There is no reason to be afraid of Messi

Zlatko Dalic, coach of the Croatian national football team, confirmed that his team has no reason to fear Lionel Messi when it faces the Argentine national team in the semi-finals of the World Cup in Qatar if they repeat the same defensive performance against the Brazilian national team, because of which the influence of Neymar was curtailed.

The Croatian team qualified for the semi-finals for the second time in a row, after winning 4-2 on penalties over the Brazilian team, after a 1-1 draw in the two overtime periods at the Education City Stadium.

Neymar was able to score the goal for the Brazilian national team at the end of the first half of extra time, before Bruno Petkovic scored the equalizer, which led to the match going to penalties.

With the exception of the goal, the Brazilian star failed to penetrate the Croatian defense.

Life will not become easier for the Croatian national team in its next match, as it will face Messi and the Argentine national team, yet Dalic is confident in his team’s ability to limit his danger.

Dalic said: We need to mark Messi, but not in a man-to-man way, as we did not do that in our last match.

He added: We know how much he runs, and how long he likes the ball to be under his feet, and discipline will be our most important defensive weapon.

And he added: If we repeat the same thing we did against Brazil, which is to be near him, to be next to him, we will have nothing to fear.

Zlatko was keen to stress that Messi could not be the only player to be focused on.

However, he believes Croatia should take heart from Argentina’s struggle against the Netherlands in the quarter-finals.

The Argentine national team was ahead with two clean goals, before the Dutch national team was able to adjust the result with two goals scored by Wouter Vigehorst, to play two additional halves and then penalty kicks.

He said: We will conduct a detailed analysis on Argentina because we have not focused on them yet.

And he emphasized: Messi is still their main player, who plays in a great way and raises the name of the national team. They also have some talented young players and they look very dangerous.

And he continued: However, they showed that they are vulnerable to receiving goals, they advanced 2-0 against the Netherlands, and they barely reached the penalty shootout after a 2-2 draw.

And he added: It is about giving our best when and entering the match with full concentration.

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