Croatia taking experienced squad to World Cup
ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Luka Modric and Mario Mandzukic have been included in Croatia’s experienced 30-man provisional squad for the World Cup.
The Real Madrid midfielder and Bayern Munich striker are expected to form the core of country’s team at the World Cup, where it will play host Brazil, Mexico and Cameroon in Group A.
However, Mandzukic will have to sit out the World Cup opener against Brazil on June 12 in Sao Paulo because of his expulsion during Croatia’s playoff match against Iceland.
Also included in the provisional squad are Shakhtar Donetsk defender Darijo Srna, Sevilla midfielder Ivan Rakitic and Wolfsburg striker Ivica Olic.
Croatia coach Niko Kovac says “we’ll try our best in Brazil, but the earth won’t stop turning if we fail.”
Goalkeepers: Stipe Pletikosa (Rostov), Danijel Subasic (Monaco), Oliver Zelenika (Dinamo Zagreb)
Defenders: Darijo Srna (Shakhtar Donetsk), Dejan Lovren (Southampton), Vedran Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow), Gordon Schildenfeld (Panathinaikos), Danijel Pranjic (Panathinaikos), Ivan Strinic (Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk), Domagoj Vida (Dynamo Kiev), Sime Vrsaljko (Genoa), Igor Bubnjic (Udinese)
Midfielders: Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Ivan Rakitic (Sevilla), Niko Kranjcar (Queens Park Rangers), Ognjen Vukojevic (Dynamo Kiev), Ivan Perisic (Wolfsburg), Mateo Kovacic (Inter Milan), Milan Badelj (Hamburg), Ivo Ilicevic (Hamburg), Marcelo Brozovic (Dinamo Zagreb), Ivan Mocinic (Rijeka), Mario Pasalic (Hajduk Split), Sammir (Getafe)
Forwards: Mario Mandzukic (Bayern Munich), Ivica Olic (Wolfsburg), Eduardo da Silva (Shakhtar Donetsk), Nikica Jelavic (Hull), Ante Rebic (Fiorentina), Duje Cop (Dinamo Zagreb)