Rival Watch: Croatian tabloid mocks Canadian John Herdman after comments

Welcome to the World Cup, Canada.

The Canadians were given the rose for qualifying and putting on a great performance against Belgium on their 2022 World Cup debut, now they have the thorns to match.

Croatia, Canada’s next opponent in Group F, had a choice to make with comments from Canadian national team coach John Herdman that came moments after their 1-0 loss.

“I told them that they belong here and that we are going to Croatia,” Herdman said with a smile in the official FIFA post-match interview. “It’s as easy as it gets.”

Croatian tabloid 24 Sata was imaginative in its response to Herdman’s comments. The newspaper placed the Canadian coach on the front page, with maple leaves covering his mouth and lower region.

A translation of the title read: “You have the mouth (the words). But do you also have the balls?

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The newspaper went on to write in a separate article that Herdman “crossed the line of good taste.”

Croatian coach Zlatko Dalic was a little more nuanced, saying through an interpreter: “I don’t know how nice it is to say something like that, but it’s his right. I think we have to show on the pitch that we are better.

Asked about his comment on Thursday, Herdman said “we’re here to be fearless.”

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“I don’t want to disrespect the Croatian team and the Croatian people, but at the end of the day, it’s a mindset that Canada is going to have if we are going to have three points against one of the best teams. of the world,” Herdman added. . “And that’s the mindset that we brought to Belgium. We must. This is part of the “New Canada””

Despite the heated comments, Canada’s performance drew praise from other coaches at the World Cup. In a press conference on Friday, Mexican manager and former Barcelona manager Tata Martino said the Canadians showed “the best football after the first set of games” in their opener.

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Canada will face Luka Modric and Croatia on Sunday at 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT. Canada are bottom of Group F after losing their opener, while Croatia are one point after their draw with Morocco.

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