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Croatia announce 26-man squad for World Cup 2022

Croatia have unveiled their final 26-man squad for World Cup 2022 in Qatar, with Luka Modric captaining the side.

Zlatko Dalic’s men have been drawn in Group F alongside Belgium, Canada and Morocco.

Croatia turned out to be the dark horses in the 2018 World Cup, finishing as runners-up after losing to France in the final.

Modric played a pivotal role in that fairy tale run, eventually bagging the tournament’s Golden Ball before winning the 2018 Ballon d’Or – which broke the duopoly of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

The 37-year-old is now set to play in his fourth World Cup and will be looking to have a similar impact he had in the previous edition.

While most players tend to decline at such an age, Modric is showing no signs of stopping down as he continues to be one of the best midfielders in Europe and a key player for Real Madrid.

Mateo Kovacic and Marcelo Brozovic will be the other two pillars in the midfield, while the likes of Lovro Majer, Mario Pasalic and Nikola Vlasic add depth.

RB Salzburg’s highly-talented prospect Luka Sucic has been included in the squad, and it will be his first-ever World Cup.

The 20-year-old has been impressive for the Austrian outfit over the last few seasons, making his debut with the Croatian senior team last year.

Tottenham Hotspur’s Ivan Perisic will lead the attack alongside Hoffenheim’s Andrej Kramaric, who has been one of the best forwards in the Bundesliga in recent years.

Dinamo Zagreb forwards Bruno Petkovic and Mislav Orsic have made the cut, and both have been productive for the Croatian outfit this season.

Zagreb’s Dominik Livakovic will be the first-choice goalkeeper, with Ivica Ivusic and Ivo Grbic providing back-up.

Dejan Lovren and Domogoj Vida, who were part of the 2018 World Cup squad, will lead the backline alongside promising young talents like Borna Sosa and Josko Gvaridol and Josip Sutalo.

Croatia will play a friendly fixture against Saudi Arabia next week before their World Cup opener against Morocco on November 23.

Croatia World Cup squad

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

Defenders: Domagoj Vida (AEK Athens), Dejan Lovren (Zenit St Petersburg), Borna Barisic (Rangers), Josip Juranovic (Celtic), Josko Gvardiol (RB Leipzig), Borna Sosa (VfB Stuttgart), Josip Stanisic (Bayern Munich), 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, on loan from West Ham United), Lovro Majer (Rennes), Kristijan Jakic (Eintracht Frankfurt), Luka Sucic (RB Salzburg).

Forwards: Ivan Perisic (Tottenham Hotspur), Andrej Kramaric (1899 Hoffenheim), Bruno Petkovic (Dinamo Zagreb), Mislav Orsic (Dinamo Zagreb), Ante Budimir (Osasuna), Marko Livaja (Hajduk Split).

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