Croatia’s most famous sporting hero Goran Ivanisevic has warned English football fans that his nation could yet spoil England’s Euro 2008 qualification plans.
Ivanisevic, who plays on the BlackRock Tour of Champions which culminates in the BlackRock Masters Tennis at London�s Royal Albert Hall, December 4-9, believes that his beloved Croatia are a superior team to England.
England only need a draw against Croatia on Wednesday to join their opponents at Euro 2008, but Ivanisevic warned that Croatia will not just roll over.
“England are not going to find it easy at all,” said Ivanisevic.
“We have a lot of good players. We have Eduardo who is playing for Arsenal, we have Niko Kranjcar, Darijo Srna, we have a good defence, good goalkeeper, Mladen Petric in attack and Luka Modric who is one of the best midfielders in the game. England has Steven Gerrard and Joe Cole. They are two of my favourite players. The others don’t impress me at all.”
He also said that England do not deserve to qualify, having lost to Croatia in Zagreb last year, Russia away, and having only drawn games against Macedonia and Israel.
“I would like England to qualify but they don’t deserve it,” said Ivansievic.
“They think they are better than they are, and they are not so good. It will be a good wake-up call for England if they do not qualify. It will make them realise that they are not so unbelievable.
“In one way I would like England to qualify, but in another way I would like them not to, so that they have to stay at home a little bit.”
Ivansievic, who also supports the English football team West Bromwich Albion, will hope to go one better than last year when he plays at the BlackRock Masters Tennis next month. Last year he reached the final at the Royal Albert Hall, losing to Dutchman Paul Haarhuis.
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