Official Site of The 2002 FIFA World Cup TM | May 31 - June 30
Seoul - Tokyo, 20 May 2002
Croatia in good shape, says Prosinecki
ZAGREB, Croatia (Reuters) - Croatia's playmaker Robert Prosinecki does
not see his team among the top favourites for this year's World Cup but
is confident the side will be in great shape when the tournament begins.
"It's always the same four or five names. For me, the favourites are
Argentina, France, Brazil and Italy, with England, Portugal and Spain
able to stage a surprise," the 33-year old midfielder, whose career
included Real Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla, told Jutarnji List daily.
He said the squad, which left for Japan at the weekend after a week of
training in the Austrian Alps, had other qualities to compensate for the
loss of several key players who have retired since finishing third at
the 1998 World Cup in France.
"These new guys are feisty, have stamina, aggression and speed. We
worked perfectly (last week) and will polish up the form and add
tactical details in the next 20 days, and that should suffice," he said.
"Personally, I have rarely been in better shape," the injury-prone
veteran said, adding he was negotiating another contract with England
first division side Portsmouth after talks with Japanese clubs fell
Croatia play their opening game against Mexico on June 3. Also in the
group are Italy and Ecuador.
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