Croatian coach Zlatko Dalić has spoken to the press on Tuesday as the national team started gathering today in Rovinj to prepare for Euro 2020.
Euro 2020 starts on June 11, and Croatia will play its first game on Sunday, June 13 against one of the hosts, England at Wembley stadium.
But before that, Croatia will play two friendly matches. First, on Tuesday, June 1, against Armenia in Velika Gorica, before facing Belgium on June 6 in Brussels.
”We are looking forward to it, today we will start training with a group of 11 players who finished their championships a little earlier. Pašalić and Vrsaljko are coming tomorrow, and the rest of the team on Friday, so we will be complete only then. Mateo Kovačić arrives after the Champions League Final. Three young players from the Croatia U-21 Euro team will join on June 4,’’ said Dalić at the start of the press conference.
How will Croatia line-up at Euro 2020
”We’re not going to change much, we’re going to stick to our 4-2-3-1 or 4-1-4-1 system. We depend a lot on Bruno Petković up front. The second version is 4-3-1-2 with two half-strikers. I think the most natural option for us is that what we played in Russia and what we mostly played in the Nations League and qualifiers,” Dalić added.
Croatia’s coach says that Belgium will be a real test ahead of the England match.
What are his concerns?
“I’m a little worried about Ante Rebić’s injury. Everything is fine for him, but I’m a little worried because that bad luck happens to him before tournaments. I can be happy and wish them to be healthy and to start serious work.”
Dalić also touched on one of the major concerns – set pieces – where Croatia has conceded a lot of goals in the past.
”It’s our chronic problem that has been going on for a long time. We can practice this the whole training, but each player must take part and take his share of responsibility. Now we will stay in the zone for a while, before we went man to man,” Dalić revealed.
Dalić says he has his scouts who have been studying England and how they have been playing.
“The match against England is certainly the most difficult match because we play against the host and one of the biggest candidates to win the European Championship. Likewise, we cannot ignore the Czechs who have eight players in the same club (SK Slavia Prague). They have been good this season in the Europa League. There are also the Scots, they are also hosts. But we know our goal – to win and advance from the group,” said Dalić.
Croatia’s coach also revealed how they have to work on one segment, and that is togetherness.
“I’m coming back to that for the hundredth time, we need togetherness. Togetherness and the result bring a good atmosphere in the national team. I have no problem with indiscipline or disobedience, but we have to work on strengthening togetherness, in a good atmosphere, we need it. We are still not a team yet, but we will change that.”
Finally, Dalić had a message for the fans.
“We miss the fans very much, I would dare to say that we miss them the most of all national teams. Football does not make sense without fans, but I hope that now the stadiums will be at least half full,” said Dalić, adding that it will certainly not be easy for fans coming to Euro.
“When we look at the conditions, the costs, the trip, the tickets, the quarantine, it’s not going to be easy for them. They’re a big support to us. We miss the fans a lot and that’s something we’ve been missing all this time,” the coach concluded.
Croatia sqaud – EURO 2020:
Dominik Livaković – Dinamo
Lovre Kalinić – Hajduk
Simon Sluga – Luton
Šime Vrsaljko – Atletico Madrid
Domagoj Vida – Bešiktaš
Josip Juranović – Legia
Dejan Lovren – Zenit
Duje Ćaleta-Car – Marseille
Domagoj Bradarić – Lille
Mile Škorić – Osijek
Borna Barišić – Glasgow Rangers
Joško Gvardiol – Dinamo Zagreb
Luka Modrić – Real Madrid
Marcelo Brozović – Inter
Milan Badelj – Genoa
Mateo Kovačić – Chelsea
Nikola Vlašić – CSKA Moskva
Mario Pašalić – Atalanta
Luka Ivanušec – Dinamo Zagreb
Bruno Petković – Dinamo
Ivan Perišić – Inter
Andrej Kramarić – Hoffenheim
Josip Brekalo – Wolfsburg
Ante Rebić – Milan
Mislav Oršić – Dinamo
Ante Budimir – Osasuna
*STAND BY – Ivica Ivušić, Filip Uremović, Marin Pongračić, Nikola Moro, Lovro Majer, Toma Bašić, Kristijan Lović, Marko Livaja