Young Barcelona star Alen Halilovic was a surprisingly left out from the list of 23 Croatian footballers that will play at 2016 EURO in France.
“Halilovic is very young and has a bright future ahead of him. I thought that it is in his best interest to spend the summer training with his club,” Croatian manager Ante Cacic said during the press conference in seaside Istrian town Rovinj where Croatian team is having final preparations for EURO.
Along with Halilovic, Dinamo Zagreb midfielder Domagoj Antolic and Red Bull Salzburg defender Duje Caleta-Car were expected dropouts from Cacic’s final list for the tournament in France.
On the same day that Ante Cacic revealed his final list for the tournament in France, Croatian Football Federation welcomed a new sponsor in its family, international group Favbet, for the next four years.
It was eight year ago at EURO 2008 in Austria and Switzerland, under guidance of West Ham manager Slaven Bilic, that Croatia last made it through the group phase at the big tournament.
EURO 2016 in France will be the first big tournament with Ante Cacic on the bench and Croatia will try to put an end to the negative streak and progress to knockout phase playing in the Group D against Turkey in Paris on June 12, versus Czech Republic in Saint-Etienne on June 17 and against Spain in Bordeaux on June 21.
Croatia will have the last test match before EURO 2016 against San Marino in Rijeka on June 4. In the first test match Croatia only managed to beat modest Moldova 1-0.
Goalkeepers: Danijel Subasic (Monaco), Lovre Kalinic (Hajduk Split), Ivan Vargic (Rijeka)
Defenders: Darijo Srna (Shakhtar Donetsk), Vedran Corluka (Lokomtiv Moscow), Domagoj Vida (Dynamo Kyiv), Gordon Schildenfeld (Dinamo Zagreb), Sime Vrsaljko (Sassuolo), Tin Jedvaj (Bayer Leverkusen), Ivan Strinic (Napoli)
Midfielders: Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Milan Badelj (Fiorentina), Ivan Perisic, Marcelo Brozovic (Inter Milan), Marko Rog, Ante Coric (Dinamo Zagreb)
Forwards: Mario Mandzukic (Juventus), Nikola Kalinic (Fiorentina), Marko Pjaca (Dinamo Zagreb), Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim), Duje Cop (Malaga).