After Croatia’s success at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, the success of the national team at home was on everyone’s lips. It was no surprise when Luka Modric was named the best FIFA men’s player 2018 for his accomplishments later that year. Croatia, currently sixth in the FIFA / Coca-Cola World Ranking, is undeniably one of the best teams in the world and has had a success that its female colleagues can only dream of.
“After the World Cup, there was a lot of talk about football in Croatia and a lot of positive things said. The association has tried to do more positives for women’s football, “said international defender Sandra Zigic, who has been wearing the colors of her country since 2005.” As far as I know, they have started to organize more football camps for the younger generations. They also tried to make sure we had better conditions for the women’s national team. It gets better, but we still have a lot to do. But basically you can see some improvements – which is good. “
This improvement was also reflected in the team’s position in the FIFA / Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking. From the introduction of the ranking from July 2003 to August 2005, Croatia took 44th place – a goal that it has been pursuing ever since. In the latest version (December 2019), the team took 52nd place – an improvement of two places over the previous edition and four places in the course of 2019. It is certainly a small step in the right direction, even if it were a long way ahead.
Zigic, who currently plays for AC Milan, knows this better than anyone else. “We can definitely learn a lot from what Italy did and how it deals with women’s football, which really exploded there. All national team players are treated as such by the public, the press, and the media, but especially by the fans. ” I think it’s all about advancement, about getting us out of there and seeing each other. The female national team in Croatia is currently lacking that. “
Zigic has experience in Austria, the USA, Poland, Switzerland, and Germany as well as in 89 international matches. This undoubtedly makes her a pillar of the national team, even if she doesn’t see it that way. “We are all equal in the national team. We all play for our country and try to do our best. We put our heart and soul into it. There is always someone who needs advice and if they come to me, I will give it, “she said.
“Every country [in which you play] has something specific that you can take with you. If you are willing to learn, you can always pick up something new and make it your own. I have taken something from every league.” played in, “added the 32-year-old.
She will have to fall back on all these experiences in March when Croatia takes part in the Cyprus Cup and compete against three senior teams in Mexico (26th), the Czech Republic (28th) and Thailand (38th). “These tournaments, and in particular the friendly matches and FIFA’s international dates, are very important so that we can spend as much time as possible,” said Zigic.