On Sunday night, the “fiery” ones arrived in Zagreb, just half an hour after midnight. Although they didn’t get much sleep, they’ve had their fair share of sleepless nights in their careers.
A rookie and Dion Drena Beljo arrived by car a few minutes before training started. Dalić had included him in the call-up, but Dragan Skočić bypassed him, arguing that he didn’t play for the club. Beljo had scored three goals for a third division team in a friendly match for Augsburg and was disappointed to not receive an invitation from any coach. However, on Saturday evening, Dalić’s call came through – they needed another striker because Budimir was the only one available.
The other players arrived by bus and were looking for a suitable field to train on. Mandžukić and Ćorluka wanted to use the main field, but assistant Hitrec-Kacian was in poor condition. Luka Modrić’s field was chosen instead. The boys from Lokomotiva posed for photos with Mandža and Čarli as they got off the bus, while children from Dinamo’s open school lined the fence and cheered loudly as Livaković and Modrić waved back.
Dalić commented that Vida missed the field and went to Hitrec! He also joked about punishing himself further. Ola added that everyone did a good job in Riga and nobody got injured or wasted time off during training. Even Kramarić, who had been recently recovered from injury, played for 80 minutes during practice sessions.
The lineup for Tuesday’s match will be Livaković – Stanišić – Šutalo – Erlić – Gvardiol – Modrić – Brozović – Majer – Kramarić – Ivanušec – Budimir