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 Manděukić 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
- 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
- 06 Nov 07:17 ENGLAND/ EVERTON, Alcaraz injured
- 05 Nov 07:17 ITALY/ FIORENTINA, Bernardeschi out for 5 months
- 04 Nov 10:30 PREVIEW: Arsenal v Anderlecht: Possible lineups
- 04 Nov 07:57 GERMANY/ SCHALKE, Draxler injured
- 03 Nov 07:17 GERMANY/ BORUSSIA D., Hummels injured
- 01 Nov 07:57 SPAIN/ SEVILLA, Iborra injured
- 31 Oct 08:30 SPAIN/ VALENCIA, Parejo injured
- 30 Oct 07:57 ITALY/ NAPOLI, Zuniga may need surgery
- 28 Oct 12:09 Menís shortlists for FIFA Ballon díOr 2014 revealed
- 28 Oct 08:30 ITALY/ FIORENTINA, Fernandez injured
- 27 Oct 10:57 Orlando Pirates announce South African NT goalie Senzo Meyiwa's decease in gunfire
- 24 Oct 20:00 ENGLAND, Ferdinand: "I'm not fearful of retirement"
- 24 Oct 07:57 ITALY/ INTER, M'Vila injured
- 23 Oct 07:17 FRANCE/ PSG, Ibra may need surgery
- 22 Oct 07:57 ITALY/ OFFICIAL, Rogg is Fiorentina new General Manager
- 21 Oct 07:57 GERMANY/ BAYERN, Starke injured
- 20 Oct 07:17 ITALY/ SAMPDORIA, Viviano injured
- 19 Oct 08:30 ENGLAND/ ARSENAL, Wilshere injured
- 17 Oct 07:17 BRAZIL/ SAO PAULO, Pato injured
- 16 Oct 22:20 ROMANIA/ OFFICIAL, Piturca is no longer the NT coach
- 16 Oct 07:17 ITALY/ INTER, D'Ambrosio injured
- 15 Oct 07:17 SPAIN/ ATHLETIC, Muniain injured
- 14 Oct 12:00 EXCLUSIVE TMW - Louis Saha: "I'm a fan of Marchetti"
- 14 Oct 11:57 BARCELONA, Iniesta has won the Golden Foot 2014
- 14 Oct 07:17 SPAIN/ VALENCIA, Negredo recovering
- 13 Oct 07:57 ITALY/ INTER, New medical tests for Osvaldo
- 11 Oct 07:57 ITALY/ ATALANTA, Season over for Estigarribia
- 10 Oct 07:17 ITALY/ PARMA, Bidaoui underwent surgery
- 09 Oct 18:15 FRANCE, Injury scare forces Koscielny out of France squad
- 09 Oct 17:59 UEFA, Infantino refuses to rule out 39th game approval
- 09 Oct 07:17 ENGLAND/ ARSENAL, Ozil injured
- 08 Oct 16:31 Kaka: "Iím better now than I was in 2010"
- 08 Oct 07:17 BRAZIL/ OFFICIAL, Maxwell quits the NT
- 07 Oct 07:17 GERMANY/ BAYERN, Reina injured
- 06 Oct 07:57 SPAIN/ EIBAR, Abraham injured
- 04 Oct 07:57 HOLLAND/ OFFICIAL, Kuyt quits the NT
- 03 Oct 07:57 ITALY/ FIORENTINA, Richards injured
- 02 Oct 07:17 GERMANY/ BAYERN, Sammer to renew
- 01 Oct 07:17 GERMANY/ HAMBURG, van der Vaart is back
- 30 Sep 07:17 ENGLAND/ ARSENAL, Ramsey injured
- 27 Sep 07:57 SPAIN/ MALAGA, Chen injured
- 26 Sep 07:17 SPAIN/ REAL MADRID, Jese about to come back
- 25 Sep 07:17 GERMANY/ EINTRACHT, Trapp injured
- 24 Sep 07:17 PORTUGAL/ OFFICIAL, Santos is the NT coach
- 23 Sep 07:17 ENGLAND/ ARSENAL, Debuchy out for three months
- 20 Sep 07:57 ENGLAND/ OFFICIAL, Asian owners for Reading
- 18 Sep 07:17 GERMANY/ BAYERN, Mandzukic undergoes surgery
- 17 Sep 07:17 ITALY/ LAZIO, Radu injured
- 16 Sep 07:17 ENGLAND/ ARSENAL, Debuchy out for two months
- 12 Sep 07:17 PORTUGAL/ OFFICIAL, Bento is no longer the NT coach
- 11 Sep 11:32 FRANCE, Ribery: " I will not make NT comeback"
- 11 Sep 07:17 GERMANY/ BORUSSIA D., Blaszczykowski injured
- 09 Sep 18:00 GERMANY/ BAYER, Brandt injured
- 09 Sep 07:17 GERMANY/ BORUSSIA D., Reus out for one month
- 08 Sep 08:30 FRANCE/ PSG, David Luiz injured
- 05 Sep 21:30 FIFA, receives World Cup corruption report
- 22 Dec 19:14 ENGLAND/ NEWCASTLE, Sissoko interested in joining Arsenal
- 22 Dec 19:00 ARSENAL, Mertesacker: "I'm not pleased by our performance, but we take a good point achieved at Liverpool"
- 22 Dec 18:45 ENGLAND/ MANCHESTER CITY, Majestic offer for De Bruyne ready
- 22 Dec 18:30 GERMANY/ STUTTGART, 2 Premier League offers for Maxim ready
- 22 Dec 18:15 ENGLAND/ ARSENAL, Wenger not interested in Vidic
- 22 Dec 18:00 ITALY/ AS ROMA, From UK: done for Chiriches, announcement in January
- 22 Dec 17:45 RUSSIA/ SPARTAK MOSCOW, Tino Costa about to join Serie A club on loan
- 22 Dec 17:30 ITALY/ JUVENTUS, Survey on Marcos Rocha
- 22 Dec 17:15 ENGLAND/ LIVERPOOL, Perin is the main target
- 22 Dec 17:00 MEXICO/ OFFICIAL, Atlas Guadalajara sign Kannemann
- 22 Dec 16:45 GERMANY/ OFFICIAL, Stranzl extends for Borussia Monchengladbach
- 22 Dec 16:30 ENGLAND/ QPR, Possibly signing Morrison back
- 22 Dec 16:15 ITALY/ JUVENTUS, Giovinco likely to stay until June
- 22 Dec 16:00 ARSENAL, Flamini after 2-2 at Liverpool: "We'll improve as we recover injured players"
- 22 Dec 15:45 ENGLAND/ ASTON VILLA, Ready to purchase Cleverley from United
- 22 Dec 15:30 ITALY/ GENOA, Approaching Santiago Silva
- 22 Dec 15:15 ENGLAND/ ARSENAL, Cash offer for Trapp ready
- 22 Dec 15:00 GERMANY/ SCHALKE 04, Kirchhoff: "If Bayern called me back, I'd be glad to join"
- 22 Dec 14:45 ITALY/ INTER, Mancini: "We are not interested in signing Lennon"
- 22 Dec 14:30 GERMANY/ OFFICIAL, Kramer extends long-term for Bayer Leverkusen: PL giants disappointed
- 22 Dec 14:17 ENGLAND/ OFFICIAL, Hull City call Ince and Figueroa back from loan
- 22 Dec 14:03 ENGLAND/ TOTTENHAM, No swoop for Spurs Flyer
- 22 Dec 13:44 ENGLAND/ MAN CITY, Tracking Sneijder: duel to Southampton
- 22 Dec 13:30 ENGLAND/ QPR, Austin going nowhere
- 22 Dec 13:14 ENGLAND/ ARSENAL, Handed a boost in their pursuit Fekir
- 22 Dec 13:00 ENGLAND/ CRYSTAL PALACE, £2.5m bid for Souare
- 22 Dec 12:59 ENGLAND/ REDS & GUNNERS, Joined in the race to sign Coentrao
- 22 Dec 12:57 RUSSIA/ SPARTAK MOSCOW, Yakin: "I'll sign Salah"
- 22 Dec 12:28 ITALY/ GENOA, Willing to sign Borriello once more: duel to Parma
- 22 Dec 12:00 ENGLAND/ LIVERPOOL, Two German coaches for the bench
- 22 Dec 11:30 ITALY/ FIORENTINA, Defrel on target
- 22 Dec 10:57 GERMANY/ MAINZ 05, Eyes on Lasse Vibe
- 22 Dec 10:27 ITALY/ PALERMO, Possible attempt for signing Nocerino back
- 22 Dec 09:59 GERMANY/ SC FREIBURG, Keen on Petersen
- 22 Dec 09:29 ITALY/ SASSUOLO, 3 Serie A suitors for Ariaudo
- 22 Dec 09:00 FRANCE/ OFFICIAL, First pro contract for Mara
- 22 Dec 08:30 ITALY/ TORINO, Larrondo intenteded to leave
- 22 Dec 07:57 SPAIN/ REAL MADRID, Marcelo injured
- 22 Dec 07:27 BORDEAUX, Triaud: "I hope Sagnol will remain for a long time"
- 22 Dec 06:59 WOLFSBURG, Vieirinha: "Optimistic about my renewal"
- 22 Dec 06:29 ARSENAL, Wenger: "I am not afraid of spending money"
- 22 Dec 06:00 REAL MADRID, Ramos: "I'm not worried about the renewal"
- 22 Dec 00:00 INTER, Ausilio: "We are not after Lennon"
- 21 Dec 23:27 ITALY/ ROMA, All on Perotti
- 21 Dec 22:57 TURKEY/ GALATASARAY, Pandev could leave in January
- 21 Dec 22:29 ITALY/ FIORENTINA, Chance for Donati
- 21 Dec 21:59 SCOTLAND/ OFFICIAL, McCoist is no longer Celtic manager
- 21 Dec 21:30 ITALY/ INTER, Also Widmer on the wishlist
- 21 Dec 21:00 MEXICO/ OFFICIAL, Two new players for Santos Laguna
- 21 Dec 20:27 ITALY/ TORINO, Offer for Pinilla
Arsenal centre-back and vice-captain Per Mertesacker commented upon the 2-2 drawn achieved at Liverpool declaring: “If you remember last year, we had a very different performance to what we had today. We tried to stop Raheem Sterling going through on the back four with his
Interviewed by Sky, Inter Milan Sporting Director Piero Ausilio has declared: "We will try to accomplish Mancini's requests, we have signed a
Eduardo Hernandez, agent of Real Madrid forward Javier Hernandez, has declared: "Sometimes the paper speculate on certain things, and considered
Arsenal centre-back and vice-captain Per Mertesacker commented upon the 2-2 drawn achieved at Liverpool declaring: “If you remember last year, w
Benfica 20-year-old Bernardo Silva, currently on loan at Monaco, has declared: "I am happy here, my team mates and the fans have welcomed me, I f
Bayer Leverkusen president Michael Schade has declared: "We are not thinking about selling Josip Drmic, and a loan is not an option. We are still