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Croatia Set to Build Up for World Cup with Matches in USA

Croatia negotiating friendlies ahead of the World Cup in Russia (Photo: Goran Lausic/HNS)

Croatia look set to play matches in America in the build-up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

According to an exclusive report in daily Sportske Novosti, the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) is currently close to finalising a deal which will see the Croatian national team play a tournament in the United States in March next year.

“Currently we are negotiating about the organisation of friendly matches. One option, which is very attractive and which will most likely be accepted, is a tournament in the United States in which at least four national teams will take part in, two of which will definitely be Peru and Mexico,” HNS Director Damir Vrbanović said, before adding.


“After the draw in Moscow, we got a lot of invitations and offers (for friendlies). This offer is very serious and coach Zlatko Dalic and his team are currently discussing it. We have yet to confirm, but we most likely will,” Vrbanović told Sportske Novosti.

Croatia, albeit an understrength side, played for the first time in the United States earlier this year when they beat Mexico 2-1 at Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles.

Croatia took on Mexico earlier this year in Los Angeles (HNS)

It is reported that the matches will likely be played in Florida, Texas, Miami, and Dallas.

“We have played Mexico before, we know how strong they are, Peru is a side on the rise, so, all in all, it will be excellent. It is important that Croatia plays with the cream of European and world teams. Coach Zlatko Dalic wants to play against the best, he has no fears. He would play against Brazil if he could,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, HNS has confirmed the base for Dalic and his side at the World Cup in Russia next summer. Croatia will be based at Forest Rhapsody in Leningrad Oblast.

Croatia’s base in Russia Forest Rhapsody (HNS)

Forest Rhapsody

Croatia will meet Nigeria, Argentina, and Iceland in group play starting next June.

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