Croatia's Kalinic reportedly thrown out of World Cup squad

Nikola Kalinic at a past press conference

Nikola Kalinic at a past press conference

Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic has sent striker Nikola Kalinic home from the World Cup in disgrace.

"Kalinic warmed up against Nigeria, but when he came out he told me that he wasn't ready. He's not like that, on three occasions he hasn't been ready, so I made this decision". "I need fit players who are ready to play and I sent him home as he is not ready", said Dalic on Monday.

"The same thing happened during the Brazil friendly in England, as well as before the practice session on Sunday".

Kalinic spent last season at the San Siro, scoring six goals in 41 appearances, after netting 33 times during two seasons with Fiorentina.

Dalic said in a statement that he had asked Kalinic to come on as an 85th-minute substitute in the 2-0 win over Nigeria on Saturday, but the AC Milan forward declined after warming up, citing a back injury.

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Kalinic has 15 goals in 42 global games, but his involvement has fallen in kind with his form at club level.

Kalinic can not be replaced so Croatia will continue in the tournament with a 22-man squad.

Saturday's clash against the Super Eagles marked Kalinic's fourth successive game starting on the bench under Dalic, who went with Mandzukic and Andrej Kramaric in attack, with Ivan Perisic and Ante Rebic flanking them.

An own goal by Stoke City's new signing Oghenekaro Etebo opened proceedings in the Group D match, before Luka Modric put Croatia two to the good after slotting home from the spot.

Croatia are back in action against Argentina in Nizhny Novgorod on Thursday.

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