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World Championship. Dalic and Scaloni’s words before the match between “model” Modric’s Croatia and “winner” Messi’s Argentina.

Zlatko Dalic (Coach of the Croatian national team, before the semi-final against Argentina) :”We are in the top four teams in the world, it is a great achievement for Croatia, especially to do it for the second time in a row after the 2018 final, but we want more. Argentina are a great team led by Messi who is in great form and they have more supporters than us, they will be even better than against Holland. We have analyzed our opponent, we know how they play. We are preparing for this. I am optimistic by nature, I trust my players, they have shown their qualities, their character. You don’t have to adapt too much to the opponent. We have to play our game (about fatigue after two overs) We’re not going to talk about fatigue. We have strength, energy, desire. All players are healthy. (Regarding the match against Argentina in 2018) It was a group game, not decisive. We had done our best, we were compact and strong. We will maintain this approach, but this meeting is irrelevant. It’s a great match for both teams, the stakes are high, it’s the final, we shouldn’t calculate and give our best.

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If they win, it could be the best game in Croatia’s history.

Zlatko Dalic

(Croatia’s biggest game) The biggest game in our history was the half against England in 2018 and then the half against Brazil in the quarterfinals this year. If they win, it could be the biggest match in the history of Croatia… (…) Everyone has the right to dream. Croatia achieved the dream of reaching the finals for a small country, no one expected little Croatia in the finals… (…) Four teams remain from 32. Only one team will celebrate at the end. It will have a great atmosphere. I believe that the Croats will be happy in the end.»

Lionel Scalloni (coach of the Argentine national team) :”The memory of 2018. It’s not good to compare matches, it will be different, but we know it’s a great team, great players and that they play as a team, a great football tradition. (…) They have a style of play, they are not going to change it. Lionel Messi? I am not surprised, I know him well, he has always been like that. There was always a winner. He loves to play football so much… The last World Cup for him? We will see if it will continue or not. We’ll have fun, that’s all we can do. If it is good, it will be perfect. But there is still a long way to go. It will be a difficult match, you just have to focus on it.

Croatia? A great football tradition.

Lionel Scalloni

(Criticism of the behavior of the Argentines after the match against the Netherlands) This is the kind of football. Sometimes you have to defend yourself, attack, sometimes there are arguments, fights… We cannot criticize our behavior. We respect all opponents, that’s our personality. (…) We play for Argentina, for our families… We are grateful to the Argentine fans. We know what it’s worth to come… They suffer with us every game, they support us. (DI Maria and De Paul are uncertain) They are fit, we will see how many minutes they can play, we still have time. (…) Mood is good. The best way to recover is to win. (in case of long layoffs) Is it news, is it a lack of confidence for the leading team…Luka Modric? He is a role model for many of us not only in his qualities but also in his behavior. If you love football, you want to see a player like this on the field…»

Statements made at the press conference

Source: Le Figaro

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