SPLIT, 29 May 2019 – Vice-captain Ivan Rakitić and striker Ante Rebić have been ruled out of Croatia’s squad to face Wales and Tunisia in June.
Rakitić and Rebić will miss the EURO 2020 qualifier against Wales in Osijek on 8 June as well as the international friendly against Tunisia three days later in Varaždin because of injuries, the coach Zlatko Dalić confirmed on Wednesday.
Rakitić was not present when the squad gathered in Split today.
“We made the decision together that Rakitić will not be part of this action. He has had a problem with his hamstring, and it flared up again in the final of the King’s Cup. He is not fit for the Wales match and will not take part in the Tunisia match either,” Dalić said, adding that he has faith in all of the players in his squad and that he will find a quality replacement for the Barcelona midfielder.
Rebić will also miss both encounters also after a checkup from the team doctor upon arrival today. Doctors confirmed that due to a knee injury, the Frankfurt striker is not fit for next weekend’s qualifier in Osijek.
“The match with Wales is extremely important and demanding because it comes at the end of the club season, but as it is for us, so is it for our opponents. As far as the result is concerned, we do not have many choices,” Dalić said referring to the side’s loss in their last qualifier against Hungary.
“In Hungary we lost three points and we have to be well prepared, regardless of any missing players. My job is to prepare the team to be ready, no matter how difficult it is to return to the atmosphere from Russia. We did not forget how to play football, there is no panic, and I have never been negative or pessimistic. I’m not afraid, we have to be brave, then luck and good results will come.”