FIFA World Cup 2018: Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic included in Croatia's 23-Man squad

Zagreb: Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic, who had named one extra player for his provisional World Cup squad, on Monday announced that defender Matej Mitovic was the man being dropped.

File image of Croatia national football team. Reuters

File image of Croatia national football team. Reuters

Mitrovic had not played for Belgian champions Club Brugge since 19 April and Dalic said that was one of the reasons the defender was cut.

"I've been thinking a lot about this, and since the beginning I was saying that one defender will be removed and I stuck to that," Dalic told reporters. "This is my choice and I stand by it."

Croatia are appearing at the World Cup for the fifth time and have been drawn alongside two time former champions Argentina, Nigeria and Iceland in Group D.

The Croatia squad is led by international stars Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic, but on Sunday it lost a warm-up game, 2-0, to Brazil in Liverpool.

"We should remain stable and learn the lessons from this match," Dalic told state run HRT television after the defeat. "We are doing our job and nothing will unhinge us."

Before flying out to Russia, Croatia will take on Senegal on Friday in Osijek.

Croatia squad:

Goalkeepers: Danijel Subasic, Lovre Kalinic, Dominik Livakovic

Defenders: Vedran Corluka, Domagoj Vida, Ivan Strinic, Dejan Lovren, Sime Vrsaljko, Josip Pivaric, Tin Jedvaj, Duje Caleta-Car

Midfielders: Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Mateo Kovacic, Milan Badelj, Marcelo Brozovic, Filip Bradaric

Forwards: Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Perisic, Nikola Kalinic, Andrej Kramaric, Marko Pjaca, Ante Rebic

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Updated Date: Jun 04, 2018 20:36:11 IST

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