Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic vowed that his team would rebound from its FIFA World Cup elimination at the hands of Argentina.
The European side looked like a shadow of the team that defeated Brazil in the quarterfinals, managing just two shots on target as Argentina prevailed 3-0.
“I’d like to congratulate Argentina for winning the semifinal and making it to the final,” he said after the match. “Now we’ll get back on our feet and try to win the match for third place (on Saturday).
“I thought we played well for the first half hour but we weren’t very clear with our game plan.”
He singled out Lionel Messi, who scored one goal and set up another, for special praise.
“Not much more needs to be said,” Dalic told reporters. “He’s probably been the best player in the world over the past few years.
“He makes a difference because of his explosiveness and technical quality.”
Dalic, who has been Croatia’s manager since October 2017, did not entertain the idea of stepping aside from the role.
“I will continue to see out my contract until it expires,” he said. “In the next six months, we have World Cup qualifiers and Nations League. My goal is to take Croatia to Euro 2024,” he added.