HomeWorld Football

Croatia Coach Dalic Wary Of ‘Unknown’ Nigeria, Plans African Friendlies

Croatia Coach Dalic Wary Of ‘Unknown’ Nigeria, Plans African Friendlies

Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic has admitted they must study ‘unknown’ Nigeria to stand a chance of kicking off their campaign on a winning note at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Croatia and Nigeria are in Group D for the World Cup with Argentina and Iceland.

Croatia qualified for the World Cup by defeating Greece 4-1 on aggregate in the play-offs of the European qualifiers while Nigeria were unbeaten from their African qualifying zone, topping their group which had Algeria, Zambia and Cameroon with 14 points from six games.

Dalic, who took over from of Ante Cacic in October, is also wary of the coach of the Super Eagles Gernot Rohr who is a German.


“The Nigerians are an unknown team and we have to study them well, they are the first in their qualifying group without defeat, they are young, with the German leader at the helm. We have time to prepare everything, including the choice of camp,” Dalic told Croatia’s Football Federation offcial website hns-cff.hr.

“We will start to analyse the team and be ready for the World Cup, and the most important thing is for our players to be healthy and true, and we will be looking for friendly rivals outside Europe, from Africa, because we all know most about Europeans. Argentina, but our strategy has to come down to strong rivals and strong matches.

“It is a great pleasure and honour to be among the 32 best teams in the world, but that is Croatia and deserves everything that it has.

“The draw ceremony outcome could be better or worse. Argentina is one of the best teams in the world and Lionel Messi is one of the best players in the world, and playing against the best players in the world will be a great challenge and a great test.

“For the title, but we have to believe in ourselves and our team to play the best we can, and surely we can do a lot.”

Dalic signed a contract with Croatian Football Federation until 2020.

Copyright © 2023 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.


  • Let’s try get a draw with Croatia,then win Iceland,then against Argentina anything should happen

    • Don’t say it again, dat 1st match is more important is even to win Croatia and draw Iceland because Croatia might pose a threat than Argentina

    • If Croatia is not beaten in the first match,we should forget about qualifying for next round. Iceland topped their group in Europe ahead of Croatia. Croatia only qualify through play off .

  • Group D . Group of death

  • Who’s unknown btw Croatia and Nigeria

  • Is Croacia that is unknown thunder fire you there

  • Nigeria no longer play African style of Football,it better You play more Europeans Team than Africans Because Nigeria play more of European style than Africa.But as for Nigeria,We will Progress IF we don’t under-rate any team.S-Final is my own target.

  • Croatia is unknown is European football
    while Nigeria is a power house in African football
    illiterate coach

  • A very simple group but hard 2 qualify. I see Nigeria proceeding to the quarter final if we do the right thing at the right and let pray that our players should be injury free.

  • We are a difficult to under study now.. We have a mixed breed players.. Mixed breed style of football. African European style of football

  • Canuck 6 years ago

    Good luck to you guys. You have some solid wingers and forwards.

    But you have to be very scared of Croatia. Their strikers, wingers,and central midfielders are MURDER.

    Modric (Real Madrid), Rakitic (Barcelona), Brozovic (Inter Milan), Perisic (Inter Milan), Pjaca (Juventus), Mandzukic (Juventus)

    They even have benchwarmers like Kovacic (Real Madrid) and Kalinic (AC Milan) who rarely even play because of their insane midfield/striker/winger lineup. They are more offensively complete than Argentina.

    Croatia always does well in their second game of every tournament (after they get their first game jitters out). They play Argentina in that game and will likely get a point against them. It is important for Nigeria to get points in that first game against Croatia, or else they likely will need a win against Argentina.

  • Nigeria is unpredictable. U playing african friendly doesn’t mean u will get it. It is beta u play south american or stick to ur european style cus Nigeria is beyond that (secret) but that doesn’t stop 9ja to chastize croatia at the opening match. June 2018

  • This means this coach don’t learn at all.No football history.
    Arrogant coach

  • omo9ja 6 years ago

    For me, this group is very difficult. Croatia is going to be hard to Crack and Iceland also will be very challenging. I watched both teams video tape on YouTube, Nigeria should be very prepare for the world cup. Apart from beaten Argentina, they are the weakest team in our group and they will prove something that they were one of the former world champion. So, the earlier we prepare the better. God bless Nigeria!!!

  • Elliot wilkie 6 years ago

    What the Croatian coach meant is that,they have not met Nigeria before,and he hasn’t been following our play or tactics.

  • vincent Onuigwe 6 years ago


  • Chiazor 6 years ago

    I think Nigeria will come out of the group with Adequate preparation. This is the time for Nigeria to shine.

  • Imagine this ignoramus calling Nigeria “unknown”. He must’ve been living under a rock all these decades for him not to know Nigeria in football. How many times have Croatia been to the world cup.

  • Onyeagoro Johnson Chima 6 years ago

    Iceland have defeated Nigeria once by 3 ureplied goals.

  • We wary about them too

  • Nigeria want to bring the cup to African by all mis

  • Hmmm…..a prophet is not honoured in his home. Assuming we are not Nigerians, we’ll know that they don’t easily win possession from Mikel obi, that Ndidi has currently won more tackles than even kante this season…Patrick viera like.can someone mentioned a defender in d world..even Sergio Ramos that can silence moses for 90 minutes? Ekong was one of the best defenders at d Olympic… And I don’t need to add that he had even improved. Assuming there’s no play offs…Argentina and Croatia won’t be at the world cup. May be u av all forgotten that ur team passed Algeria, Cameroon, Zambia unbeaten. Remember…there won’t be players like Babatunde, uzoenyi, odunlami, egwekwe, ameobi, azeez at the world cup this time…even then they mentioned kolasinac, dzeko and others….let’s wait till then.

  • Argentina is the weakest team in the group

  • Emmanuel 6 years ago

    I watched Croatia’s playoff against Greece and it was just Modric, Rakitic, Perisic, and Brozovic playing “keep away” with the Greek midfielders chasing and chasing. Greece never looked dangerous in the entire 180 minutes of play over two games. Kovacic was not even playing and he’s Croatia’s second best dribbler. Greece was extremely physical too, but it didn’t matter.

    I am afraid that Nigeria’s midfield won’t be able to get possession from this Croatia team. I think Iceland will not pose as much of a threat and will finish last in this group. Iceland will be beaten by Croatia and likely Argentina too, which will benefit Nigeria.

    Croatia and Argentina will end up in a draw. The midfield is too evenly stacked but with Croatia having physically bigger players might be better for them on deadball plays.

    Nigeria needs to score some points in that first game against Croatia, simply because I think that Croatia will win against Iceland for sure and draw against Argentina. Unfortunately, I think Argentina will squeeze by Nigeria (again) with a narrow win.

    I expect Argentina to get 7 points, with Croatia either grabbing 7 points (unless we draw them) which means they will finish with 5 points, but still see Nigeria with 3 or 4 points. It will be tough, but a win in that first game is necessary.