No one can deny that the Croatian squad did not succumb to the despondency with the series of defeat in Iceland and Turkey besides the draw with Finland at home. With such a background even their playoff place was doubtful. In such a critical situation, the reins of the team were handed over to Zlatko Dalic temporarily. This proved a blessing in disguise for the team and the country as well. Probably the stint as an assistant coach for the Croatian U-21 team might have helped Dalic in executing a phenomenal job.
How they Qualified
As modestly admitted by the coach himself, the pep up and motivational communication coupled with the tenacity of the team paid off well. The credit goes to the entire team, and the coach for the decent 2-0 win over Ukraine followed by the perfect 4-1 playoff win over Greece, which ensured their place in the FIFA World Cup 2018.
The ace players like Ivan Rakitic, Mario Mandzukic, and Ivan Perisic enhanced the confidence level of the newly appointed coach. No doubt the overall contribution of each of the squad members had seen that they qualified for the Russian venue scheduled during June-July 2018.
With a view to performing at their best level, the strategy of the coach would commence right from selection of the squad to meet the challenges ahead on the field.
Goalkeeper: The choice of the coach depends on Lovre Kalinic, Danijel Subasic, and Dominik Livakovic to pick up the best goalkeeper to guard to poles.
Defenders: The final defenders on the field could be among Zoran Nizic, Domagoj Vida, Sime Vrasaliko, Matej Mitrovic. The option also extends to other players such as Josip Pivaric, Ivan Strinic, Marin Leovac and Dejan Lovren.
Midfielders: Among the midfielders, you may enjoy the action by Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic, Marcelo Brozovic, Ivan Rakitic and Marko Rog. Further, the choice of the coach may also extend to Filip Bradaric, Nikola Vlasic, and Mario Pasalic.
Forward Players: You may enjoy the efficient play by Ante Rebic or Nikola Kalinic or Andrej Kramaric or Mario Mandzukic.
The short-listing the right blends of players for the desired strategy keeping the fitness of players is the priority of the coach. The squad cannot undermine the ability and the tough fight from likely Iceland and Argentina, who are considered the tough rivals in the group. Similarly, the Nigerian squad has young talented potential players with hunger for a win. The pride and patriotism of the entire team members of the Croatian squad with the talent of displaying the excellence on the field might help in achieving the goals.