Zlatko Dalić was overjoyed at the press conference, but also relieved. He is heading to his fourth major competition, another impressive result that he considers a success. The match was tough, and they didn’t expect it to be this difficult to make it through the group stage. However, October taught them to step out of their comfort zone and perform better in pressure situations.
The Croatian team may not have had the best opponents, but they struggled to score goals and keep possession. Despite this, they showed character and determination, which made them stronger and more prepared for the competition ahead. They are now heading to Germany with thousands of fans cheering them on, representing the values of Croatia: patriotism, togetherness, love, faith.
Dalić expressed his satisfaction with bringing back Budimir and Sosa after the World Cup. He tried to find younger attackers during qualifications but found none who could match their performance. Budimir kept quiet, worked hard and waited for his chance before scoring four goals in the last games. He also played well in defense and attacked relentlessly. Erlić was not relegated because of poor play in Latvia; instead, he provided a left foot on that side which proved beneficial.
Dalić was pleased with Marc Pašalić’s performance but felt that he lacked penetration and quickness in getting inside opposing defenses. However, Pašalić entered the game without fear and boldly took on his role on the right side of midfield. Dalić sees him as Croatia’s future if he continues at this level of play.
Despite Wales winning only two points this month, Dalić knew they would not win all four games against Croatia and France. However, he was thrilled that Croatia emerged victorious over Wales in what should have been an easy game for Wales against Latvia or Armenia but turned out to be challenging matches for Croatia due to their experience playing against bigger teams like Spain or Brazil during World Cup or Euro matches against France or Argentina.
Dalić believes that Croatia needs to fix a lot of things in their game if they want to repeat their successes at Russia 2018 World Cup and Qatar 2022 World Cup by being more efficient at scoring goals and creating chances while being more vertical and lethal in attacking play