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[PHOTOS] Croatia U-17s Return Home to Warm Welcome

Croatia U-17 land in Zagreb on Tuesday (photo/dragosopta/hns)

Croatia U-17 land in Zagreb on Tuesday (photo/dragosopta/hns)


The Croatian football side have returned from the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile to a warm welcome in Zagreb…

Dario Bašić’s side, who recorded the nation’s best result at a World Cup since 1998 by making the quarter-finals in Chile, were officially welcomed at Zagreb airport upon their arrival yesterday.

The Croatian youngsters had a lot to be proud of at the tournament, beating World Champions Nigeria and European Runners-up Germany on their way to the quarter-final.

Croatia were knocked out by Mali in the quarters (photo/dragosopta)

Croatia were knocked out by Mali in the quarters (photo/dragosopta)

“What can you say after such excellent results and an imposing streak of 15 games without a loss except congratulations and a big thankyou for the way they battled and conducted themselves,” said Croatian Football Federation board member Stjepan Merkaš.

Coach Bašić then thanked all of those who contributed to the results in Chile, including the parents of the young players.

Coach Dario Bašić speaking at Zagreb Airport

Coach Dario Bašić speaking at Zagreb Airport

“It’s hard to stay calm in this emotional moment. I want to thank all the people at home who were following and supporting us, it meant a lot to us in times when we had to give our best and when we found it difficult. We have shown in every game that we are trying to make another step forward. The players showed their footballing skills, character, and that they belong at the top of world football. They made me proud,” he said.

The last words were left captain Nikola Moro.

Captain Nikola Moro (photo/dragosopta)

Captain Nikola Moro (photo/dragosopta)

“I want to thank the coaching staff and all the players for the past month in which we achieved big results for our country and the national team. I want to thank all our supporters, especially in the tough times. They gave us the strength and I hope we made Croatia proud,” Moro concluded.

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