ZAGREB, 23 August 2021 – Talented 21-year-old Bayern Munich defender Josip Stanišić has earned his first international call up for Croatia.
Munich-born Stanišić, who has represented Germany at U-18 level, was named on Monday in the Croatia U-21 squad by coach Igor Bišćan for the upcoming UEFA Under-21 Euro 2023 qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Finland.
The versatile defender made his Bundesliga debut for Bayern Munich earlier this year on and in July signed a deal which will keep him at the club until 2023.
“I am very happy to be invited to the Croatian U-21 national team. I am honoured to be able to wear the Croatian jersey,” Stanišić said.
Stanišić, who’s parents are Croats from Slavonski Brod, has been impressive in Germany and has been touted by many as having the traits to be a big star in the future.
The Croatian squad named today also includes two other promising diaspora talents who Croatia want to secure the services of for the senior team. One is another German-born play, Borussia Dortmund forward Marco Pašalić and Austrian-born Luka Sučić, who is also on standby for the Zlatko Dalić’s team.
“It is a special feeling to wear a jersey with red and white checkers and I am looking forward to continuing to represent Croatia,” Sučić said.
“I can’t describe how proud I will be to play for the Croatian national team because I was raised from an early age that Croatia is my homeland. I am looking forward to the first gathering with the youth national team, and it is up to all of us to prove ourselves with good games and dedicated work, first to the selector Bišćan, and then potentially to the selector Dalić,” Pašalić said.
The talented trio from the diaspora is confirmation of the work of the football sector of the Croatian Football Federation, says the president of the Croatian Football Federation, Marijan Kustić.
“We are aware that there is great potential in the diaspora, and young men like Sučić, Stanišić and Pašalić show by their decisions to play for Croatia how strong the commitment of our families abroad to the Croatian national team is. By bringing Stipe Pletikosa in as the technical director of the A and U-21 national teams, we wanted to further strengthen this segment of operations because we are a small country and we must successfully find every talent, be it in Croatia or abroad,” Kustić said.
The newly appointed technical director of the A and U-21 national team, Stipe Pletikosa, has already held talks with Sučić and Stanišić, and this week he will also meet with Pašalić.
“I am extremely pleased that Sučić, Stanišić and Pašalić have chosen to represent Croatia. We have a responsibility to further develop our scout network and nurture quality communication with guys who are potential for Croatian national teams, as well as organise as many activities as possible to see them up close, such as the Memorial of Croatian Veterans tournament in Vukovar,” Pletikosa added.
The Croatia U-21 team will first play Azerbaijan on 2 September in Velika Gorica, before meeting Finland in Oulu on 7 September.
Croatia U-21 squad
Goalkeepers: Dominik Kotarski (Gorica), Ivor Pandur (Verona), Nikola Čavlina (Dinamo)
Defenders: Boško Šutalo (Atalanta), David Čolina (Hajduk), Mario Vušković (Hajduk), Bartol Franjić (Dinamo), Krešimir Krizmanić (Gorica), Nikola Soldo (Lokomotiva), Josip Stanišić (Bayern), Josip Šutalo (Dinamo)
Midfielders: Martin Baturina (Dinamo), Marko Bulat (Dinamo), Denis Bušnja (Rijeka), Lukas Kačavenda (Lokomotiva), Adrian Liber (Rijeka), Jurica Pršir (Gorica), Luka Sučić (RB Salzburg)
Strikers: Ivan Dolček (Hajduk), Antonio Marin (Šibenik), Stipe Biuk (Hajduk), Marco Pašalić (Borussia Dortmund), Roko Šimić (RB Salzburg), Marin Ljubičić (Hajduk)