Modric, Rakitic lead new era for World Cup finalists Croatia | OneFootball

Modric, Rakitic lead new era for World Cup finalists Croatia

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Stats Perform

Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic have been named in the Croatia squad for next month's matches with Portugal and Spain, ending speculation they could retire from international football.

It had been suggested the experienced midfielders may call time on their careers with the national team, having reached the World Cup final this year.

However, captain Modric, the winner of the Golden Ball in Russia, and Barcelona star Rakitic have both been called up by head coach Zlatko Dalic for next month's games.

Rakitic will win his 100th cap if he plays in either the friendly with Portugal on September 6 or the UEFA Nations League clash with Spain five days later.

Dalic has included the uncapped Marko Livaja from AEK Athens, Antonio Milic of Anderlecht and goalkeeper Karlo Letica of Club Brugge in his squad.

Matej Mitrovic, Marko Rog, Mario Pasalic, Borna Barisic and Ivan Santini are also included, having missed out on places at the World Cup.

Dejan Lovren and Andrej Kramaric are included despite struggling with injury. Nikola Kalinic, who left the World Cup squad after complaining of a back problem, has been left out.

Danijel Subasic, Mario Mandzukic and Vedran Corluka have now retired, while Duje Caleta-Car has dropped down into the Under-21 squad and Ivan Strinic has taken a leave of absence from football after being diagnosed with a heart problem.

Croatia squad:

Lovre Kalinic (Gent), Karlo Letica (Club Brugge), Dominik Livakovic (Dinamo); Borna Barisic (Rangers), Tin Jedvaj (Bayer Leverkusen), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool), Antonio Milic (Anderlecht), Matej Mitrovic (Club Brugge), Josip Pivaric (Dynamo Kiev), Domagoj Vida (Besiktas), Sime Vrsaljko (Inter); Milan Badelj (Lazio), Filip Bradaric (Cagliari), Marcelo Brozovic (Inter), Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Mario Pasalic (Atalanta), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Marko Rog (Napoli); Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim), Marko Livaja (AEK Athens), Ivan Perisic (Inter), Marko Pjaca (Fiorentina), Ante Rebic (Eintracht Frankfurt), Ivan Santini (Anderlecht).