Inter midfielder Marcelo Brozovic insisted that he had returned to full fitness ahead of Croatia’s 2022 World Cup campaign, after missing almost 50 days with a thigh injury.
The 2018 finalists begin their campaign against Morocco in Group F on Wednesday, before facing Canada and Belgium, and Brozovic has only played in three games for Inter since suffering the strain during Croatia’s UEFA Nations League match against Austria in late September.
However, in an interview with Italian television broadcaster Nove TV, and as reported by FCInter1908.it, the midfielder reassured fans that he was fit and ready to feature on the biggest stage in Qatar.
“I feel good, I’ve been training well in the last few weeks. I’ve played in the last three games, 15, 20 minutes each, and half an hour in the last one. I’m feeling good and I hope to get better,” he claimed.
Croatia’s match against Morocco will see Brozovic come up against former Inter wing-back Achraf Hakimi, with the Paris Saint-Germain player playing a pivotal role in the Nerazzurri’s 2021 Serie A title success before departing for Ligue 1 that summer.
However, Brozovic admitted that the pair had not stayed in touch, but recognised the impact Hakimi could make on the game and insisted Croatia were prepared for him.
“I didn’t keep in touch with him after he left Inter, we spoke a few times,” Brozovic revealed.
“He is playing very well in Paris, he is doing very well, he is a very fast player, but I think we will be prepared for him.”
Croatia reached the final in Russia 2018, ultimately losing 4-2 to France in Moscow, and Brozovic claimed that the group had not changed their approach in the four years since, whilst suggesting that his nation were now more respected on the international stage.
“For me there is no difference, our imperative is to get through the group and then we’ll see.
“We have to give our best in every game, from the ones who play, those who come on from the bench, and those in the stands. If we give everything in every game, there won’t be any problems.
“I think we are more respected because they see that when we are all healthy and together, it’s hard to stop us. We want to go one better than last time” the 29-year-old concluded.
Brozovic has made 77 appearances for Croatia since his debuting in 2014, scoring seven goals.