Vice champion Croatia: what remains?
Croatia's footballers have shown that they are good losers after their 2:4 defeat in the Fifa World Cup final. After their initial disappointment the team rallied and celebrated the success: never before has a Croatian national team reached the World Cup final, and the players have been commended for their team spirit and playing technique. The vice champion is therefore also getting its share of the journalists' attention.
Giving wings to the Croatian dream
The Croatian team surprised the public, Večernji list writes in delight:
“No long ago it looked like a mission impossible. Many players came to this World Cup with too much baggage. Although the people never lost hope, scepticism ruled the day. ... With this World Cup finally the small minds have fallen silent. The headlines proclaim faith in Croatia. People believe in the hard-working man and his Croatian dream - the dream of victory. This is the dream of a better future for Croatia secured through hard work and faith. We must keep this optimism alive for the coming generations.”
High-quality training instead of showy stadiums
Unlike Hungary the Croatians invested football funding in training the new generation of players rather than big stadiums, Index writes:
“There are no good stadiums in Croatia. Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb has been renovated, but by no means completely overhauled. The arena in Split isn't even half as modern. ... The Croatians have brought their players, not their venues, up to scratch - and by the looks of things successfully. The coaches of the younger generation of players are highly qualified, they have impressive foreign language skills and their morale is high. Yes, there is corruption, but it determines neither the choice of players nor their training.”