John Herdman’s statement after meet Canada’s game against Belgium was widely heard in football circles. Although many football fans smiled under their breath, the Croatian media clearly have no cause for laughter. These proved that during heated discussions around meet Canada and Croatia will take no prisoners.
Canada has proven that the ball she can play, and although she failed to beat Belgium in their first game at the World Cup, they received plenty of praise for style alone. The motivation and character of the team was underpinned by the words of its coach, John Herdman: “I told them (the players) that we deserve to be here and we’re going to screw Croatia.”
Later, Herdman explained the post-match interview, noting that his statement was not intended to offend or insult the Croats. Nevertheless, the spark is already gone and the Croatian media haven’t forgiven the coach’s bold words. The daily 24sat came out with an aggressive counter, whose Friday coverage hit Herdman hard.
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This one was represented naked, the mouth covered and the genitals covered. The title itself is even more revealing: “You may have a tongue, but do you also have balls?”. Croatian coach Zlatko Dalić himself commented on the opponent’s words, saying that the Croatians will prove themselves on the pitch. National anyway newspapers opted for much harsher rhetoric. No mercy for Herdman.
That such accents only affect the sporting quality of the football spectacle, mobilizing players from both sides. After two matches in Group F, only one has been lost so far purpose. The pitch, as always, will be the fairest arbiter of such a dispute. The meeting between Canada and Croatia will take place on November 27 at 5:00 p.m.
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