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Croatia manager Dalic insists current generation will fight on at Euro 2024 & reveals belief that Messi is still 'best in the world'

01:38 GMT+3 14/12/2022
Zlatko Dalic Croatia World Cup 2022
Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic says the story is not over for the current crop of players after their World Cup semi-final defeat against Argentina.

WHAT HAPPENED? Croatia were deprived of the chance to make a second straight World Cup final when they went down 3-0 to Argentina on Tuesday. But Dalic insists the current crop of players will carry on to guide the national team to Euro 2024.

WHAT THEY SAID: "Perhaps this is the end of the generation of the World Cups, a couple have reached an age and have to see what happens in 2026. We have had a great team and this generation will finish off their career at Euro 2024," he said. "We have the UEFA National League and an excellent generation who reached two semi-finals."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Lionel Messi and Julian Alvarez were the stars of the show as the former got a goal and an assist and the latter struck twice in the victory. Dalic was not surprised to see the Paris Saint-Germain star play such a pivotal role, saying: "Nothing much needs to be said about Messi. The best player in the world and very good and very dangerous today. It is the true Messi we expected to see."

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR CROATIA? The likes of Luka Modric, 37, Ivan Perisic and Dejan Lovren, both 33, may have played their last World Cup matches for Croatia, but they could stay on to help the team in their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign when it kicks off in March.