Dalić: I Have Only One Condition to Stay On as Croatia Coach

By 25 July 2018

Estimates say over 50,000 people welcomed Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić in his hometown of Livno on Tuesday night.

“My dear friends, everyone who came from afar and other regions. My dear Livno people, my dear family. Thank you for the feeling I have, a feeling of happiness and great pride. Thank you for that. I am one of you, and you are my strength. I've never forgotten where I went or where I started, and I started my career at Zgona stadium a long time ago.

After 35 years I have come back as the second best in the world, so thank you very much. I know how much emotion and stress you have for the Croatia national team. We are not world champions, but you know that the team did their best. That they won your hearts with their game and with courage,” Zlatko Dalić said in his hometown of Livno, where the residents of the town prepared a spectacular welcoming at the Zgona city stadium, 24 Sata reports on July 25, 2018. 

Police estimates have reported that between 50 and 60 thousand people welcomed the famous coach, including many political officials from Croatia and BiH.

“I’ve sent a positive message from the first day. I ask you to send a message of peace, tolerance, communion, and love from Livno. We do not send negative messages but positive messages, messages of love. We love our own, and we respect everybody else and we are proud people. Make us all feel dignified, as we know how to. With much love and tolerance for everyone,” Dalić said upon his arrival at the stadium just before 22:00.

“The Vatreni won the bronze in 1998. We are now silver, but there is only one coach of all coaches - Ćiro Blažević,” Dalić said and welcomed Blažević to the stage, and called him a teacher and the man who gave him the opportunity.

Dalić later said in a statement to the media that he would stay on as the Croatia coach if he had full support to continue doing this job. This is his only condition. 

“I never put anything else in front of Croatia. I just want my peace and to work properly, I want support. I will not do a job where I have no support and where it is not safe,” Dalić told reporters.

Last week, Dalić shocked the nation by saying he had already made up his mind to leave as the coach of Croatia before the World Cup.

While the topic of his potential departure was “unnecessarily dragged out” by the media, as the coach said, he added that the emotions of the people at the welcome parties made him rethink his decision. 

"When I saw the emotion of these people, I said - I am one of these people. These people are my strength. The problems I have I will be solved. I said that I want peace, to work peacefully, and I will not sleep with my eyes open. I want to have the maximum peace and do my job,” added Dalić in Livno.

Asked if he was tired of all the parties, he said that he wasn’t tired, but that he wanted the people of Croatia and BiH to be happy with Croatia’s success, and continued to praise the welcome he had received in his native city. 

“Beautiful, the emotions are at its peak. There were a lot of greetings in Croatia and each one was magnificent, but this is special to me in my Livno, my hometown. There is a lot of emotion, it’s really beautiful,” Dalić said to journalists.

He expressed the expectation that the success of the Croatia national team would give motivation to everyone in Croatia and in BiH, as well as in Livno, to create better conditions for life.

The people of Livno sang patriotic songs, and it’s safe the say that they have not removed Croatia’s checkered shirts since the end of the World Cup. Dalić's reception also welcomed singers Marko Perković Thompson, Mate Bulić, Jole, Dražen Zečić, Dalmatino and many others.