ZAGREB – Zlatko Dalic will continue as coach of the national team until at least the end of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, the Croatian Soccer Federation (HNS) announced on Tuesday.
Dalic was appointed in October as interim head coach and managed to lead the team to securing a World Cup berth.
“HNS President Davor Suker and Croatia head coach Zlatko Dalic have agreed on the terms of the future partnership, and Dalic will lead Croatia to the World Cup in Russia,” the federation said in a statement on its Web site.
Suker congratulated the 51-year-old coach for what he accomplished in a short time and said it proved that Dalic “deserves this position.”
The HNS president promised to help Dalic and the national team and provide “the best conditions” for the squad going into the 2018 tournament.
“I am proud of what we have done in the three previous matches, considering how much the World Cup berth means to Croatian football,” Dalic said.
“I would like to express my gratitude to President Suker and the HNS Executive Committee for believing in me, and I can promise that I will continue to give my all to have Croatia playing at the highest level, in accordance with our players’ quality,” the coach added.
Under Dalic, who succeeded Ante Cacic as coach after a run of poor results, Croatia beat Ukraine in Kiev 2-0 to reach the playoffs for the four remaining European slots.
The Croats thrashed Greece 4-1 in the first leg in Zagreb and held the hosts 0-0 in Piraeus to reach the 2018 World Cup finals.