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Croatia World Cup 2022 squad: Zlatko Dalic's most recent squad for summer Nations League games

Luka Modric, Croatia World Cup 2022 squad
(Image credit: PA)

We're counting down to the Croatia World Cup 2022 squad being announced, with the showcase tournament in Qatar now just months away.

Today, Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic hinted at what his final 26-man squad might look like by making his selection for friendly games against Slovenia and Bulgaria.

Croatia World Cup 2022 squad: The squad for March friendlies

  • GK: Dominik Livakovic (Dinamo Zagreb)
  • GK: Nediljko Labrovic (Rijeka)
  • GK: Ivica Ivusic (Osijek)
  • DF: Marin Pongracic (Wolfsburg)
  • DF: Josip Stanisic (Bayern Munich)
  • DF: Duje Caleta-Car (Marseille)
  • DF: Josip Sutalo (Dinamo Zagreb)
  • DF: Martin Erlic (Spezia)
  • DF: Domagoj Vida (Besiktas)
  • DF: Josip Juranovic (Celtic)
  • DF: Sime Vrsaljko (Atletico Madrid)
  • DF: Borna Barisic (Rangers)
  • DF: Borna Sosa (Stuttgart)
  • MF: Lovro Majer (Rennes)
  • MF: Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea)
  • MF: Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
  • MF: Marcelo Brozovic (Inter Milan)
  • MF: Nikola Vlasic (West Ham)
  • MF: Luka Sucic (Red Bull Salzburg)
  • MF: Mario Pasalic (Atalanta)
  • MF: Kristijan Jakic (Eintracht Frankfurt)
  • MF: Luka Ivanusec (Dinamo Zagreb)
  • FW: Josip Brekalo (Wolfsburg)
  • FW: Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim)
  • FW: Ante Budimir (Osasuna)
  • FW: Mislav Orisic (Dinamo Zagreb)

Croatia World Cup 2022 squad: How many players are Croatia allowed to take?

National managers were allowed to bring 26 players to last summer’s European Championship for the first time at a major tournament, as a special measure brought in due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now it has been announced that 26-player squads will return for the Qatar World Cup, an expansion from the usual 23-man teams.

When will the final Croatia World Cup 2022 squad be announced?

This year’s World Cup is the first to take place at the end of the year, running from November 21-December 18.

Croatia started their UEFA Nations League campaign in June, facing Austria, France and Denmark, and will have further matches in September.

Those games are likely to help Dalic fine-tune his final squad, which would usually be announced around six weeks before the tournament starts.

This may change with club football being played closer to the start date of the tournament. 

Who will make the final Croatia 2022 World Cup squad?

Barring injuries or bans, there are a few players we expect to be dead certs for the final Croatia squad.

Leading the way is Real Madrid’s evergreen playmaker Luka Modric, who won the Ballon d’Or after his heroics in his country’s run to the final in 2018.

Other stalwarts of that campaign include Inter Milan duo Marcelo Brozovic and Ivan Perisic, Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic, veteran vice-captain Domagoj Vida of Besiktas and AC Milan forward Ante Rebic.

Former Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren, now at Zenit, is still going strong aged 32, while West Ham’s Nikola Vlasic is likely to be involved despite a difficult debut season in the Premier League.

There could be Scottish interest too, with two full-backs playing on opposite sides of the Old Firm, Rangers’ Borna Barisic and Celtic’s Josip Juranovic, both vying for a place. 

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Alasdair Mackenzie is a freelance journalist based in Rome, and a FourFourTwo contributor since 2015. When not pulling on the FFT shirt, he can be found at Reuters, The Times and the i. An Italophile since growing up on a diet of Football Italia on Channel 4, he now counts himself among thousands of fans sharing a passion for Ross County and Lazio.