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Croatia squad: Qatar World Cup 2022 – Final list of 26 players for national team

Croatia World Cup squad qatar team 2022

After previously reaching the semifinals in France in 1998, Croatia’s run to the World Cup final in 2018 set a new standard for them as an independent nation.

Zlatko Dalic’s side, full of talent from the UEFA Champions League, finally gelled on the world stage four years ago, sweeping Denmark, Russia, and England before falling short to France in the final.

Dalic will be hoping to coax one more big-tournament performance out of his veteran stars in Qatar after they have regrouped since their elimination in the round of 16.

Croatia, led by Real Madrid star Luka Modric, will have one of the most experienced squads at the World Cup, and their coach, Zlatko Dalic, will look to the team’s depth of experience to propel them.

Croatia World Cup squad 2022

On November 9, head coach Dalic announced his final roster. Marcelo Brozovic, a key midfielder who had been an injury concern in the lead-up weeks, was declared fit to play. He hurt his hamstring at the end of September and was sidelined for the entire month of October. He was included in the final roster after making a late return to club action with Inter and playing in the Derby d’Italia on November 6 against Juventus.

Domagoj Vida, a defender, was also mentioned as a possible starter but was feared to be injured before the match in Qatar. He is now expected to play and try to become the first player in Croatian history to earn 100 international caps.

Luka Modric, the captain and star player for the 2018 finalists, stands out as the most notable name on the list. Given his age (37), it’s possible but not guaranteed that this will be his final World Cup appearance. Veteran teammate Ivan Perisic has also joined the squad.

Of the players who did not make the cut, Duje Caleta-Car of Southampton and Antonio Colak of Rangers are the most surprising. Ante Rebic, a striker for Milan, was an integral part of the 2018 run in Russia, but he was left off Dalic’s preliminary roster of 26 players. In preparation for their first challenge in Qatar against Morocco on November 23, Croatia will play their final friendly against fellow World Cup hopefuls Saudi Arabia on November 16.

Croatia World Cup group

Dalic’s Croatia look set for a straight shootout with Belgium for top spot in Group F, with the Red Devils also under pressure to squeeze a last hurrah from their veteran stars.

Canada will pose a threat, if either of the European heavyweights struggle, and coach John Herdman could see his side upset the odds in this group.

Croatia Group F fixtures and match schedule

Date Match Time (ET) Stadium
Wed, Nov. 23 Morocco vs. Croatia 5 a.m. Al Bayt
Sun, Nov. 27 Croatia vs. Canada 11 a.m. Khalifa Int’l
Thurs, Dec. 1 Croatia vs. Belgium 10 a.m. Ahmad Bin Ali

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