Croatia's National Team Coach Fights Back: 'We Are Always the Black Sheep'

Croatia licks its wounds after a false start at the Euros against Spain. National team coach Zlatko Dalic acknowledges that the defeat has not had a positive effect on morale, but he also believes that his team deserves more respect.

Croatia's National Team Coach Fights Back: 'We Are Always the Black Sheep' Embed from Getty Images

Dalic believes that Croatia is seen as a 'dark horse.' In his opinion, this is unjustified. 'The match against Spain was not great to watch, and we did not come away with a good feeling.

But we are always the black sheep. We are not considered favorites, even though we have won three trophies in the past six years. After France, we are the only country that has been able to do this, so I keep saying that Croatia deserves more respect for what we have achieved,' Dalic asserted during a press conference on Tuesday.

The Croatian national team coach emphasized the disparity in perception and reality by comparing Croatia’s success to that of England. 'We have won three trophies, while England has only won one in the last fifty years. Yet we are the black sheep. We are small but brave and will continue to fight. We have the right to be proud, and the results show that we are better than people think. I know there is little positivity after the defeat against Spain, but we will continue to do our best. We can be proud of what we have achieved in the past six or seven years. Croatia is much better than it is said to be,' said Dalic ahead of the second group match against Albania.

Despite the setback against Spain, Dalic remains optimistic about Croatia’s prospects in the tournament. He expressed confidence in his team’s ability to rebound and highlighted their resilience. 'Our team has shown time and again that we can compete with the best. We have talented players who are committed and passionate about representing their country. We may be underestimated, but we have proven our worth on the international stage,' he added.

Dalic also addressed the mental and emotional challenges his team faces, especially in light of their underdog status. 'It's not easy being constantly overlooked and underestimated. But this only fuels our determination to prove ourselves. The players are motivated and ready to give their all in every match. We are determined to make our nation proud,' he said.

Looking forward to the match against Albania, Dalic urged fans to continue supporting the team. 'The support from our fans is crucial. It lifts the players and gives them the extra energy needed to succeed. We are grateful for the unwavering support and hope to repay it with strong performances and positive results,' he concluded.

Updated: 11:04, 19 Jun 2024

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