ZAGREB, 22 November 2021 – Former striker Mario Mandžukić was formally appointed part of the coaching staff of the Croatian national team today, HNS has confirmed.
“Thanks to coach Dalić and President Kustić for the trust – we really easily agreed on cooperation, which I am extremely looking forward to. I know how much the national team meant to me as a player and I want to pass that passion, but also my experience, to the new generation. Reaching Qatar, we now have a year of peace to prepare well for the World Cup through friendly matches and the Nations League in the coming period,” said Mandžukić.
Mandzukic (35) joins Zlatko Dalic’s staff after ending an impressive playing career this summer. He played 89 times for Croatia, scoring 33 goals. He is the second most prolific striker for Croatia after Davor Šuker who scored 45 goals.
Mandžukic scored a number of important goals for Croatia during his career, but none more so than his extra-time winner against England in the World Cup semi-final. He also scored in the World Cup final. After starting his career at Marsonia, Mandžukić played for NK Zagreb, Dinamo Zagreb, VfL Wolfsburg, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Al-Duhail and lastly for AC Milan.
He has won numerous league titles and cups, as well as the UEFA Champions League with Bayern Munich back in 2012-13.
“I always say that the ‘Vatreni’ should stay close to the national team, and that is why I am very glad that Mario is with us again. In talking to him, I was convinced of how dedicated, interested and willing he is to help, and I think his exceptional experience will be very useful. I think we got a valuable reinforcement in the staff because I know with how much effort and commitment Mario approaches everything in life and that is why I look forward to working again,” said coach Dalić.
“Of course, as a federation, we supported the agreement between the coach and Mario, which will certainly make an important contribution to the work of the professional staff. His playing career, both national and club, can be a role model for every young player, and I have no doubt that everyone will be able to learn a lot from him. As a player he was a symbol of fighting spirit, hard work, winning attitude and unwavering character, and I am glad that he will be able to promote these values as a coach in the A national team,”said the president of the Federation Marijan Kustić told HNS.