Croatia Head Coach Confirms Forward Kalinic Excluded From World Cup Squad

Nikola Kalinic of ACF Fiorentina celebrates after scoring a goal during the Serie A match between ACF Fiorentina and SS Lazio at Stadio Artemio Franchi

Speaking in the wake of Saturday's win, Dalic told reporters that the team had finished the game without injuries but "with a problem". However, he said that he is not ready to play due to back problems.

Dalic confirmed Kalinic's departure in a statement released on Monday, which portrayed the situation as more cordial than initial reports from the Croatian media had suggested. Officials at AC Milan will certainly be interested in evaluating this back ailment ahead of the 2018-19 campaign.

However, Dalic wouldn't comment on his motives, saying only: "I need my players fit and ready to play". "The same thing happened against Brazil and in training on Monday".

Here, Press Association Sport looks at five other players who left the World Cup early. "He's not like that, on three occasions he hasn't been ready, so I made this decision".




The shock news comes amid apparent talks between Milan and Sevilla with a view to the 30-year-old moving to the LaLiga club next season.

Kalinic has played 41 times for Croatia, scoring 15 goals, but he last started for the national side in 2017.

The FC panel assess Croatia's complete performance against Nigeria and what message it sends to the rest of Group D.

Despite sending Kalinic home, Croatia doesn't have an opportunity to replace him on the squad, leaving the team to play the remainder of the tournament with just 22 men.

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