Croatia's Kalinic sent home, confirms manager

Ruben Hill
June 18, 2018

"During the Nigeria encounter, Kalinic was warming up and was supposed to come on in the second half", Dalic said in a statement.

It has emerged that a member of Croatia's World Cup squad has sensationally been "kicked out" after he refused to come on during their 2-0 victory against Nigeria.

"However, he said he wasn't ready to go on because he felt a back problem".

"I have calmly accepted that, and since I need my players fit and ready to play, I have [to make] this decision". He did the same thing against Brazil and England, saying he wasn't ready, and for yesterday's training session too.

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 15 goals in 42 worldwide games, but his involvement has fallen in kind with his form at club level.

Coach Zlatko Dalic confirmed Kalinic's explosion this afternoon to media after the story broke this morning that the AC Milan striker would be packing his bags for home for disciplinary reasons.

Marko Pjaca, nominally a wide player, came on instead and Kalinic's subsequent exit means Croatia have just Mario Mandzukic left within their squad as an out-and-out No.9.

Croatia's winning start came as Oghenekaro Etebo's own goal and a Luka Modric penalty decided a poor Group D match in Kaliningrad.

Croatia are back in action against Argentina in Nizhny Novgorod on Thursday.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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