ZAGREB, 5 September 2021 – Croatia will face Slovenia in Split in their final 2022 World Cup qualifier in September without captain Luka Modrić.
Modrić has been missing from Croatia’s last two qualifiers against Russia (0-0) and Slovakia (1-0) with an adductor injury and there was hope he would be available for Tuesday’s clash at Poljud Stadium.
Coach Zlatko Dalić however confirmed on Sunday that the Real Madrid midfielder, as well as striker Ante Budimir, will not be joining up with the rest of the squad in Split.
“Due to muscle injuries, Modrić and Budimir did not come to the gathering of the national team, but the opportunity was left to join the national team in Split if they recover quickly enough. Despite the progress made after appropriate therapies, Modrić and Budimir would not be ready for a competitive match against Slovenia, so Dalić, after talks with the two players and Croatia medical team, decided they will not join the team,” the Croatian Football Federation said.
Croatia are currently equal top of Group H with Russia with 10 points.