• Zlatko Dalic nominated for The Greatest FIFA Males’s Coach award
  • The Croatia head coach speaks in an unique interview with FIFA.com
  • “There are not any phrases to explain it”

There is no such thing as a doubt that the summer season of 2018 might be remembered in Croatia for generations to come back. About six weeks in the past, the Vatreni turned the smallest nation to succeed in a FIFA World Cup™ Last since Uruguay in 1950. Though they in the end misplaced 4-2 to France in a charming match, no one can take away the achievement of adidas Golden Ball winner Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Mario Mandzukic and their team-mates.

The architect of that success was coach Zlatko Dalic, whose meticulous work formed a workforce of world-class people right into a formidable unit. The 51-year-old’s efforts have been rewarded with a nomination for The Greatest FIFA Males’s Coach award.

Dalic as a participant

  • Defensive midfielder
  • Represented golf equipment together with Hajduk Break up, Velez Mostar and Varteks Varazdin

Dalic as a coach

  • Began out at Varteks and as assistant coach of Croatia’s U-21 facet
  • Received the Albanian Tremendous Cup with Dinamo Tirana and managed golf equipment in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the place he reached the AFC Champions League closing with Al-Ain
  • Changed Ante Cacic as Croatia head coach in October 2017

FIFA.com spoke solely with Dalic about his experiences over the previous few weeks and his nomination for The Greatest FIFA Males’s Coach award.

FIFA.com: It has been just a few weeks because the World Cup Last. How do you are feeling?
Zlatko Dalic: I nonetheless really feel like we’re all residing our desires. After we got here again, greater than 500,000 folks welcomed us in Zagreb, it was a day none of us will neglect. And afterwards, every of us bought their very own welcome of their dwelling metropolis – it is simply a tremendous interval, the entire summer season is unbelievable. After we noticed in particular person how a lot this consequence meant to the entire nation we realised how essential our journey in Russia was to all Croatians. I’m simply so pleased with my gamers who did one thing historic for themselves, for our soccer and for our entire nation.

Can you continue to imagine what you and your workforce achieved?
It can most likely take just a few extra years to grasp the magnitude of this consequence when it comes to sporting success. We perceive now how comfortable and proud we made our nation, however I believe we are going to solely begin to perceive how troublesome and wonderful it’s for a nation of 4 million folks to have two World Cup medals in 20 years. You understand how many international locations have greater than us in that time frame? Solely Germany and France. Not Brazil, not Italy, not Argentina, not Spain. That is spectacular and it is a testomony not solely to this workforce and the 1998 workforce, however to all of the gamers, coaches and individuals who work in Croatian soccer.

How was the return dwelling to Croatia after the ultimate?
There are not any phrases to explain it – watch the footage and you will get the sensation that we gained the World Cup. We drove for six hours from the airport to the principle sq. in Zagreb, and other people had been standing for ten hours within the solar simply to see the gamers’ bus for one minute. They had been so comfortable and proud, none of us will ever neglect these moments. The day after, the identical “loopy” welcome dwelling events had been organised in every participant’s dwelling cities—actually, the entire nation lived for our workforce throughout these days.

You’re nominated for the The Greatest FIFA Males’s Coach award. What do you concentrate on the nomination?
I’m very honoured to be included in that group with my colleagues, all of whom I respect very a lot. Particular person awards are at all times a consequence of workforce efficiency – that is the way it works for the gamers, and much more so for the coaches. Subsequently, I can solely thank my gamers for his or her outstanding efficiency on the World Cup, which allowed me to be on this place. In fact, I’m comfortable I might contribute to this historic consequence for Croatia, however I at all times give credit score to the gamers as a result of they’re those who play the sport.

Do you suppose you’ll win?
The essential wins had been these on the World Cup, in opposition to Nigeria, Iceland, Argentina, Denmark, Russia and England – any particular person recognition isn’t practically essential as that silver medal that we gained as a workforce. In fact, it might be one thing to understand and cherish, however successful it or not is not going to change the truth that this summer season was the perfect sporting interval of my life.

What do you concentrate on the opposite nominees?
After I have a look at the record of nominated coaches, I’m very honoured to be amongst these colleagues who all do an excellent job with their respective groups. I’m glad to see 5 World Cup coaches, it exhibits how essential that match is, and I might count on {that a} nationwide workforce coach would win this yr. Didier Deschamps did an excellent job with France, but it surely was spectacular what Stanislav Cherchesov did to take underdog Russia to the quarter-finals, for Gareth Southgate to take a younger England workforce to the semi-finals, and for Roberto Martinez to win a medal with Belgium. All of them did wonderful jobs. I’m grateful to all people who will respect our wonderful run within the World Cup. I believe we outperformed every of our opponents, even France within the closing—whereas I give them credit score for a deserved win.

Your participant Luka Modric is nominated for The Greatest FIFA Males’s Participant award. He additionally gained the Golden Ball on the World Cup. Do you suppose he’ll win The Greatest as effectively?
I do not know if he’ll win, however I’ll say this: I’ve little doubt that he deserves to win. For a variety of years, he has been a vital participant at Actual Madrid the place he gained 4 UEFA Champions League trophies. It’s troublesome for anyone to win a person award whereas Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are creating historical past with their goalscoring information, which is why they deserved to dominate them over the past ten years. However, Luka gained the adidas Golden Ball on the FIFA Membership World Cup, then he was once more a key participant throughout their Champions League victory after which went on to deservedly win the Golden Ball on the World Cup, the place he led Croatia as a participant and as a captain to glory. What extra can he do?

I can not consider a greater participant to succeed Ronaldo and Messi. He’s a humble, hard-working participant who at all times offers his finest, who leads by instance and who makes all people round him a significantly better participant. I do not see anyone who deserves it greater than Luka this yr, and I’m positive the soccer world sees it the identical method.

Are you able to describe your type of teaching?
It is completely different to teach in a membership than in a nationwide workforce, and I imagine it’s a must to adapt a bit of bit contemplating the circumstances, the gamers you will have at your disposal and the competitors you face. However, I attempt to be a participant’s coach. I wish to have relationship with the gamers, the place we belief one another, the place I’m utterly trustworthy with them and clear with my concepts and plans. They’re grown males and I deal with them as such, and I count on them to deal with me, my employees and teammates with respect as effectively. As soon as all people understands that we’re there for one another and that the workforce is above any particular person, that is basis to proceed engaged on ways, health and all the pieces else football-related.

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