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World Cup Open Thread, July 1

Portugal v Spain: Group B - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Today’s open thread. We’re going to try and do this daily for the remainder of the World Cup, just to give you a platform to discuss the games, while allowing the rest of the comment-sections to stay relevant to their respective articles.

Notes & Quotes

Dalic hopes Modric wins Golden Ball

Croatia head coach Zlatko Dalic spoke in a press conference on Saturday, just as the France - Argentina match was ending. He said he hopes Luka Modric can take the Golden Ball this World Cup — away from Leo Messi who won it four years ago.

“It’s not going to go to Messi because they are 4-2 down right now,”

”I’d be the happiest man on earth if [Modric] did it. It would mean Croatia have done something significant. I hope this is so.”

Dalic also spoke about the pressure on the team, and Croatia’s chances of winning this tournament:

“Our greatest pressure comes from within,” he said. “We’ve achieved something in the groups but it will mean nothing if we don’t underline that.

”The group is now behind us. It gives us some confidence in our ability but we can’t dwell on that. I’m fully confident in the squad, I know it won’t be easy.

”It’s nice to hear we’ve been recognised as a team who played well in the group but let me reiterate: it will mean nothing if we do not underline it [on Sunday].”

”I’m so proud to be a part of this and if we play well, I think we will have achieved a great thing for ourselves, our families and Croatia,” he said. “This is what keeps me going.

”I have to be calm but there’s a struggle in me. If God allows [the win], we’ll be overjoyed. If not, I’ll be proud of the time I’ve spent with these boys. Whatever comes next, these will have been the best days of my career.”


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