Zlatko Dalić: Argentina Will Be Croatia’s Easiest Game

Zlatko Dalić: Argentina Will Be Croatia’s Easiest Game
Jun 21, 2018

Argentina Croatia FIFA World Cup News

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić believes Argentina will be the “easiest game” for the Croatians in the group stage in a group that also contains Nigeria and Iceland, though he has since claimed that his comments were due to the lack of pressure on his side.

Croatia beat Nigeria 2-0 to kick off their World Cup campaign. Argentina, however, drew with Iceland which means they would desperately need to win to put their campaign back on track. Ahead of the game, Dalic argued that no one expects Croatia to win on Thursday so the pressure is off.

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Dalic told ESPN: “I didn’t say that Argentina was the easiest opponent. I said that this was the easiest game for us. We have nothing to lose. We are playing against one of the best.

We have three points in the bag,” the 51-year-old added.

Both Dalić and midfielder Ivan Rakitić both referred to Lionel Messi as the best in the world this past week.

I will just repeat once again: For me, Lionel Messi is the best player of all time,” said Rakitić.

Rakitić and Dalic praised Argentina but also said that Croatia are even more determined to beat them. Obviously, Dalic has asked Rakitic to use his knowledge of playing with Messi at Barcelona to advise Croatia’s players on how to stop him.

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What can I tell them that they don’t know?” Rakitić said. “The world knows. Messi is one of the best players in the world. He will have his moments, clearly. It is up to us to stop him, to play the right way against him, and to enjoy the match and play our best.

It’s a beautiful thing to play against one of the best teams in the world. We are especially motivated,” he added.

The stage is set for a crunch tie at Nizhny Novgorod on Thursday. A Croatia win would certainly secure qualification and prematurely end Argentina’s campaign. But Argentina need to win to gain some credibility as contenders after the Iceland game.

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