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2018 WORLD CUP

‘I didn’t want to give up’ – Danijel Subasic

The goalkeeper of Croatia Danijel Subasic embodied heroism in Sochi. Went into the FIFA World Cup quarter-finals carrying a knock, played through the pain rather than going off, making a fine block from a tight angle to deny the hosts victory in second-half stoppage time. He aggravated against Russia and saved a penalty to help his country win the shootout.

To win back-to-back ties on penalties it made Croatia just the second side in the competition’s history. As they eliminated Denmark, Subasic repelled three spot-kicks in the Round of 16 – after Argentina in 1990. To make four saves in World Cup shootouts it made the 33-year-old only the third man to accomplish this, equaling the record shared by Harald Schumacher and Sergio Goycochea.

“I started warming up before kick-off and I felt the pain in the muscle. My physiotherapist massaged my leg a bit and saw I could play. Later, I felt FIFA World Cup quarter-finalsthe pain again, but I didn’t want to give up. I knew that the coach needed another substitution. During the break the masseurs did some quick work and, like a Formula One car after a pit stop, I was as good as new. It’s been a long season, but you play in a World Cup semi-final once in a lifetime and there’s no point giving up now.”  – Subasic explained to FIFA after the thriller at the Fisht stadium.

Subasic is releasing the clash as their opponents in Moscow are England.

“England has great players – they are a fantastic team. They have a lot of youngsters, but they are really good, fast, they play for great clubs. It will be another very tough match for us, a great challenge. We don’t really care about who we play or who the favorites are. It’s important that we do our best on the pitch. Just do your best and it ends how it ends. Some of my personal, life goals were to play at the World Cup and especially this: to play a significant role in the games. I’ve worked hard at my club to achieve this level, and now I enjoy it. Let this story go on!” – He said.

He kept clean sheets in his two appearances in the group stage against Nigeria and Argentina. It also underscored why many feel Subasic is among the forerunners for the Adidas Golden Glove.