World Cup: Croatia manager believes strong faith is key to success
The manager of Croatia’s national football team has credited his team’s success to his faith.
Zlatko Dalic’s side shattered English dreams in last night’s semi-final as striker Mario Mandzukic secured a 2-1 extra-time win to propel the country into their first World Cup final.
As England fans and players shared mixed feelings of pride in their side’s heroic performance in this year’s tournament and sorrow at the painful way in which it came to an end, the eyes of the football world turned to the predominantly Catholic country of Croatia, who will now face France in Sunday’s World Cup final.
Eighty-six per cent of Croatia’s 4.3 million population declare themselves Roman Catholic and Dalic recently opened up about his faith on Croatian Catholic radio.
“Everything I have done in my life and in my professional career I owe to my faith, and I am grateful to my Lord,” Dalic said, as the tournament began.
He admitted that he is very happy with life and insisted that it would not be possible without his “strong faith” and motivation.
“When a man loses any hope, then he must depend on our merciful God and on our faith,” he said, adding: “I always carry a rosary with me…when I feel that I am going through a difficult time I put my hand in my pocket, I cling to it and then everything is easier.”
Picture: Croatia’s Luka Modric and Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic celebrate after the final whistle of the FIFA World Cup, Semi Final match at the Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow. (Tim Goode/PA).