Tiki Taka has not died, but new trends are deciding matches: Croatian midfielder Kovacic
Chlesea and Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovacic feels that the Tiki Taka brand of football made famous by the Spaniards has not died out but there are new styles of game plan which are deciding the way match results shape out at the end of the 90-minute play.
Doha: Chlesea and Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovacic feels that the Tiki Taka brand of football made famous by the Spaniards has not died out but there are new styles of game plan which are deciding the way match results shape out at the end of the 90-minute play.
“It’s very difficult for me. I like the tiki taka style of football. Is it a concept that belongs in history? It’s difficult. It’s proven that the compact approach and counter attack is very important in football – it brings trophies. Each match is different in football. Tiki Taka has not died out but these are the new trends that will decide matches,” he said at the pre-match match press conference ahead of the third place playoff match against Morocco.
On Saturday match opponents, whom they face in the group and were held to a goalless draw by the North African opponents: “We knew before the World Cup that Morocco would be a serious rival. We are fighting for third place because we are faced with a very difficult match. they will do their best and that has been obvious in the tournament. They have good players but I am sure we will analyse them and have a good match.”
“When it comes to the change of generations in our team, the old players have shown how much they mean to us and I hope the younger ones will learn from them while they are still here. I really believe they are learning from us and one day a shift will happen,” he said about the change of generation in the Croatia team.
Kovacic was proud of the achievements of his team at the Qatar World Cup but not making it to the second successive final was a painful thing.
“What we did so far to finish among the top four teams in the world is major. We have shown we belong there. We are of course sad, as when we reached the semi-finals, we wanted to go to the finals as well. Unfortunately, that is not the case this time.
“But our focus is on the upcoming major match and we;’ll do our best to bring the bronze medal home.”
“Our focus is on the match tomorrow and then we’ll start thinking about celebrations. I’m sure people are very proud of us. We want to go back to Zagreb with a bronze medal but we need to prepare well today and play well tomorrow.”
Kovacic admitted that several of his team-mates were on the injured list and could not make it to Qatar.
“Several of our players were injured prior to the World Cup so were prevented from playing here. Many of us will be exhausted when we go back but this is football, this is what we love doing. We will rest a bit but of course we have to focus on our clubs for the next six months.”
Dalic on the benefits of a winter World Cup and the impact on clubs: “The greatest benefit was drawn by smaller national teams because their players came in mid-season in optimal form and were prepared. But all national teams have benefited from the timing.
“What will happen next? Their clubs might have some problems, specifically those that have players that have played till the end or almost the end. For 25 days we have been here so it will be a problem for those clubs.”
“The Moroccan players have great supporters. They deserve that support. We also have our fans tomorrow. Our fans are always with us. I really hope tomorrow is going to be another such day where we will get the bronze medals with us. I would not agree that their fans will give them more,” said in reply to a question as to whether Morocco fans will give them an advantage.
Kovacic praised his Chelsea team-mate Hakim Ziyech with whom he will cash again for the second time in the tournament.
“I believe he has demonstrated that he is a great player. The Moroccan players have had an exquisite performance. They have phenomenal players. ZIyech is a great player but so are the others. They have been great in this World Cup.”