Thursday October 11 2018
Dalic: ‘Sorry to lose Mandzukic’

Croatia Coach Zlatko Dalic is feeling the absence of Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic - “we’ve lost someone who can score goals, but above all a fighter”.

The Balkan nation reached the World Cup final in the summer, with Mandzukic scoring the goal that took them there.

He also scored against France in that match, but Croatia lost 4-2 and the Juve man announced his retirement from international football.

“I’m very sorry about it, maybe he thought he’d reached his dream and couldn’t do anymore,” Dalic said, speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I respect his decision, there’s nothing else I can do. We’ve lost someone who can score goals, but above all a fighter, the first line of defence.

“He won’t be easy to replace, so we know we need to find different solutions.”

Marko Pjaca came on as a late substitute in the World Cup final, and this summer he left Juventus to join Fiorentina.

“Marko was fantastic as a kid, then he had some injuries which blocked his path at Juventus. He just needs time.

“Fiorentina is a good environment for him. I’m waiting for him, because I need him. He’ll grow this season.”

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