Croatia's Kalinic reportedly declines World Cup medal

Croatia forward Nikola Kalinic has not accepted a runners-up medal after his country's 4-2 FIFA World Cup final defeat to France, because he was sent home early in the competition, according to Croatian media reports.

Kalinic

Nikola Kalinic in Croatia colours Source: Getty Images

Kalinic, who was dismissed from the squad after the 2-0 victory over Nigeria in their opening match, told Sportske Novosti: "Thank you, but I did not play in Russia."

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic sent the AC Milan forward home when, warming up to be a second-half substitute, he told him he was not able to play because of a back problem.

Dalic said at the time that Kalinic had been asked to come on in the 85th minute but refused, citing the back injury, adding that he had also declined to come on in a friendly against Brazil in England before the tournament and had missed a training session.

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Kalinic could not be replaced in the squad, meaning Croatia played the rest of the tournament with 22 players, during their incredible run to the World Cup final.

 


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1 min read
Published 21 July 2018 at 9:52am
Source: Reuters