Former Torino coach Ivan Juric sent a word of warning to Italy ahead of their decisive Euro 2024 duel with Croatia, feeling it’ll be ‘a new crossroads’ for Zlatko Dalic’s side.

The Azzurri will battle it out with the Kockasti on Monday evening in the final Group B match, a vitally important meeting as both look to progress to the Round of 16 of the tournament. A positive result would be enough for Luciano Spalletti’s side, whilst Croatia need a win.

Italy looked positive in their opening Euro 2024 match, coming back from 1-0 deficit to beat Albania 2-1, but they were far more disappointing in their follow-up against an electric Spain, suffering a 1-0 defeat. Considering the balance of play, the scoreline was incredibly forgiving.

Juric sends Italy a warning

Speaking to Il Secolo XIX via TMW, Juric first discussed what he’d say to Italy coach Spalletti ahead of the match with Croatia.

“I’d tell him that in Croatia we have the talent gene. There’s less than four million of us, we’re always the best, or almost…If faced with a crossroads, we’re unlikely to fail. And, for us, in a few hours it’ll be a new crossroads, we just have to win.”

He spoke about the qualities of Croatia talisman Luka Modric, who has received some criticism this tournament.

“Luka is our reference point, if he struggles, the whole team struggles, like what happened in the first two matches of the European Championship. But now he’s getting serious.

“Yes, people love him and it couldn’t be otherwise, if you know him you take away the memory of a normal, humble guy, capable of communicating with everyone.

“His attitude wins you over. I was lucky enough to play with him once, if I’m not mistaken against Ukraine in a World Cup qualifier. The coach at the time, Bilic, spoke to me before the match. ‘Take the ball and give it to him’, that was enough for him to say to me.”

Juric then commented on Italy’s painful 1-0 loss to Spain.

“I didn’t expect Italy to be so unaggressive against Spain. I didn’t expect it because there had been no signs in this sense, against Albania you did well.”

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