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World Cup: Dalić reveals if there will be changes for Belgium 

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic Euro 2020

Zlatko Dalić (Photo credit: Кирилл Венедиктов/Soccer.ru/Creative Commons)

Croatia take on Belgium on Thursday in their final group match at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Today, coach  Zlatko Dalić and Mateo Kovačić talked to the press ahead of the crucial match.

What do you expect from Belgium and what kind of Croatia can we expect?

– There is no safety net now. It’s an either-or match. A crucial encounter for both teams. Belgium did not forget how to play football overnight. Croatia has to be at the highest level. We need to repeat the performance vs Canada. 

We are playing against the second-ranked team in the world, which was ranked first four years. Belgium has a great national team, we certainly wouldn’t choose to play against them in a decisive match. We will not be fooled by some of their worse games and alleged problems. We are ready. We will not play for a point because a draw always brings something bad. We raised the criteria, we raised the game, energy and aggression. We have to preserve that and improve it even more – Dalić said, writes Gol.hr .

Will there be changes in the team?

– We played a good game against Canada. Both those who started and those who came on contributed. We have no reason to change anything much, but we have this last practice, so we’ll see.

Belgium coach Martinez has spoken highly of you. 

– He took over Belgium and led them to first place. Only a great expert and man can do that. We are playing against a great team, we must not relax for a second. However, we have our own idea and our own goal. When you play against De Bruyne and Lukaku, then you know what awaits you. We will not fall for those stories about the crisis in the Belgian team. We are ready for a big fight.

Mateo Kovačić’s thoughts about Belgium.

– The coach said it all. Belgium have a number of great players, it will be a tough game. We’re going to show our true colours, like we showed against Canada.

The schedule before the World Cup was difficult, we played a lot of games, but we all came prepared and concentrated. We expect to play a good game tomorrow, without the pressure like against Canada. 

I know Lukaku from Chelsea. He is a phenomenal player, he scored a lot of goals, he played a lot of big games. But we have prepared, we know that a difficult match awaits us. We have to be focused, we know what awaits us.

De Bruyne has been among the three best, if not the best, midfielders in the Premier League for years. He can decide the game with one move. He is a great player, but we have to focus on us and our game. 

They are number 2, and we are 12. It is nice, calm, there is no noise. 

Mateo’s thoughts about Joško Gvardiol and the rumours he s off to Chelsea. 

– I will not enter into those speculations. Gvardiol is a top player. Let him just keep it up and he’ll be a great player, he already is a great player. 

Can Belgium be the trigger like Argentina was four years ago?

– I think we played a very good game against Canada, first as a team, and then individually. I felt good. We have to continue to play the same way against Belgium, a team that in my opinion is the toughest opponent in our group, Gol.hr wrote.

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