Here’s another chance to hear my interview with Slaven Bilic from season three.
We hear about Bilic the Croatia centre-back, a member of the side so many of us adored at Euro ’96 and which nearly won the World Cup two years later. The manager, Miroslav Blažević was a master tactician and psychologist, but boy did he have the tools: Boban, Šuker, Bokšić and Prosinečki.
At Euro ’96, the players were ambassadors for a new country and lost the final to Germany at Wembley. They were christened ‘Croatian knights’ by their country’s president at France ’98 when they beat the Germans, but Slaven insists it was not a revenge mission. They won because they had more maturity, more self-belief, their usual incredible team spirit and also a slice of good luck. That luck didn’t hold in the semi against the hosts, and surely the Croatians would have prevailed in a final against a troubled Brazil.
A brilliant, passionate Big Interview.