Croatia forward Andrej Kramaric hit back at Canada manager John Herdman in the aftermath of Croatia's emphatic victory against their Group F opponents – and he didn't mince his words.
The 31-year-old former Leicester City striker cancelled out Alphonso Davies' opener on Sunday afternoon as Zlatko Dalic's side dominated in large spells.
Kramaric went on to bag a brace as goals from Marko Livaja and Lovro Majer sealed an impressive 4-1 win at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.
After the full-time whistle, Kramaric was rightly awarded the Man of the Match award and in his post-match press conference, he decided to call out Canada boss John Herdman.
Before the Group F clash, Herdman said his team would “F” Croatia in their second World Cup group game.
“I told them (Canada) they belong here and we’re going to go and ‘F’ Croatia,” he said after their defeat to Belgium on Wednesday. “That’s as simple as it gets.”
The Croatian press proceeded to jump on Herdman's comments. In fact, manager Zlatko Dalic criticised the County Durham-corn manager for his outburst.
“The Croatian team deserves respect from everyone," he said. “We deserve respect and dignity. We respect everyone equally so. We are worthy of their respect. The Canadians must also have respect for us."
He added: “This way of putting words together is not a sign of respect. We are runners-up, we deserve respect.”
Canada's John Herdman after his side's hard-fought 1-0 loss to Belgium: "I told them they belong here. And we're going to go and F Croatia. That's as simple as it gets." The fiery 47-year-old maanger is pure CONCACAF Thunder, with a terrific haircut 🇨🇦pic.twitter.com/24k8k78Zp8— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) November 23, 2022
Kramaric also decided to make his voice heard in his post-match press conference.
He said Herdman's 'F' comments spurred the favourites to victory. “These are words that have motivated the whole of Croatia. I want to thank the coach of Canada for the motivation," Kramaric said.
"He could have chosen better words. He could have formulated it a bit differently. In the end, Croatia demonstrated who F’d whom.”
Herdman's choice of words certainly caused controversy, but he doesn't regret his actions.
After the full-time whistle on Sunday, he was asked if he did, in fact, regret his comments.
“No, not at all. I think there’s a respect for Croatia," he said.
“As I keep saying, we’re here to push as far as we can as a team, we’re here to change the mentality of the group. I could have been a little bit more composed coming out of the huddle, but I mean, that’s my learning.
“I’ll take that on the chin. But from a mindset point of view, I think we showed enough in that first 25 minutes that little old Canada can compete with the best in the world.”
Zlatko Dalic also said Herdman "needs to learn some things" after claiming they did not shake hands after the game.
“I did not see the other head coach after the match," Dalic said after the final whistle. "Whether I lose or win, I always congratulate the other head coach.
“He wasn’t there and that’s his way of doing things. He’s obviously mad. He is a good coach, he is a high-quality professional, but it will take some time for him to learn some things.”
Thoughts on the incident?
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Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@JackPollardUK - FIFA World Cup
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