19 March 2019 – The Croatian football team started its preparations on Monday for the upcoming EURO 2020 qualifiers with an opening training session in front of the fans in Zagreb.
Croatia face Azerbaijan on Thursday at Zagreb’s Maksimir stadium, followed by a meeting with Hungary in Budapest on Sunday.
The world vice-champions opened up tonight’s first session for the fans and there was a good turnout despite the damp, cold conditions in Zagreb.
Coach Zlatko Dalić put his squad through a light training run at the Hitrec-Kacian ground in front of around 1,000 fans. All the squad trained besides Inter Milan’s Ivan Perišić who joined the squad late on Monday evening.
Ivan Rakitić, Marcelo Brozović, Andrej Kramarić and Ante Rebić trained sepearately whilst Tin Jedvaj, who picked up an injury recently, is undergoing a special programme until Thursday in a hope he can be fit for Sunday’s match against Hungary.
Children from the Caritas kid’s home were invited to the training session and they had a chance to go on the field and meet their idols.
“Croatia has to modify the style of play presented at the World Cup. We are no longer playing against Argentina, England, or France, waiting for a counterattack. Now we have to keep possession, without any mistakes, because others will be waiting for a counterattack. A quick response is necessary when we lose the ball. Croatia has to stay patient, but look directly forward towards the opponent’s goal. We have a vision.I call upon Croatia fans, we need full crowd and their support. Let us stand together once again, like we did last summer. Azerbaijan and Hungary are tough challenges,” coach Dalić said on Monday.