CROATIA DEFENDER VEDRAN CORLUKA has challenged his team to make the Euro 2012 quarter-finals and considers anything less a failure.
Slaven Bilic’s men have been drawn in a tough Group C in Poland and Ukraine, where they will face reigning champions Spain, Italy and the Republic of Ireland.
Bayer Leverkusen full-back Corluka said while it would be difficult, Croatia were capable of progressing to the next stage.
“I know that if we don’t go to the next stage it will not be a success, but of course, you never know,” Ćorluka said.
“Like in Euro 2008 you were thinking it was a success to go to the next stage, but then we lost against Turkey (in the quarter-finals), and we were thinking that wasn’t a success.
“We’ll see. If you get a good team in the next stage it can be really difficult, but first goal is to qualify, and then we’ll see.” (Croatia are 5/1 on Betfair to reach the semis.)
Corluka joined the growing list of players and coaches to tip either Spain or Germany to lift the trophy at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev on July 1.
The 26-year-old said the pair would be challenged by the Netherlands, but added it was a tough tournament to predict.
“It is difficult to say, but I think that Germany and Spain are the top teams at the moment and especially proved that in the World Cup and in the qualifications.
“They were the two best teams,” Ćorluka said. ”I think it will be between the two of them and Holland, but for the player – it is a difficult question, in that kind of competition you never know, maybe a player who no-one expects will play the best games of his life.”