June 18 – Ivan Perisic has said that Croatia have nothing to fear because of their experience against Spain.
In the semi-finals of the final four, the Croatians eliminated hosts the Netherlands with a spectacular 4-2 extra-time win and they relish the opportunity to claim silverware for the first time, having reached the last four of the World Cup on three occasions.
“We have nothing to fear,” said Perisic at a news conference. “We almost play 10 years together. The Spanish team has a lot of new, young players, but they do play for a great club. I am sure that we will find the necessary energy. Yes, we do have more experience than they do, having been runners-up at the 2018 World Cup and then third in Qatar.
“We may have a little comparative advantage, but no one is a real favourite against Spain.”
The Croatians will once again be able to count on the support of their fans. Against the Netherlands, around 15,000 fans of the Vatreni attended the semi-finals, but Sunday could see an invasion of Croatian supporters in the Dutch port city with up to 25,000 fans expected. “We have an extra motivation when you see so many fans coming to a different country,” commented Perisic.
The World Cup bronze medallists will be without Josko Gvardiol, who had to withdraw from the tournament because of injury, but they remain confident of a positive outcome against Spain.
“We had a great World Cup in Qatar, where we were a team that have played great matches and put together great results,” said Dalic. “I think our game has not changed much since.
“But I believe that the team has over the last years built up a sort of continuity and developed into a football superpower, so I’m really happy for that.”
Contact the writer of this story at email@example.com