Croatian national team coach Slaven Bilic has expressed his agony and frustration at losing his star striker Eduardo da Silva for the Euro 2008 finals. The Brazilian born Croatian international striker is out for 9 months with a horrible ankle injury that he sustained during Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Birmingham City in the Premiership on Saturday when Birmingham’s Martin Taylor rammed into him like a breakaway express train with no driver.
Bilic admits that Da Silva will be severely missed by Croatia in Austria and Switzerland in the summer and says:
I was totally shocked. I have known him for many years and know that he was growing better as a player as I was growing better as a manager.
I love him like a son as he is such a great guy, he is such a great player, one of the best I have met in my life.
For it to happen now when he was starting to adapt to Arsenal and waiting for the European Championship, is terrible.
We are talking two or three times a day, because I know, no, I can imagine, what he is going through.
He is one of the guys who whenever you ask him ‘How are you?’ every time he says ‘OK’, that he does not feel pain now. He is going to stay in the London hospital for a couple of days and then return home.
He is a tough guy, he says he will fight. He came to Croatia from another continent, to a country he had never heard of. He of course did not know the language, when he was 17/18 in Croatia.
He is ready to fight. He is mentally unbelievably strong and I know he will be back stronger than when he was injured.
We will all miss the highly rated striker at the Euro 2008 finals in the summer and wish him best of luck for his swift recovery.