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Robert Ljubičić available for Croatia as FIFA approves citizenship change

FIFA has informed the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) that it has accepted Robert Ljubičić’s request to change his football citizenship, and the 23-year-old Dinamo Zagreb midfielder can now play for the Croatian national football team.

In November 2022, Ljubičić made a decision that he wanted to represent Croatia in the future, after which the process began to get FIFA to approve his change of football citizenship from Austrian to Croatian. 

‘With the decision made, the months-long efforts of Ljubičić and HNS ended in a positive way, and Ljubičić can play for the Vatreni in the future’, HNS reported on Saturday.

Ljubičić started his senior career at St. Pölten, after which he played for Rapid Vienna, from where he arrived at Dinamo Zagreb in the summer of 2022.

“We are happy with the decision that Robert will be able to play for the Croatian national team, and we believe that it will strengthen the competition in Zlatko Dalić’s squad. I thank the management of GNK Dinamo, led by president Vlatka Peras, for supporting Robert and HNS in this process, as well as our technical to Director Pletikosa and the administration of the federation, who once again did a superb job in communicating to the player and to FIFA.

Of course, I am most pleased that Robert and his family chose to play for Croatia, which confirms how strong the cult of our national team is and how much patriotism our people raise their children abroad. It is up to Robert to impose himself on the selectors with his games, and I welcome him to the Croatian football family,” said HNS president Marijan Kustić.

“It was not easy to make such a decision considering that I grew up in Austria, where I also developed in football, for which Austria, my coaches and clubs have my utmost gratitude and respect. However, Croatia is in my blood, it is a people my family and I felt a strong desire to represent Croatia as my homeland. I thank HNS and Dinamo for supporting me and my family during this process, and I will continue to work hard to earn a call-up to one of the best national teams in the world, which would be the fulfilment of a football dream,” said Robert Ljubičić.

“First of all, thank you to Robert and his family for the pleasant communication. Robert proved to be a very serious and intelligent young man who made a decision that made us happy – that he wanted to play for Croatia. I’m glad that we were able to formally make it possible and thus get more another quality candidate for the national team. Now, of course, it’s up to Robert to earn coach Dalić’s trust with his games, and of course we in the federation believe that he can contribute to the national team with his football skills,” said the technical director of the A and U-21 national team, Stipe Pletikosa.

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