Defenders Ivan Vicelich and Daniel Saric, and striker Daniel Koprivcic make up the “Croatian trio” who will take on J-League winners Sanfrecce Hiroshima on 6 December at Yokohama International Stadium in their opening match.
New Zealand’s most capped international Vicelich (36) will captain the side and is under no illusions about the task ahead.
“The team has a very strong look to it but it is tricky to compare with teams from the past. But I am very proud to represent the club at another FIFA Club World Cup and the match with Sanfrecce Hiroshima will be tough,” said Vicelich.
Croatia-born Koprivcic will become the only Croatian footballer to have ever participated in 5 FIFA Club World Cups after playing for fellow New Zealand side Waitakere United in 2007 and 2008, and for Auckland City in 2009 and 2011.
England’s Chelsea and Brazil’s Corinthians are the tournament favourites.