Croatia Coach Dalic Blasts FIFA for Disrespect of His Players at The Best Awards

Croatia Coach Dalic Blasts FIFA for Disrespect of His Players at The Best Awards

Elijah Odetokun
March 1, 2023 at 1:20 PM
  • Croatia finished in third place at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar
  • This was a place short of their runners-up finish in Russia in 2018
  • Head coach Zlatko Dalic believes his players deserve more respect

The decision by world football governing body, FIFA to delay The Best Awards until after the World Cup was reportedly to allow the consideration of performances at the tournament in Qatar last December.

Lionel Messi captained Argentina to their first title in 36 years, beating France 4-2 on penalties in the final after a pulsating 120 minutes ended in a 3-all draw.

The 35-year-old was named the best men's player at the ceremony on Monday night in Paris, a reward for his exploits in Qatar which also earned him the Adidas golden ball for the tournament's best player.

Luka Modric, Zlatko Dalic, Croatia, FIFA.
Zlatko Dalic and Luka Modric pose with their Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup third-place medals. Photo by Simon Stacpoole.
Source: Getty Images

Zlatko Dalic unhappy with FIFA

Croatia were the losing finalists at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and finished third in Qatar in 2022, beating African nation, Morocco 2-1 in the third-place playoff.

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Head coach, Zlatko Dalic believes the country's exploits deserve more recognition.

In response to his players apparently being snubbed for the awards, he refused to vote as revealed in an interview with Diario AS.

“I am disappointed with FIFA’s attitude towards the Croatian team. I believe that, based on everything we have achieved, we deserve more respect from the governing body of world football than what we have received,” he said.

As reported by Sport Bible, Croatia eliminated Brazil in Qatar and have only lost twice in 23 games. In the UEFA Nations League, they defeated France in Paris.

With only Luka Modric nominated for the annual awards event, Dalic believes more of his players deserved that same honour.

“There really is no room for Mateo Kovacic? Where is [Josko] Gvardiol? He was named in the best eleven in both the World Cup and the Bundesliga. And doesn’t Livakovic deserve to be one of the five finalists for best goalkeeper after everything he did in Qatar?” he added.

Benzema aims dig at FIFA

Dalic is not the only one unhappy with FIFA. Real Madrid striker, Karim Benzema also voiced his displeasure at the world football governing body.

As reported by Sports Brief, Benz aimed a dig at FIFA via his Instagram story, using a clip which is translated as saying, 'Good night, liars, you lie'.

The 34-year-old won the 2022 Ballon d'Or after helping the Spanish giants win the UEFA Champions League and the La Liga title last season.

Elijah Odetokun photo
Elijah Odetokun
Editor- EPL I Serie A
2022 FIFA World CupLionel Messi