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Croatia can win Euro, claims confident Bilic

SoccerNews in European Championships 4 Jun 2008

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Croatia can win the Euro 2008 title claimed their highly-rated young coach Slaven Bilic on Wednesday.

The 39-year-old former distinguished central defender admitted there were the usual favourites such as Germany and Italy but that his young squad had nothing to fear and had the potential to go farther than their predecessors in 1996 and 2004, with the former reaching the quarter-finals.

“I believe that we are strong enough to take the title,” said Bilic, who is even more deeply involved in the campaign as he wrote their Euro 2008 song ‘Fiery Madness’ which he also recorded with his band ‘Rawbau’, for whom he plays guitar.

“The team is both good and solid, we qualified for Euro from one of the more difficult groups and we most notably of all beat England on two occasions during the qualifiers.

“On paper, there are as usual the same favourites: Germany, France and Italy. You could also include Spain and Holland. And the English too would have also been among the favourites…if they had qualified,” added Bilic, who became a football idol in Croatia when despite a fractured hip he played in every match of their 1998 World Cup finals campaign where they reached the semi-finals losing to eventual champions France.

Croatia open their Group B campaign on Sunday against co-hosts Austria in Vienna before confronting Germany in Klagenfurt, Austria, and round off the group stage against debutants Poland in Klagenfurt as well on June 16.

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