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Sime Vrsaljko plays his first match in over one year 

Sime Vrsaljko (Photo: HNS)

MADRID, 26 January 2020 – More good news for Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic as Sime Vrsaljko played his first match in over a year on Sunday. 

Right-back Vrsaljko started for Atletico Madrid in their 0-0 LaLiga clash with Leganes at Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid this afternoon. Vrsaljko played 88 minutes in the match, his first since 13 January 2019. 

Back in February, Vrsaljko underwent surgery on his left knee which had been causing him problems since the World Cup in Russia. Nine months after the surgery he was back training for the first time with his club Atletico Madrid and made his return today which will please Dalic. 

Vrsaljko’s knee problems started at the 2018 World Cup and continued to restrict him during the start of the 2018/2019 season. Vrsaljko joined Atletico before the 2016/17 season and was loaned out last year to Italian giants Inter Milan. The Croatian international last played on 13 January for Inter Milan. 

Earlier this month, striker Marko Pjaca also made his return after more than a year on the sidelines through injury. Both players have four months to prove their fitness and form before Dalic names his Euro 2020 squad.  

Croatia has had problems at right-back since Vrsaljko has been unavailable with centre-back Tin Jedvaj largely filling in in that role.

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