The two defeated semi-finalists Morocco and Croatia are playing for third place at the World Cup in Qatar today (4:00 p.m. CET/MagentaTV). However, the anticipation of the duel for bronze is limited among the North Africans, as coach Walid Regragui indicated at the press conference in advance. "To be perfectly honest," said Regragui, "we wanted to play the final on Sunday, not tomorrow's game."
After six games in less than four weeks, the big surprise team of this World Cup has great personal worries. Even before the semi-final against France, numerous players were injured. Now, for example, Captain Romain Saiss will definitely be out. Regragui therefore wants to reward players who have hardly been used in the finals so far.
Croatia coach: "A big final for us, not a small one"
For the Croatians, the game for third place is obviously more important. After third place in 1998 and participation in the final in 2018, they want to win their third World Cup medal in just 24 years. "It's a big final for us, not a small one," said coach Zlatko Dalic.
It could be the last World Cup appearance for captain Luka Modric at Al-Rajjan's Chalifa International Stadium. At the next tournament in 2026, the Real Madrid midfielder would be 40 years old. "Of course I want him to be there at the EM 2024. And I'm also sure that he will continue to be there. But of course that's his decision," said Dalic on Friday about the future of his game designer.
Meanwhile, finalists Argentina and France continue their preparations for the final. The two national teams around Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi and Frenchman Kylian Mbappé meet at the Lusail Stadium on Sunday. For Messi, this final will probably be his last chance to win the greatest title in world football. According to his own statement, he no longer wants to play the 2026 World Cup.