Zlatko Dalic has confirmed Croatia’s final 23 for Russia, including two Real Madrid midfielders and a Barcelona ace.
Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric is the standout star in Croatia’s richly-talented final 23 that will attempt to go deep at the World Cup.
Club Brugge defender Matej Mitrovic, on loan from Besiktas, was the only player culled on Monday as head coach Zlatko Dalic settled on the squad that will look to reach the knockout rounds for the first time since their third-place finish in 1998.
Those hopes will be largely pinned on the likes of Modric, Madrid team-mate Mateo Kovacic, Barcelona playmaker Ivan Rakitic and gifted Inter attacker Ivan Perisic.
Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren and Juventus forward Mario Mandzukic also figure in an experienced group which includes just three players with fewer than 10 caps.
Though beaten 2-0 by Brazil in a friendly at Anfield on Sunday, Croatia’s depth of talent will have them confident of atoning for a disappointing exit in the group stage in 2014.
Their first Group D fixture in Russia is against Nigeria on June 16 before meetings with Argentina on June 21 and Iceland five days later.
Croatia’s final 23-man World Cup squad in full:
Lovre Kalinic (Dinamo Zagreb), Dominik Livakovic (Gent), Danijel Subasic (Monaco); Duje Caleta-Car (Red Bull Salzburg); Vedran Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow), Tin Jedvaj (Bayer Leverkusen), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool), Josip Pivaric (Dynamo Kyiv), Ivan Strinic (AC Milan), Domagoj Vida (Besiktas), Sime Vrsajlko (Atletico Madrid); Milan Badelj (Fiorentina), Filip Bradaric (Rijeka), Marcelo Brozovic (Inter), Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona); Nikola Kalinic (Milan), Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim), Mario Mandzukic (Juventus), Ivan Perisic (Inter), Marko Pjaca (Juventus), Ante Rebic (Eintracht Frankfurt).