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M. Kovačić

Kovacic reveals Chelsea players joked Croatia and Ziyech's Morocco would exit World Cup early

17:15 EAT 17/12/2022
croatia-kovacic
Mateo Kovacic has claimed that his Chelsea teammates expected his Croatia and Hakim Ziyech's Morocco to be first home from the 2022 World Cup.
  • Both tipped to go home early
  • Both starred for their nations
  • Best performing Chelsea players in Qatar

WHAT HAPPENED? Instead, both countries went deep into the competition and will now face each other in the third-place playoff match later today after losing in the semi-finals.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking in a press conference, Kovacic said: "The other [Chelsea] players expected me and Ziyech to come home first but I am proud we are still here."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Chelsea's World Cup attendees include the likes of Mason Mount (England), Raheem Sterling (England), Christian Pulisic (USMNT), Thiago Silva (Brazil), Cesar Azpilicueta (Spain), Kai Havertz (Germany), Edouard Mendy (Senegal), and Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal). All were knocked out of the competition earlier than Kovacic and Ziyech.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR KOVACIC? Both the Croatian and Ziyech will head back to England after today's match having finished third and fourth in the tournament – better than any other Chelsea player.