Croatian football federation President Davor Šuker won a FIFA World Youth Cup in Chile in 1987 with Yugoslavia, and the former Real Madrid and Arsenal striker believes Croatia’s current U-17 side can achieve a similar feat when they head to Chile later this year…
Croatia’s U-17 qualified for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile, the same venue which was a happy one for a number of Croatian players 28 years ago, when they finished in the top six at the European Championships after beating Italy earlier this week in Bulgaria.
“There will be a lot of Croatians (in Chile) and we will have a lot of support. It is a great start for one of these players to develop a big career. I believe that we will rejoice in Chile,” said Šuker as he welcomed the side back from Bulgaria.
Croatian FA technical director, Romeo Jozak, agrees with Šuker that this generation of players can achieve big things and that some will go on to wear the national team shirt at senior level.
“From this generation we expect a number to play for the senior team, maybe even six of them. Of course our long-term goal is to qualify for these youth tournaments, but first and foremost creating players for the Croatia senior team is our main aim,” said Jozak.
Šuker and four of his teammates (Zvonimir Boban, Igor Štimac, Robert Prosinečki, Robert Jarni) from Croatia’s successful FIFA World Cup in France in 1998, were members of the winning Yugoslav side in 1987. The FIFA U-17 World Cup will be held in Chile from 17 October to 8 November.
(photo credit: Drago Sopta / HNS)