Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic says Brazil World Cup squad ‘scary’ | Football News

DOHA: Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic called BrazilThe “scary” side but say their side are not big underdogs in Friday’s quarter-final against the World Cup favourites.
Dalic’s side, runners-up at the 2018 World Cup, beat Japan on penalties on Monday to secure at least their third-best finish at the tournament.
The coach said on Tuesday he was proud of his team for showing the character and mentality to go this far in Qatar, but knows Brazil will be a whole different proposition.
“Brazil has (over) 200 million people, we only have four million, so we’re a bit like a suburb of a city in Brazil,” Dalic said.
“It will be a different game from any we have played so far because Brazil loves to play football.
“If we look at it realistically, Brazil are the best team in the tournament, they have a great choice of players, a great squad, it’s scary, so it’s a great test for us.”
Dalic said ‘it doesn’t get better’ than facing Brazil in a World Cup.
“Maybe we would prefer it to be the final rather than the quarter-final,” he added.
“We want to give maximum effort – we won’t surrender before the game. We want to counter Brazil’s quality with ours and we want to play football against them.”
Croatia have refreshed their squad in the four years since the last World Cup, with only a handful of veterans remaining, including captain Luka Modric and winger Ivan Perisic.
Dalic said this generation should not be compared to the team beaten by France in the final in Russia, as it largely comprised players spread across elite clubs.
“We have already achieved a historic result after achieving silver in 2018 and bronze in 1998, this is our third best Croatian result in the World Cup,” Dalic said.
“I wouldn’t make a comparison with the 2018 team, when you look at our players back then, they played for clubs like Barcelona, ​​Inter (Milan), Juventus, Liverpool, Real Madrid of course .
“When you compare it to today, we have six players from the Croatian Premier League, it’s a different team.
“But I take my hat off to this generation, because they are playing very well.”
Brazil beat South Korea 4-1 on Monday with one of the tournament’s best performances so far, but Dalic believes his side can contend with the five-time World Cup winners.
“Brazil are the favourites, we can see that there is a great atmosphere in the team, they have world-class players, Neymar is back from injury,” added Dalic.
“We have to be very smart in our approach. We can’t open up too much against Brazil, but we can’t sit back either.”
“It’s not 50-50, but we’re not big underdogs.”


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