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Zlatko Dalić: Joško Gvardiol is the best centre back in the world

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić was satisfied after the 0-0 draw with Belgium as his side advanced to the Round of 16 at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar on Thursday. 

His comments after the match. 

– I expected a war, Belgium can’t play badly three times. Croatia was great, we played a great first half. We had a clean penalty, VAR was against us again, the lines are drawn as it pleases. But we were not swayed, we expected Belgium to have opportunities. We were lucky in the end – said Dalić, 24sata writes.

A big congratulations, we attacked, went on the counter, it was a great match, hard to watch, hard to manage, hard to play – added Dalić.

Who would you like in the Round of 16?

– Spain should be our opponent. A great team with a great manager. We have had difficult experiences with them, we lost in extra time at the Euro. The most important thing is to rest, because we have a tough game behind us. (Dani) Olmo is there who we know very well and makes a big difference. But it doesn’t matter to us who will come, we are not afraid of anyone if we play like we did against Belgium – said the Croatian coach.

Four years ago in Russia, Dalić passed the group stages and reached the final.

– If I compare 2018 and today, we have a different team, a combination of experience and youth. If we look at the World Cup, there are more surprising results. Denmark and Belgium did not advance to the next stage, perhaps the period in which the World Cup was played contributed to this.

Who were the best for Croatia today?

– I don’t want to talk about individuals, we were a team. Nobody was spared, Perišić saved a goal in our box, then Luka came back. Gvardiol is the best centre back in the world. To play this maturely, it’s amazing. The way he plays, with what elegance he carries the ball.

At no point did we go for a point, but for victory. Belgium is a top team, we wanted to win because it led us to first place, we didn’t calculate. We were interested in winning – concluded Dalić.

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