Croatia take on Belgium this Friday at Maksimir Stadium in the capital Zagreb (18:00) in an important World Cup qualifier, but one former international, who plyed his trade in Belgium with Standard Liege, says that Croatian should not be playing at the stadium, calling it the ugliest in the world.
Former goal keeper Vedran Runje, who played during Euro 2008, told Belgium media that Croatia would be favourites for Friday night’s match at the stadium he has called a ‘mockery’.
“With regards to the stadium, I can say Maksimir is one of the ugliest in the world. It is not worthy of a national team such as Croatia,” said Runje, who was not mincing words, before pointing out that Croatia would be favourites for Friday’s clash despite Belgium being on top of the group.
“Croatia is favourite. We are playing at home and that is our advantage. Nevertheless, we must admit that your national team is impressive,” said Runje.
“Your team is lively, fast, excellent in attack. Croatia, however, has Luka Modric, who likes to hold the ball and create chances,” said the stopper who was a product of the Hajduk Split system.
Apart from having a go at Croatia’s national stadium, Runje also had a dig at some selection policies.
“Why does Halilovic (Alen) get called up for the senior national team, but still is not a regular with Dinamo Zagreb’s first team?” questioned Runje. “I am a huge fan of the Croatian team, so I am speaking from the heart. Maybe Stimac (Igor) sees things that I can not, but…I do not doubt that Halilovic will be one of the best players in the world, but the question is how ready is he for the national team when he still is not in the first team at Dinamo,” Runje told Belgium’s Lavenir.