Edin Dzeko is Bosnia's Lionel Messi, Says Coach Safet Susic

Bosnian coach coach Safet Susic will be counting on Edin Dzeko be in red hot form as the debutants' fight for their FIFA World Cup lives against Nigeria in Cuiaba.

Updated: June 21, 2014 17:20 IST
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Bosnia training
Bosnia's Edin Dzeko, center, jogs with teammates during a training session at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, June, 14, 2014.

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Cuiaba, Brazil: Edin Dzeko is as important to Bosnia as Lionel Messi is to Argentina, coach Safet Susic claimed on the eve of Saturday's' Group H clash with Nigeria.

And Susic will be counting on the Manchester City striker to be in red hot form as the debutants' fight for their World Cup lives against the Super Eagles in Cuiaba.

The Bosnians are going all out for a win, Susic said, even though a draw would suffice after their opening loss to Argentina.

Defeat to Nigeria will however end Bosnia's interest in the tournament.

The importance of Dzeko, an integral part of the City team that won English titles in 2011-12 and then this year, was noted by Susic.

"Dzeko is equally important to us as Ronaldo is for Portugal as Neymar to Brazil and as Messi to Argentina," the Bosnia boss told the eve-of-match press conference at Cuiaba's Arena Pantanal on Friday.

Despite the threat of being knocked out the players aren't packing their bags just yet, Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic stated.

"We're raring to go, if we lose it's over for us, we won't let that happen.

"We will fight, not just for us but for the country."

Nigeria, Panic continued, were not African champions by chance.

"I'm sure they didn't play their best against Iran (0-0).

"The pressure is a bit greater on us, but we are convinced in our strength, we believe we will win tomorrow."

Susic, a world class attacking midfielder in his playing days, was in equally bullish mood.

"Everyone is aware of how important tomorrow's game is.

"We are in the most uncomfortable of positions.

"But we haven't come here to learn, we have players in top class European clubs, players who have acquired a great deal of experience.

"We have self-imposed ambitions to make it out of the group, and so not come here for people to see us, we have ambitions to progress out of the group, it won't be easy, but I'm convinced we haven't said our last words.

"After Argentina we are the best team in the group."

The former Paris Saint-Germain star claims this second Group H game will show Bosnia in a more favourable light.

"We are a team that cherishes attacking football, we want to take all three points to boost our chances of second place, even though a draw will do."

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  • Football
  • FIFA World Cup 2014
  • Lionel Messi
  • Argentina
  • Nigeria
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina

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