EURO 2012/ CROATIA, Bilić: "Italy? Our chances in the game are 50-50"
© foto di Daniele Buffa/Image Sport
Croatia started UEFA EURO 2012 in fine style, and coach Slaven Bilić told UEFA.com he expected his team to continue in the same vein ahead of their game with Italy in Poznan.
How recent criticism has spurred Croatia on
That is one of the reasons we are strong. It didn't seem to matter that we were ranked in the top ten teams in the world for the last five years, and that we'd won 42 games from 60. We went through a difficult period and if you come through, it just makes you stronger – and we did come through. That is what I keep telling my players: we should enjoy the EURO as we've had a lot of pressure to put up with.
On forward pair Mario Mandukić and Nikica Jelavić
I have to say I am impressed by them. It's fascinating how they play together. They combined well and got through a lot of running. They are also good off the pitch too – great friends. It's not easy to mark them because they are strong in the air and on the ground. But, we have other great forwards too: Eduardo and Kalinić. I am really satisfied, but as much as I have been impressed, this is what I expect of them. The important thing to tell them is that they're not under pressure to score goals, then the goals often come ...
On being underdogs against Italy
Over the last two years we are really used to being the favourites, but we are adaptable. Italy are the favourites on paper, while Spain are the favourites to be the top team in the group, but it's only on paper. We are aware it will be a more difficult game than against Ireland, but who the favourites are is irrelevant.
This is the European Championship. OK, maybe Italy are favourites, but it was such a minor factor for us in our preparations and we won't use it as an excuse. We came here with the goal to reach the next stage and for that it's necessary for us to have a good result against Italy.
The tactical challenge Italy pose
I really respect Italy and Mr Prandelli who has changed the team round in the last two years. He changed the style and philosophy, and they play more like Spain now. I take my hat off to them. I wouldn't say they are better than Spain, but their play is very diverse and they are difficult to analyse. But, like any other team, they have their own problems and blind spots and we will try to take advantage.
On going out to win
I think we have some top players, but players who are better when they have the ball than when they don't. We set our aims very high in every match and the Croatian public have high demands from us, expecting victory in every match we play. We will try to control the game, of course defending as a team is a priority, but we love having the ball. I think our chances in the game are 50-50.
Other news Other News
- 05 Mar 07:17 ITALY/ OFFICIAL, Leonardi is no longer Parma's General Manager
- 04 Mar 07:17 BOSNIA/ OFFICIAL, Misimovic retires
- 03 Mar 07:17 PERU/ OFFICIAL, Gareca is the new NT coach
- 02 Mar 07:57 ITALY/ PALERMO, Morganella injured
- 01 Mar 08:27 ITALY/ JUVENTUS, Vidal injured
- 28 Feb 07:57 BRAZIL/ SAO PAULO, Denis injured
- 27 Feb 07:17 ITALY/ FIORENTINA, Basanta injured
- 25 Feb 07:17 ITALY/ JUVENTUS, Pirlo injured
- 24 Feb 07:17 ITALY/ FIORENTINA, Tatarasanu injured
- 23 Feb 07:57 FRANCE/ PSG, Aurier and Lucas injured
- 22 Feb 08:30 ITALY/ FIORENTINA, Valero injured
- 18 Feb 07:17 FRANCE/ OM, Barrada undergoes surgery
- 17 Feb 07:17 ITALY/ AC MILAN, Alex underwent surgery
- 16 Feb 07:57 IVORY COAST/ OFFICIAL, Kolo Touré quits the NT
- 14 Feb 07:57 ITALY/ JUVENTUS, Asamoah recovering
- 13 Feb 07:57 GREECE/ OFFICIAL, Markarian is the new NT coach
- 10 Feb 07:57 FRANCE/ LILLE, Martin injured
- 09 Feb 07:57 SPAIN/ ATLETICO, Koke injured
- 06 Feb 07:17 SPAIN/ REAL MADRID, Rodriguez undergoes surgery
- 05 Feb 07:17 GERMANY/ SCHALKE, Huntelaar's suspension reduced
- 04 Feb 07:17 ITALY/ SASSUOLO, Terranova undergoes surgery
- 02 Feb 07:17 GERMANY/ BAYER, Kruse injured
- 30 Jan 12:10 FIFA, presidency candidates wait to see if they can stand for election
- 30 Jan 07:17 GERMANY/ BAYERN, Ribery injured
- 29 Jan 07:17 SPAIN/ REAL, Pepe still injured
- 28 Jan 07:17 SPAIN/ BARCELONA, Braida the new Sporting Director?
- 27 Jan 07:17 ITALY/ INTER, Two players injured
- 26 Jan 07:57 ITALY/ ROMA, Strootman injured
- 25 Jan 08:27 ITALY/ LAZIO, Djordjevic injured
- 24 Jan 07:57 ITALY/ LAZIO, Felipe Anderson still injured
- 23 Jan 07:57 ENGLAND/ MAN. CITY, Lampard injury
- 22 Jan 07:17 ITALY/ OFFICIAL, Kodra is Parma new president
- 21 Jan 07:17 ITALY/ UDINESE, Domizzi injured
- 20 Jan 07:17 GERMANY/ BORUSSIA, Two players injured
- 19 Jan 07:57 GERMANY/ MAINZ, Koo Ja-cheol injured
- 17 Jan 07:57 GERMANY/ HAMBURG, Holtby injured
- 16 Jan 07:17 ITALY/ LAZIO, Felipe Anderson out for three weeks
- 15 Jan 07:57 ITALY/ MILAN, Zapata injured
- 14 Jan 07:17 ITALY/ SAMPDORIA, De Vitis underwent surgery
- 13 Jan 07:17 GERMANY/ BAYERN, Alaba is back
- 12 Jan 07:57 GERMANY/ SCHALKE, Fahrmann injured
- 11 Jan 08:27 GERMANY/ WOLFSBURG, Junior Malanda dead
- 10 Jan 07:57 ITALY/ FIORENTINA, Sogliano the next Sporting Director?
- 09 Jan 07:17 ENGLAND/ ASTON VILLA, Vlaar injured
- 08 Jan 07:17 ITALY/ CESENA, Tabanelli undergoes surgery
- 07 Jan 07:57 GERMANY/ OFFICIAL, Dutt is Stuttgart new Sporting Director
- 05 Jan 07:57 SPAIN/ SEVILLA, Cristoforo underwent surgery
- 03 Jan 07:57 ITALY/ AC MILAN, Mexes out for one month
- 02 Jan 07:57 ITALY/ AS ROMA, Destro injured
- 31 Dec 07:17 ENGLAND/ EVERTON, Hovard injured
- 30 Dec 07:57 ITALY/ CAGLIARI, Nani the new Sporting Director?
- 29 Dec 07:57 HOLLAND/ NAC, Matic will play for Macedonia
- 28 Dec 08:27 MAN. UTD, Di Maria injured again
- 25 Dec 07:57 ITALY/ PARMA, Jorquera underwent surgery
- 24 Dec 08:30 GREECE/ OFFICIAL, Sarris is no longer the Federation's president
- 23 Dec 07:17 SPAIN/ GETAFE, Lafita injured
- 22 Dec 07:57 SPAIN/ REAL MADRID, Marcelo injured
- 19 Dec 07:57 PERU/ OFFICIAL, Bengoechea is no longer the NT coach
- 16 Dec 07:17 BOSNIA/ OFFICIAL, Bazdarevic is the new NT coach
- 15 Dec 18:00 EUROPA LEAGUE, 16th finals draws
- 15 Dec 17:30 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, 8th finals draws
- 15 Dec 07:57 GERMANY/ BORUSSIA, Mkhitaryan injured
- 12 Dec 07:17 ITALY/ OFFICIAL, New owners for Parma
- 11 Dec 07:57 ENGLAND/ MAN. UTD, Smalling injured
- 10 Dec 16:24 SWITZERLAND/ FC BASEL, Streller: "First I am very proud of the team"
- 10 Dec 13:30 SWITZERLAND/ FC BASEL, Sousa: "It's about creating more history for this great club"
- 10 Dec 07:57 ITALY/ FIORENTINA, Babacar injured
- 09 Dec 15:00 RUSSIA/ CSKA MOSCOW, Rasmus Elm risking to quit football due to stomach sickness
- 09 Dec 07:57 PORTUGAL/ SPORTING, Nani injured
- 08 Dec 07:57 GERMANY/ STUTTGART, Rudiger injured
- 07 Dec 08:30 ITALY/ NAPOLI, Koulibaly injured
- 06 Dec 07:57 ITALY/ ATALANTA, Surgery for Raimondi
- 05 Dec 07:57 ITALY/ JUVENTUS, Romulo has undergone surgery
- 04 Dec 07:17 BRAZIL/ OFFICIAL, Miranda is Vasco new president
- 03 Dec 07:57 ENGLAND/ MAN. UTD, Di Maria out for two weeks
- 02 Dec 07:57 ITALY/ ATALANTA, Raimondi injured
- 01 Dec 07:57 FRANCE/ MONACO, Kondogbia out for two months
- 30 Nov 08:27 SPAIN/ REAL SOCIEDAD, Agirretxe injured
- 29 Nov 07:57 ITALY/ JUVENTUS, Surgery for Asamoah
- 28 Nov 07:57 ITALY/ NAPOLI, Michu underwent surgery
- 27 Nov 07:17 SPAIN/ BARCELONA, Vermaelen out for five months?
- 26 Nov 07:57 SERBIA/ OFFICIAL, Ćurčić is the new NT coach
- 24 Nov 07:57 GERMANY/ BORUSSIA, Reus injured again
- 23 Nov 08:27 ITALY/ ROMA, Torosidis injured
- 22 Nov 07:57 FRANCE/ GUINGAMP, Toivonen recovers
- 21 Nov 07:17 BULGARIA/ OFFICIAL, Penev is no longer the NT coach
- 20 Nov 07:57 SPAIN/ ATLETICO, Miranda out for three weeks
- 19 Nov 07:57 GERMANY/ BAYERN, Lahm out for three months
- 18 Nov 07:17 BOSNIA/ OFFICIAL, Susic is no longer the NT coach
- 17 Nov 07:57 GREECE/ OFFICIAL, Ranieri is no longer the NT coach
- 16 Nov 08:27 GEORGIA/ OFFICIAL, Ketsbaia is no longer the NT coach
- 15 Nov 07:57 SPAIN/ BARCELONA, Rafinha injured
- 14 Nov 07:17 ITALY/ JUVENTUS, Ogbonna injured
- 12 Nov 07:17 DENMARK/ BRONDBY, Agger injured
- 11 Nov 14:14 DENMARK, Jorgensen quits football: "Proud of my career"
- 11 Nov 07:17 GERMANY/ BORUSSIA D., Reus injured
- 10 Nov 19:00 ITALY, Conte: "Balotelli not different "
- 10 Nov 07:17 ITALY/ NAPOLI, Insigne injured
- 08 Nov 07:57 GERMANY/ BAYERN, Alaba underwent surgery
- 06 Nov 16:14 ENGLAND, Hodgson explains Saido Berahino England squad call up
- 05 Mar 09:00 FRANCE/ OFFICIAL, Kehli renews with Metz
- 05 Mar 08:45 GERMANY/ BORUSSIA, Also Savic on the wishlist
- 05 Mar 08:30 ITALY/ EMPOLI, Idea Viviani
- 05 Mar 08:15 ROMANIA/ OFFICIAL, Petrolul sign Tchité
- 05 Mar 08:00 ITALY/ AC MILAN, Lead on Valdifiori
- 05 Mar 07:40 BRAZIL/ OFFICIAL, Vasco da Gama sign Dagoberto
- 05 Mar 07:17 ITALY/ OFFICIAL, Leonardi is no longer Parma's General Manager
- 05 Mar 06:57 OM, Morel: "I would like to stay"
- 05 Mar 06:39 SCHALKE, Stevens: "I am not a rookie"
- 05 Mar 06:00 MALAGA, Torres: "It was easy to accept the club's offer"
- 05 Mar 00:00 NAPOLI, Mertens: "My future? I am happy here"
- 04 Mar 23:37 PORTUGAL/ FC PORTO, Trying to keep Casemiro
- 04 Mar 23:17 SPAIN/ MALAGA, Gracia remains
- 04 Mar 22:59 HOLLAND/ PSV, Two clubs after Piroe
- 04 Mar 22:39 SPAIN/ VALENCIA, Keen on Salvio
- 04 Mar 22:20 FRANCE/ PSG, Maxwell about to renew
- 04 Mar 22:00 SPAIN/ ATLETICO, Interest for Cavani denied
- 04 Mar 21:37 ITALY/ FIORENTINA, Pizarro likely to renew
- 04 Mar 21:17 HOLLAND/ FEYENOORD, Interest for Guidetti confirmed
- 04 Mar 20:59 ITALY/ AC MILAN, Sprint for Josè Mauri
- 04 Mar 20:39 GERMANY/ AUGSBURG, Auction for Baba
- 04 Mar 20:20 SPAIN/ SEVILLA, Emery likely to renew
- 04 Mar 20:00 ITALY/ AC MILAN, Dreaming Klopp
- 04 Mar 19:22 GERMANY/ BAYERN MUNICH, Lahm: "I might not retire in 2018 after all"
- 04 Mar 19:05 ENGLAND/ CHELSEA, Mourinho: "Zouma is Terry's successor"
- 04 Mar 18:48 FRANCE/ PSG, Maxwell's agent: "Close to new deal"
- 04 Mar 18:33 ENGLAND/ ARSENAL, Ozil must improve
- 04 Mar 18:16 ENGLAND/ MAN UTD, No decision on Falcao yet
- 04 Mar 18:00 GERMANY/ SCHALKE 04, Heldt: "We have the chance to sign Nastasic"
- 04 Mar 17:47 PORTUGAL/ PORTO, Eye on Sergi Darder
- 04 Mar 17:35 SPAIN/ ATLETICO MADRID, Simeone in touch with Cavani
- 04 Mar 17:15 ENGLAND/ TOTTENHAM, Lacazette for the next season
- 04 Mar 17:00 ENGLAND/ MAN CITY, Also Rodgers for the after Pellegrini
- 04 Mar 16:26 FRANCE/ O.M, Bielsa: "If I stay depend on the club"
- 04 Mar 16:15 ENGLAND/ CHELSEA, Eye on Dendoncker
- 04 Mar 16:00 SPAIN/ BARCELONA, Scouts to observe in Brazil Kenedy
- 04 Mar 15:29 ITALY/ JUVE, Tevez and a deal not signed yet
- 04 Mar 15:16 SPAIN/ BARCELONA, Alves'agent: "In advanced talks with other club"
- 04 Mar 15:00 ITALY/ NAPOLI, Duel to AC Milan on Valdifiori
- 04 Mar 14:45 WEST HAM & LIVERPOOL, Both willing to purchase Song from Barça
- 04 Mar 14:30 ITALY/ AS ROMA, Renewal offer submitted to Seydou Keita
- 04 Mar 14:15 ENGLAND/ MANCHESTER CITY, A new suitor for Jovetic
- 04 Mar 14:00 GERMANY/ BORUSSIA DORTMUND, Eyes on Croatian youngster Coric
- 04 Mar 13:45 ENGLAND/ ARSENAL, Kramer on target again
- 04 Mar 13:29 ITALY/ AS ROMA, Attempt for Ricardo Rodriguez ready
- 04 Mar 13:14 GERMANY/ BAYERN MUNICH, Boateng: "I rejected Barcelona"
- 04 Mar 12:57 GERMANY/ FC NURNBERG, Schopf likely to extend
- 04 Mar 12:43 ARSENAL, To boast three billionaires listed on Forbes
- 04 Mar 12:30 REAL MADRID & MANCHESTER UNITED, Final duel for Danilo
- 04 Mar 12:15 ENGLAND/ TOTTENHAM, Soldado might be the key for signing Bacca
Lahm has exclusively revealed he may renege on his claim that he will retire from football in 2018.
The Bayern Munich captain, who quit international football after winning the World Cup with Germany in 2014, claimed upon signing a new four-year deal with his club side last su
Interviewed by Rai Sport, Napoli winger Dries Mertens has declared: "A future in Naples? I am happy here, the competition is positive because it
Interviewed by AS, Jorge Cysterpiller, agent of Villarreal forward Luciano Vietto, has declared: "Many important clubs are after hi,. He could jo
Arsenal boast three billionaires listed on Forbes annual rich list.
Alisher Usmanov, who owns 15 per cent of the north London club, is the richest
Interviewed by TMW, OM president Vincente Labrune has declared about the possibility for his team's head coach Marcelo Bielsa to join Inter Milan:
Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola has declared: "I will remain here for a long time, because I am very happy at Bayern. I want to honor my contra