The Croatian coach, Zlatko Dalic, confessed this Sunday that Japan has made merits to earn total respect for the round of 16 crossing this Monday at the Qatar 2022 World Cup, for which he predicted a “difficult match for both “.

“I think it will be a difficult game for both teams. When Spain scored the first goal, I thought Japan was finished, but they never gave up and they deserved their victory. They showed mental strength and consistency,” he said at the press conference prior to the match.

The Croatian coach recalled Japan’s victory over Spain and also the one they scored against Germany in their debut in Qatar. For this reason, Dalic confessed that, although in the past he could have chosen the Asian team as a rival, the reality is that it is a team to take into account.

“In the past, I could have chosen Japan as an opponent we would like to play against, but they have beaten both Germany and Spain, two world champions. It will not be an easy match for us. We have to show respect for our opponent “, he pointed out.

In addition, Dalic recalled the good teams that did not make it past the group stage and asked his team to go 100%. “The fact that Germany, Belgium and Denmark have been eliminated shows how strong other teams have been in this World Cup,” he concluded.