Gdansk: Croatia is out, and so is Slaven Bilic. The Croatia coach, who had already said he would be leaving the national team to take over at Lokomotiv Moscow, ended his tenure Monday after a 1-0 loss to Spain in Group C of the European Championship.
The 43-year-old Bilic, who played for the Croatia team that reached the 1998 World Cup semi-finals, said he did not expect to be leaving the tournament this early.
"I just want to say thank you to the Croatian FA. They gave me a chance as a young coach. I had no experience," Bilic said. "I will go on as a coach ... but I will never be proud as I am now, because being a national team coach is a unique experience."
Bilic has impressed at Euro 2012. His tactical changes at half-time against Italy changed the game and allowed Croatia to earn a draw. And for long stretches of Monday's match against Spain, Bilic's system worked. The defending champions struggled to find their usual rhythm and lacked penetration....more
10:24 AM, Jun 19, 2012