When Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić named his squad on Monday for the upcoming 2022 World Cup qualifiers in October against Cyprus and Slovakia, there were two debutants on the list.
Eintracht Frankfurt’s Kristijan Jakić and talented young Bayern Munich defender Josip Stanišić.
It has been a quick ride to senior Vatreni for the Croatian diaspora talent who not too long ago made the decision to play for Croatia ahead of the country of his birth.
Only last month Stanišić earned his first international call up for Croatia when he was selected for the U-21 team.
With injury concerns hanging over Domagoj Vida and Dejan Lovren, the Munich-born defender, who has represented Germany at U-18 level, was named by Dalić on Monday in the squad to face Cyprus away and Slovakia in Osijek next month.
“I am happy and proud, it is a great honour to receive an invitation from the selector of the Croatian A national team. My dream came true, because I always wanted to play for Croatia. From the first training, I will do my best to justify the trust shown, and I hope that Croatia will achieve maximum performance in these two games and take another step towards a place at the World Cup in Qatar,” Stanišić said.
Stanišić, who’s parents are Croats from Slavonski Brod, has been impressive in Germany and has long been touted by many as having the traits to be a big star in the future.
The versatile defender made his Bundesliga debut for Bayern Munich earlier this year and in July signed a deal which will keep him at the club until 2023.
Croatia squad for October qualifiers:
Goalkeepers: Dominik Livaković (Dinamo Zagreb), Ivica Ivušić (Osijek), Ivo Grbić (Lille).
Defenders: Domagoj Vida (Bešiktaš), Dejan Lovren (Zenit), Borna Barišić (Glasgow Rangers), Josip Juranović (Celtic), Mile Škorić (Osijek), Filip Uremović (Rubin Kazan), Joško Gvardiol (RB Leipzig), Borna Sosa (Stuttgart), Josip Stanišić (Bayern).
Midfielders: Luka Modrić (Real Madrid), Mateo Kovačić (Chelsea), Marcelo Brozović (Inter), Mario Pašalić (Atalanta), Nikola Vlašić (West Ham), Luka Ivanušec (Dinamo Zagreb), Kristijan Jakić (Eintracht Frankfurt).
Strikers: Ivan Perišić (Inter), Andrej Kramarić (Hoffenheim), Josip Brekalo (Torino), Mislav Oršić (Dinamo Zagreb), Marko Livaja (Hajduk).
On-call: Duje Ćaleta-Car (Olimpique de Marseille), Ante Budimir (Osasuna), Antonio Mirko Čolak (Malmö), Simon Sluga (Luton Town), Kristijan Lovrić (Gorica), Nikola Moro (Dinamo Moskva).