Croatia determined to end Lionel Messi’s World Cup goals

December 12, 2022

Croatia already ended Neymar of Brazil’s World Cup dream, and they also want to do the same with Lionel Messi of Argentina.

However, according to team members, the Croatian side will not attempt to man-mark the Argentina superstar in their World Cup semifinal on Tuesday. Instead, they will concentrate on immobilizing the entire squad.

Bruno Petkovic, a striker for Croatia, said at a press conference on Sunday, “We don’t have a specific plan for stopping Messi yet, and usually we don’t concentrate on preventing one player but the entire team.”

We won’t use man-marking; instead, we’ll try to stop them as a team. Argentina has many excellent players in addition to Messi. He declared, “We must stop the entire Argentina team.

Croatia is trying to reach the World Cup final for the 2nd time in a row after losing to France in the tournament’s exhibition game in 2018. The Croatian team is full of confidence because there are no players on a suspension and no injuries to worry about.

They lost to tournament favorites Brazil in the quarterfinals after falling behind by one goal in extra time, but they fought back to force a penalty shootout that they ultimately won.

Neymar, the star striker for Brazil, broke down in tears after the game as Croatia won 4-2 on penalties.

Croatia is now out to stop Messi from winning the one major trophy that has escaped him—a World Cup—by doing the same to his team.

As they did against Brazil, Croatia’s midfield of captain Luka Modric, Marcelo Brozovic, and Mateo Kovacic will be crucial to setting the tempo, and Croatian defender Josip Juranovic said on Sunday that the trio was utterly dependable.

“The best Croatian midfield in history belongs to Mateo, Luka, and Marcelo. It probably won’t happen again. It is safer to pass the ball to them than to put your money in a bank, according to Juranovic.

“I don’t believe we need to be afraid of anyone. To play our best game, we must examine ourselves, he said.

“Our cohesion and unity are the keys to our success, in my opinion. the fact that we interact and play together as a family. “.

Argentina, who also needed penalties after blowing a 2-goal lead against the Dutch in their quarterfinal match, has been led thus far by seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi.

Messi has inspired Argentina during their run to the competition’s semifinals, scoring four goals in five games. He has taken it upon himself to guide his nation to a World Cup victory.

When Argentina last made it to the championship game, it fell to Germany at the Maracana Stadium in Brazil, losing 1-0. Messi is one game away from having another opportunity to win football’s most prestigious trophy, but that was the closest he has ever come to doing so.

Argentina launched the World Cup as one of the favorites with Messi at the helm, but they now face a significant obstacle in Croatia.

The disciplined Croatian team is now, rightfully, in their second consecutive World Cup semifinal, and Argentina would be foolish to underestimate them due to their never-say-die mentality even when the odds are piled heavily against them.

The Argentinians have their work ripped off if they want to win the W. C. for the 1st time since Diego Maradona’s team won it in 1986.

Coach Lionel Scaloni’s options at the back are limited because defenders Marcos Acuna and Gonzalo Montiel are suspended due to bookings. Nicolas Tagliafico could replace the first player, but the formation will be less aggressive because wingback Acuna has given the team more energy.

Angel Di Maria, a 34-year-old veteran still recovering from an injury, is another player whose fitness is doubtful because he has mainly been used as a substitute in the competition.

With the possibility that this is his final World Cup, 35-year-old Messi is also bearing the burden of the entire country. A world championship, which the late Maradona nearly single-handedly won 36 years ago, is necessary for comparisons between Messi and Maradona for the honor of the greatest Argentinian player.

The upcoming game is under a lot of pressure, especially given the possibility of a penalty shootout.

After the Dutch rallied from a 2-0 deficit to score double late in the game and push extra time and penalties in a contentious match, Argentina nearly missed the semifinals. Even though their goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez performed admirably against the Netherlands by saving two penalty kicks, Argentina must be terrified of another penalty shootout, this time against mentally tough Croatia.

To achieve a perfect record and earn the title of “World Cup’s penalty shootout king,” Croatia had to win two penalty shootouts and extra time to advance to the 2018 final before falling to France. They also needed penalties to win knockout stage matches in Qatar against Brazil and Japan. The Wall Street Journal dubbed Croatia the “World Cup’s penalty shootout king.”

These figures indicate they would likely advance to the championship game if they won another shootout against Argentina.

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