Are you disappointed in Croatia's U-21 Euro 2019 performance?

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July 30, 2010

Photo: Nenad Dugi; Slaven Bilić 

Croatia coach Slaven Bilić today, named the following 20-man squad for an away friendly at Slovakia in Bratislava on August 11th. This will be Croatia’s last test before European qualifiers at Latvia on September 3rd and at home to Greece September 7th.



Vedran Runje (RC Lens), Danijel Subašić (Hajduk Split)


Josip Šimunić (Hoffenheim), Jurica Buljat (Hajduk), Ivan Strinić (Hajduk), Vedran Ćorluka(Tottenham), Gordon Schindelfeld(SK Sturm Graz)


Darijo Srna (Shakhtar Donetsk), Ognjen Vukojević (Dynamo Kiev), Tomislav Dujmović (Lokomotiv), Danijel Pranjić (Bayern Munich), Luka Modrić (Tottenham), Drago Gabrić (Trabzonspor), Niko Kranjčar(Tottenham), Ivan Rakitić (FC Schalke 04)


Ivica Olić (Bayern Munich), Mladen Petrić (Hamburg), Mario Mandžukić (Vfl Wolfsburg), Eduardo Da Silva (FC Shakhtar Donetsk), Nikica Jelavić (Rapid).



“Slovakia is our last test before qualification matches in Latvia and at home to Greece. We are talking about a strong opponent, not only have they qualified for the world cup but advanced to the second round. However, our priority is for the U21 team to qualify, this is why we are missing several players besides Rakitić, who is very important to the national team. Stipe Pletikosa has recovered from injury and is expecting to find a new club within the next few weeks.”

~Slaven Bilić

A few familiar faces will not be with the senior team for the final friendly before two important qualifiers in September. Ivica Križanac has officially retired from the Croatian national side while Dejan Lovren, Ivan Perišić, Domagoj Vida and Nikola Kalinić will all remain on duty with the U-21 side facing Norway on the same day. Mate Bilić, Stipe Pletikosa, Hrvoje Čale, Dario Knežević, and Nikola Pokrivač all missed the cut. 25 year old former Dinamo Zagreb defender, Gordon Schildenfeld will be looking for his fourth cap against Slovakia.

EURO 2012 qualifying Schedule(Click to Enlarge) 


Who deserved a call up? 


~ Denis Svirčić, reporting from Lakerville



Denis Svirčić
Posted By: Denis Svirčić 17 comments

  1. dinamofan:) says:

    Yep one change.. Mate Bilic in Mario Mandzukic out.

    Bilic 3 goals in 4
    Mandzukic 1 goal in 10

    only reason to leave Bilic out is due to that Spain are a long way behind in preseason prep.

    Nikica Jelavic can stick in the squad. Will wait and see how Lakic, Ilicevic, Gavranovic and Cesarec do during the course of the season.

    Knezevic, Pletikosa, Budan, Klasnic all left out due to transfer negotiations.

    Pokrivac and Cale have dropped off the squad. We saw Buljat yesterday and he isn't an international standard player.

  2. DinamoDennis says:

    Mandzukic out…klasnic in. I know hes not fit but…still would rather see him there then mandzukic.

  3. Jordan ARMADA NYC says:

    Just wish the U-21 quals weren't going on now. I cannot wait until Perišić finally gets the call to the senior team. The kid is going to be fuckin nasty and cement a spot on the starting 11 early on. Actually can't wait until this whole U-21 class moves up to the NT (Vida, Lovren, Perišić, Z. Pamić, Jajalo, etc.). There is a lot of promise there, I feel.

  4. ziva istina says:

    True, lot of promise, but histroy shows us 2-3 max will make a contribution on the senior level. Maybe we have a golden generation – unlikely – but time will tell.

  5. Davor says:

    Buljat definitely shouldn't have made the cut after the Dinamo match

    I'm glad he is giving Mandzukic another shot I still have hope that he will turn out to be a great player, unlike Kalinic, Rukavina and Sharbini he has actually scored goals in matches that matter such as the Ajax match a few years back. Hopefully he has a good season at Wolfsburg.

    Either way I don't think we are lacking the strength up top it's more of the #6 position and getting our defense organized. I think it might be a smart move to move Srna to right back and have Corluka play a central defender role.

  6. dinamofan:) says:

    Forget Mandzo i'm hoping Srdjan Lakic makes him look the overhyped player he is this season. Lakic is unknown to most only cos he got his Bundesliga move from Kamen Ingrad.

    I'm sure Lakic and Gavranovic will come good come the end of season. Sadly though Bilic picks his favorites and its gonna take a lot to get in. Gavranovic is already hanging around Rakitic a lot which is a good thing. Glad Klasnic is returning to Bolton but he's going to need to score regularly to stay ahead of the competition.

    If i was Bilic i would have a clean slate and just say to the whole lot of them impress me.

  7. Alex says:

    Too bad- I want to see M Bilic play against a decent opponent. He's really done everything asked but to truly prove himself he needs a good match or two v decent quality. His club career isn't that stellar to guarantee him a place like some others(cough, cough, Petric).
    Some other news, good or bad depending on point of view is that Runje seems to have lost his #1 place(at least temporarily) at Lens. Personally, I could care less so long as Bilic doesn't play him. In reality, it could be the excuse/motivation need for Bilic to bench him. I never thought I'd see the day that I pray for Pletikosa to be #1. And don't even mention Subasic- I'd take Delac or Antolovic over him…
    Honestly, if Lovren, Vida, and Perisic came good I'd be satisfied. Add Jajalo and/or Ilicevic to that I'd be esctatic.

  8. Zach G says:

    Croatia finishes with 2 medals in the European Athletics Championships. 20 year old Sandra Perkovic wins gold in the womens discus becoming the youngest throwing winner ever. Blanka Vlasic continued her dominance this year following her world indoor championship victory jumping 2.03m.

  9. Denis Svirčić says:


    "only reason to leave Bilic out is due to that Spain are a long way behind in preseason prep."

    "Knezevic, Pletikosa, Budan, Klasnic all left out due to transfer negotiations."

    I agree with you on this. Although, I think Budan lost his spot with the national team a long time ago.

    @Jordan Armada

    "I cannot wait until Perišić finally gets the call to the senior team. "

    same here. I think he's ready to transfer to a top 4 league. Belgium is too weak of a league for this kid.


    I dont think Corluka is ready to take over that central defender role. Carli is solid at right back which is a much easier position. Also, if we throw Srna at that right back position, we give up height on that right side something that has troubled us in the past with Pranjic/Cale on the left side.


    Pletikosa hasn't played competitive football in a long time. And when he was between the pipes he failed to impress before his injury. As of right now, if Runje goes down, we have an out of form keeper, and three prospects in goal. Subasic had another blunder with Hajduk today. Pleti has to prove himself before Bilic gives him the #1…

  10. Alex says:

    Zach, yeah, I left out Rakitic because he's really a senior NT player who's already come good(to some extent). I just forgot about Kalinic.
    Pletikosa had one bad game- Runje's had lots of them. Yes it was only one match and only a friendly but Pletikosa looked decent v Austria. Runje can't seem to organize the backline. Besides, it's not like Pletikosa's got to run around the pitch for 90 minutes, so I'm not overly worried about his match fitness. I'd prefer an out of shape Pletikosa to a Runje-run defense doing their little slapstick routine.

  11. dinamofan:) says:

    rE: Denis Svircic
    Crosswire in the brain department from me again am afraid. I think i only mentioned Budan's name as he is in transfer negotiations. Wasnt meant to apply that the other players been left out for that reason. Budan is in between deciding on Brescia, Bari, Cesana, Loko Moscow and Parma. But the guys really desomated by injury to such an extent that really going to Hajduk would be better for him. obviously though he'll sign with the team which does most for his bank balance. I think the guy is prob only a serie a sub these days. injury will prob strike him down again sometime soon.

  12. dinamofan:) says:

    if pletikosa signs with celtic this week, then i think that puts pletikosa in the first choice slot. scottish league should not be too hard to cope with. prob the perfect move to him.

    Klasnic going back to Bolton.

    As for Knezevic, The guys got loads of options. sign for someone you burke.. what's he waiting for. Olympiakos, Roma, Brescia, Bari, Parma… any of them will do.

  13. Denis Svirčić says:


    I agree with you that Pletikosa does a better job of organizing our defense. All I am saying is that I hope that Bilic doesnt hand him the #1 shirt just like that. Also, when Pleti was in goal he had niko Kovac running the defense and Robbie Kovac keeping the others in check. Runje has Corluka, Krizanac, and Simunic, all role players in defense. I dont even want to bring up Pranjic… Pletikosa had more talent in defense.

    For the Croatia-Ukraine match, I was right behind the goal with the photographers… Runje was very vocal and did what he could in goal I thought. Runje was shouting orders at each and every one of the defenders. For the most part it was the defense that was dead silent. No communication between each other.

  14. Denis Svirčić says:


    I agree with you on Budan and Knezevic. However, I disagree with you on Pletikosa. Even if he does sign with Celtic he would need to earn the #1 shirt. Obviously sitting on the pine in Glasgow does him no good. However, if he's starting and playing well in the SPL then he will fight Runje for the #1..

  15. ziva istina says:

    right now Runje is no. 1

    Subasic has made two bad mistakes in two staright matches. He is injured, so me should not even be playing if some of the reports are correct. Either way, Pletikoa is without a club, so by rpocess of elimination Runje is our no. 1

  16. dinamofan:) says:

    With Pletikosa at Celtic there is not a great deal of competition. They only have one keeper as Boruc went to Fiorentina. Neil Lennon does not rate current keeper Lakuska who was purchased to be a sub so Pletikosa would have a good chance off first team football. They desperately want Pletikosa but the problem is. Spartak want a fee whereas Celtic want him on loan and also Spurs are offering him higher wages to be a sub. He'll prob decide by tuesday. a move to celtic should prove the most useful for him.

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