The World Cup is one of the prestigious sporting tournaments in the world. It has the highest viewership record amongst any major tournament. This summer’s tournament will be held in Brazil. As the host nation, Brazil will be involved in the opening match of the tournament. They will be up against Croatia, who are one of their group opponents. Mexico and Cameroon are the other group opponents, but the privilege of playing in the opening game has made Croatia manager Niko Kovac extremely happy.

Croatia missed out on the last World Cup at South Africa. Hence, they will be looking to do well in this edition to make use of one of their best generations in a long time. Kovac says that representing his nation at a World Cup is in itself a great privilege, while the opportunity to be part of the opening game is even better. Brazil are undoubtedly the favourites to progress from the group, but Kovac reckons that it will be an even fight between Mexico, Cameroon, and Croatia for the final qualifying spot.

Kovac will be hoping to find his best team as soon as possible after narrowly making it into the World Cup. The nation has had just one win in the last five matches after they recently could only manage a 2-2 draw with Switzerland in a friendly.

“We said immediately after the draw that opening a World Cup is a privilege and an honour for every national team. We are proud to take part in that game, to play in an amazing atmosphere and we will give our best to present Croatia to the world in the best possible light. Brazil is not a favourite only in our group (Group A). Brazil is a favourite of the entire championship, and Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon will fight for the second place in the group, namely a ticket to the next round,” Kovac said.