Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is operating as a pundit for this summer’s World Cup in Russia, but saved any biting thoughts for either of Wednesday’s semifinalists for another time.
Mourinho of course praised Croatia for its run to the final, where Vatreni will meet France on Sunday.
“It’s a great achievement for a country where the league is a minor league and the majority of the players don’t player in Croatia but abroad,” Mourinho said. “As I know, when you work abroad, you feel your country in a different way.”
The Croatian First Football League ranks 11th in UEFA coefficient, between Iceland and the Netherlands.
As for England, the Portuguese manager heaped praise on the Three Lions.
He says the side is primed to move forward and continue its growth, and was sure to toss in some fond words for his former Chelsea assistant Steve Holland.
“It’s a young team, the majority of the players will play in the next World Cup with more experience at club level,” Mourinho said. “If I was in charge of the FA there would be no doubt that I would keep Gareth Southgate and Steve Holland in their jobs and give them the chance to take the team to the next Euros and the next World Cup.”
Not exactly going out on a limb there, though England’s managerial spot has neither been stable nor particularly hot in some time. Roy Hodgson and Sven-Goran Eriksson each worked three major tournaments, but Steve McClaren and Fabio Capello were both one-and-done.