Spain will face Croatia in the UEFA EURO 2020 round 16 in Copenhagen on Monday, 28 June at 18:00 CET
What's The Story?
Croatia will be hoping that this old saying that the best teams turn into tournaments holds true, as they travel to Copenhagen. Zlatko Dlic's team, which suffered a defeat against England in their group opener, was revived in the second period of a 1-1 draw between the Czech Republic and Scotland, and then surged past Scotland to reach 16th place. They have been eliminated in three previous EURO knockout games.
Similar to Spain, Spain's path here was similar. Although creativity seemed to be a problem in draws against Sweden, Poland and Spain, Luis Enrique's team reacted with fervor to win the EURO finals match. They beat Slovakia 5-0 to advance. They are unbeaten, just like they were on the previous three occasions when they lifted the trophy.
ElvirIslamovic, Croatia reporter. I still remember that night in Bordeaux at UEFA EURO 2016. Croatia beat Spain 2-1 to win their group. Although a lot has happened since then, Luka Modric is still the leader of the charge. There's an underlying sense that he knows this could be his last game for the country where he served with distinction. Croatia has proven time and again they are capable of mixing it with the best. You can't bet against them doing this again.
View from the camp
Zlatko Dlic, Croatia coach said: "It will not be easy to replace Perisic, but I believe we have quality solutions. I'm sure that whoever will play, he will do his best to help our team. Is he capable of replacing Perisic at the same standard? It is unlikely. We are well-equipped for that left-wing role and will find a solution. We don't have to worry about other teams. They all have our respect, even [Spain]. They know we are a high-quality team, and are not happy to play against us. We must be 100% motivated. We want to make it to the quarter-finals.
Domagoj Vida, Croatia defender said: "Spain is a great team with great players, but I believe they were better when [Andres] Iniesta and Xavi] Hernandez were playing. However, that doesn't mean we aren't in danger. They will be tough to beat. While they have the ball, we must keep our cool. We must counter-attack quickly when we have the ball. They won't be happy without the ball so we will have to make the most out of it."
Mateo Kovacic is a Croatian midfielder. "A difficult match awaits." Spain is a great team, who love to have the ball and play their game. We will need to make sure they have the ball as often as possible to be able to play the game that they love.
Ferran Turres, Spain forward : "Croatia is World Cup runners up, a top group, so we know that they'll be tough opponents." We must work hard to win in Copenhagen.
Dani Olmo (Spain midfielder): "This match is a big and special match for [because I used play in Croatia for Dinamo Zagreb]. I am very close to the Croatian team. I was certain that I would one day be a Spain international and would play against Croatia.