They were extremely disappointed, missing the next title again very closely, but only minutes after losing the EURO final against France, the Croatian players had their heads held high.
”This silver medal feels like gold for us,” pivot Igor Vori said. ”We have a young team and we had some injuries to key players before the tournament, so we can be proud of winning the silver medal.
Looking forward to next year, he said: ”I hope that they play the Croatian anthem after the final of the World Championship in Sweden.”
For Vori the decisive stage of the match was right before and after the break. ”We let go of our lead and France scored easy goals and went away to a four goal distance. We weren´t able to catch them,” he said.
His coach, Lino Cervar, shared this opinion. ”In the second half we couldn´t get any closer. France deserved this victory, as they were the better team and controlled the match.”
”We can be proud on everything we´ve achieved in Austria,” he said.
Wing player Vedran Zrnic, the Croatian top scorer in the final, praised the spectators, who travelled from Croatia to Austria: ”They spent their money to buy tickets and to support us. This is great. And even though we missed the gold medal, we brought happiness to the people of Croatia in these hard times.”
Like Vori, left back Blazenko Lackovic hopes for the future. ”Maybe in Sweden we´ll be able to beat France. They´re currently the best team in the world, but I think, our time will come. It was very bitter to lose again against them, but our rate of mistakes was too high after minute 25. Despite the defeat we´ll have a great party tonight," he said.