ZAGREB, 22 March 2022 – The Croatian football team arrives in Doha on Tuesday ahead of two friendly internationals against Slovenia and Bulgaria.
The team departed Zagreb today minus two players originally named in the 25-man squad.
Atletico Madrid defender Šime Vrsaljko and Inter Milan midfielder Marcelo Brozović, both under injury clouds, did not travel with the team today and were replaced in the squad by Osijek defender Mile Škorić and Dynamo Moscow midfielder Nikola Moro.
Five players, including captain Luka Modrić, did not fly out from Zagreb with the rest of the team and will arrive in Doha directly from their clubs.
“Our motivation is great in the upcoming matches to prepare for what awaits us in June. This will be a very good test for all of us to see what we can do, to prepare for the Nations League,” said coach Zlatko Dalić, who made it clear that he intends to use all players in the two matches.
“We called up 25 players, the idea is for everyone to play. We will give a chance to all the players, but there is no point in burdening them to the maximum, I want to try all the players. Our goal is for everyone to play. We will make two teams for those two games, the players are very busy in their clubs anyway, I think it will be good for them to relieve them a little,” Dalić added.
Whilst the matches are only friendlies, Croatia will still be looking for victories.
“Of course we must not neglect the result, we must achieve the goal, two victories. However, we will also try to organise gatherings and dinners, we want players who are not always with us to feel that atmosphere. I do not want to underestimate the opponents, in fact, Slovenia gave us a lot of trouble in the last qualifiers in the first game, and Bulgaria will also want to present itself against Croatia in the best possible light,” said Dalić, who also revealed earlier that he will be trying a new formation in Doha.
Croatia will face Slovenia first up on March 26th, and will play Bulgaria three days later on March 29th. Both matches kick-off at 5 pm local time.
The Qatari national team will also play in the tournament, playing matches against Bulgaria (March 26th) and Slovenia (March 29th).