last time and we won’t do it now either. We need to cover passes and reduce space,” he said, while recalling Croatia´s 3-0 victory over Argentina in Russia 2018.

“That game was not decisive at all,” he said. “We’re a compact, hard-working and strong team, and we’ll continue with this approach. The final is at stake and we won’t spare any effort.

As for the wear and tear after two consecutive extra-time and penalty shootouts against Japan and Brazil, Dalić asserted that it is not a question of “whether we have strength, energy and enthusiasm.” “We have no doubt about it. All players are healthy and in good shape,” the coach enlightened.

We are in semifinals. We know how much effort to make and we are ready for it, he added.

Croatian attacking midfielder, second striker, or wing-back Ivan Perisic, on the other hand, stated that “everything is possible” after eliminating Neymar’s “canarinha”. “We will do our best to get the final. It will be a too complicated match.


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