Croatia national team coach Zlatko Dalić has decided to call up striker Duje Čop for the nation’s upcoming matches in September, the Croatian Football Federation announced on Monday.
Čop was not initially named in Dalić’s squad announced last week for Croatia’s matches against Portugal and Spain but Dalić has called him into the squad due to the fact that there are injury clouds over a number of players.
The 28-year-old striker, who in on loan at Spanish club Real Valladolid from Standard Liège, has scored twice for Croatia in 13 matches.
Croatia will first face Portugal away in Algarve in a friendly on 6 September, before meeting Spain in their UEFA Nations League opener in Elche on 11 September.
The squad will assemble after this weekend’s club matches.
Croatia squad for Portugal & Spain:
Goalkeepers: Lovre Kalinić (Gent), Dominik Livaković (Dinamo) Karlo Letica (Brugge)
Defenders: Domagoj Vida (Bešiktaš), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool), Šime Vrsaljko (Inter), Josip Pivarić (Dynamo Kijev), Tin Jedvaj (Bayer Leverkusen), Matej Mitrović (Club Brugge), Borna Barišić (Rangers), Antonio Milić (Anderlecht)
Midfielders: Luka Modrić (Real Madrid), Ivan Rakitić (Barcelona), Mateo Kovačić (Chelsea), Milan Badelj (Lazio), Marcelo Brozović (Inter), Filip Bradarić (Rijeka), Marko Rog (Napoli), Mario Pašalić (Atalanta)
Strikers: Ivan Perišić (Inter), Andrej Kramarić (Hoffenheim), Marko Pjaca (Fiorentina), Ante Rebić (Eintracht), Ivan Santini (Anderlecht), Marko Livaja (AEK), Duje Čop (Real Valladolid)
Current injury clouds surround Dejan Lovren and Andrej Kramarić.
Croatia first played Portugal at the 1996 EURO and lost 3-0. The two nations have also met in friendlies in 2005 (0:2) and in 2013 (0:1). At 2016 EURO, Portugal knocked out Croatia in the quarterfinal.
Croatia and Spain have met six times in the past with Spain winning three of those encounters and Croatia two, including the famous 2-1 win at 2016 EURO.