Recently appointed Melbourne Knights Head Coach and former Croatian International, Aljosa Asanovic has revealed all about his World Cup exclusion in 1990.
Asanovic, who spoke to David Davutovic on FNR_Football Nation Radio’s Football Q&A last night said that his exclusion was a major “surprise” for him and the people of Yugoslavia at the time in the years preceding the Croatian War of Independence.
“In season 89/90, I was the best player in Yugoslavia. I officially was the best player and I didn’t go to the World Cup in Italy,” Asanovic said.
“This was not only a surprise for me, but it was a surprise for many people over there, Why? It was a question for the coach at the time,” Asanovic said.
The former Croatian Assistant Coach, also detailed the feeling in the dressing room between the Yugoslavian players in the years before the war and said there were no hard feelings between his team-mates.
“I can tell you about the sporting side and we never had any big problems between the players,” Asanovic said.
“But who loves war? This is something that is not good, in this moment I lost so many friends in the war,” Asanovic said.
Asanovic, who went on to represent Croatia 63 times and played at Euro ’96 and the World Cup in ’98 still had fond memories of his first games for the Vatreni.
“Four months later, I scored the first goal after 45 years for the Croatian national team, this is something I will never forget,” Asanovic said.
Asanovic, who was joined by his assistant and former Croatian international, Dean Racunica begin their season tomorrow night at Knights Stadium against Oakleigh Cannons.
You can listen to Football Q&A with David Davutovic on Wednesday nights at 5 PM (AEDST) on FNR_Football Nation Radio