Zlatko Dalic backs Igor Stimac to do 'a great job' with India


Croatia head coach Zlatko Dalic has said that his national team players are simple people who only needed a confidence boost to perform the way they did at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

In an interaction with Indian coaches hosted by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) on Friday, Dalic talked about how nobody believed in his side before the start of the competition two years ago. 

"When you see other teams with stars like (Cristiano) Ronaldo, (Lionel) Messi and Neymar (Jr.), nobody believed in us. We played as a team and not as one player. When you saw (Luka) Modric receiving the trophy for the 'best player' in the (2018) World Cup, he was sad because Croatia lost (the final). If you win a trophy for yourself, it's okay, but he (Modric) was not happy because his team lost.

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"Between me and the players, we stay together and never gave up. We do the best from our side. Most important also is the support of our people. Some people think it is more difficult with stars like (Luka) Modric, (Ivan) Rakitic, (Mario) Mandzukic, it is not true. They are simple people, they just need confidence. If you give them confidence, they will give everything from their side," said the 53-year-old.

Meanwhile, on the selection of his squad, he added, "When you play for the national team, you don't need (extra) motivation. My main task was to build the team and to keep them together. We were a big family and that's the reason for our success. I know that's not easy.

"It's not only my job but of Igor (Stimac) and Niko Kovac before me who made the selections and in the last 10 years everyone has been working (hard). I was in the right place at the right time."

The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed the Euro Cup 2020  to next year and with the 2022 World Cup in Qatar also not too far away, Dalic hopes to see India do well under Igor Stimac. 

"I hope we will do well in the next Euro Cup and World Cup in Qatar. I hope to see you also there. I am sure Igor will do a great job (with the Indian national team)," Dalic signed off. 

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