Croatia: resilience and reliability at Qatar 2022

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Jose Antonio Pascual |

Doha, (EFE).- Croatia ratified in Qatar 2022 a good part of its footballing and mental characteristics, its virtues such as its resilience, its reliability and its competitive ability which sent it back to the semi-finals of the FIFA Cup. world.

With less than four million inhabitants, Croatia is a country that gives birth to great figures in most sports disciplines, who stand out for their skills and also for that innate inner strength that is essential in decisive moments.

His football is a clear example of this and his team is his flag. Abandonment is not part of his vocabulary. It’s not an option. On the contrary, his warrior spirit, as Zlatko Dalic and his students insisted once again at the Ciudad de la Educación stadium, brought them a new day of glory.

Croatian players react after winning the penalty shootout series during the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup quarter-final match between Croatia and Brazil at Ciudad de la Educación de Rayan stadium (Qatar) EFE/ Esteban Biba

This competitiveness and this ability not to give up make the checkered team a terribly dangerous team. Its history in the various editions of the World Cup bears witness to this.

When Croatia manage to get past the group stage – they failed to do so in 2002, 2006 and 2014 – they always reach at least the semi-finals and, as has happened since Russia 2018, their pulse does not tremble. not if he has to go to overtime. or shots on goal.

Croatia in the World Cup: from Suker to Modric

In France ’98, in their first World Cup appearance, this golden generation of Croatian football greats, led by Davor Suker among others, reached third place; In Russia 2018 they went further and reached the final, in which they ended up losing to France.

And now, after overcoming the round of hens in a more than hasty way, they won two penalties against Japan and the almighty and favorite Brazil, after balancing two opposing scores, to return to the semi-finals. On this occasion, it will be his turn to challenge another of the great contenders for the title, Argentina’s Leo Messi.

Ivan Perisic, one of the illustrious veterans of this Croatian team, canceled the advantage of the Japanese team to keep his team alive, but the goal, three minutes from the end of extra time, by Bruno Petkovic, was still more impressive, to balance Neymar’s previous goal and send the stake to penalties.

Unbeatable on penalties, also at Qatar 2022

In fact, Croatia have never lost in a penalty shootout at a World Cup. That’s four without fail. In 2018, he got rid of Denmark (3-2) and Russia (4-3); in this edition of Japan (3-1) and Brazil (4-2).

Croatia midfielder Luka Modric celebrates victory over Brazil
Croatian midfielder Luka Modric celebrates victory over Brazil in their quarter-final of the Qatar 2022 World Cup, in Doha (Qatar). EFE/Georgi Licovski

More reliability, competitiveness, almost impossible. Dalic was asked several times during the press conference after the game against Brazil where this mental strength came from. The technician was clear. Its players are tireless fighters. Luka Modric and his teammates accepted. Giving up is not an option.

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