Croatia World Cup 2022 squad: Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic headline selection for Qatar

Duje Caleta-Car and Antonio Colak miss out on Zlatko Dalic’s 26-man group

Luke Baker
Thursday 10 November 2022 13:07 GMT
Switzerland's World Cup squad 2022

Luka Modric will once again lead his country into a World Cup after being named as part of Croatia’s 26-man squad for Qatar alongside the likes of Mateo Kovacic, Marcelo Brozovic and Ivan Perisic.

Modric inspired the Croats to finish as runners-up in Russia four years ago, their best performance at a World Cup, and although they have lost some key players from that group to international retirement - including Danijel Subasic, Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic - coach Zlatko Dalic can still call on a number of experienced heads.

Chelsea star Kovacic and Tottenham’s versatile Perisic are the two Premier League-based players in the squad, although Southampton defender Duje Caleta-Car misses out with Sassuolo’s Martin Erlic preferred.

Rangers forward Antonio Colak is another snub, although his club teammate Borna Barisic and Celtic’s Josip Juranovic are among the defenders selected by Dalic.

Croatia open their campaign in Qatar against Morocco, before facing Canada, and victory in those two games would set them up nicely for the third game against presumptive group favourites Belgium.

Speaking about his squad selection, Dalic said.: “These are the players that I and my staff believe in. There will be no pressure, we will take it one game at a time,”

“The first match for us is the most important and all our focus is on Morocco. We are optimistic but need to be realistic. It is a big deal for Croatia to be at the World Cup, we will take it step by step and do the best we can.”

Confirmed Croatia squad

Goalkeepers: Dominik Livakovic (Dinamo Zagreb), Ivo Grbic (Atletico Madrid), Ivica Ivusic (Osijek)

Defenders: Josip Stanisic (Bayern Munich), Borna Sosa (Stuttgart), Josko Gvardiol (Leipzig), Dejan Lovren (Zenit), Borna Barisic (Rangers), Domagoj Vida (AEK Athens), Josip Juranovic (Celtic), Martin Erlic (Sassuolo), Josip Sutalo (Dinamo Zagreb)

Midfielders: Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea), Marcelo Brozovic (Inter Milan), Mario Pasalic (Atalanta), Nikola Vlasic (Torino), Kristijan Jakic (Eintracht Frankfurt), Lovro Majer (Rennes), Luka Sucic (Red Bull Salzburg)

Forwards: Ivan Perisic (Tottenham), Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim), Marko Livaja (Hajduk Split), Bruno Petkovic (Dinamo Zagreb), Mislav Orsic (Dinamo Zagreb), Ante Budimir (Osasuna)

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