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Dalić reveals final Croatia squad for Nations League semi-final, talks visit to Pope

Dalić reveals final Croatia squad for Nations League semi-final, talks visit to Pope

Zlatko Dalić

Zlatko Dalić has today revealed the final list of 23 players for the upcoming UEFA Nations League semi-final against the Netherlands in Rotterdam. 

The Croatian coach initially named a squad of 24 players last month and today at a press conference at the Sheraton Hotel in Zagreb he revealed that striker Dion Dren Beljo will not travel with the squad to the Netherlands but will join up with the U-21 team for the Europeans Championship in Romania instead, 24sata writes. 

The squad gathered today in Zagreb before they made their way to Rijeka where they will be based. 

“Reaching the finals is a fantastic success. We have the semifinals ahead, a tough match against the Netherlands, who are the hosts. I expect great support from the fans and for it to feel like we’re playing at home. On June 8th, we will all be together except for Marcelo Brozović, who will be playing in the UEFA Champions League final. We will try to win, but we don’t have any pressure,” Dalić said, before adding. 

“We included 24 players on the list to have a complete squad until Brozović joins us. We called up Beljo because we want him to experience the atmosphere of the A national team, as we count on him in the future, but on June 12th, when we go to the Netherlands, he will join the U-21 team. We want to have him in the A national team environment for seven days because we will count on him in the fall.”

Dalić says it would be great to win the first trophy in Croatian history, after performing well in the group stage to get there. 

“We have always been at a high level in every tournament, and I expect the same now. The players are tired and exhausted from the season, but I’m confident that they have the motivation for two more matches.

On June 9th, the squad will fly out to Rome where they will have an audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

“We are going to see the Pope, and that is a great thing, the first time in the history of the Croatian national team. It’s a big deal for us, we are not going to pray for anything, just to express our gratitude for everything so far. That was our wish. We received an invitation after the final in Russia (2018) to visit the Pope, but it didn’t happen then, so since then, we have been looking for a suitable date,” Dalić said. 

Brozović will join the national team after the UEFA Champions League final which takes place between his Inter Milan side and Manchester City in Istanbul on Saturday.

Croatia takes on the Netherlands in the semi-final of the UEFA Nations League on 14 June in Rotterdam. Spain face Italy in the second semi-final with the final and 3rd-4th playoff being played on 18 June. 

Croatia squad for UEFA Nations League semi-final:

Goalkeepers: Dominik Livaković, Ivica Ivušić, Nediljko Labrović

Defenders: Domagoj Vida, Borna Barišić, Josip Juranović, Joško Gvardiol, Borna Sosa, Josip Stanišić, Josip Šutalo, Martin Erlić

Midfielders: Luka Modrić, Mateo Kovačić, Marcelo Brozović, Mario Pašalić, Nikola Vlašić, Lovro Majer, Luka Ivanušec

Strikers: Ivan Perišić, Andrej Kramarić, Bruno Petković, Marko Livaja, Petar Musa

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