Croatia give reasoning behind sending home striker Kalinic

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Croatian media reported that Kalinic had been axed for his refusal to play, suggesting he was not happy to be left of out of the starting XI.

While Iceland and Nigeria are looking forward to that encounter and praying that their performances prove good enough to push them to the next stage, Croatian striker Nikola Kalinic has already ended his world cup campaign after refusing to come in as substitute in match against Nigeria.

"He warmed up for the game against Nigeria, he was supposed to go in, but he said he was not ready".

Dalic did not answer any further questions or go into the matter any further. "I need healthy and ready players", said Dalić quickly before heading back to the team, reports He did the same thing against Brazil and England, saying he wasn't ready, and for yesterday's training session too.

Kalinic has played 41 internationals, scoring 15 goals since his debut in 2008.

He can not be replaced on the squad, so Croatia will continue in the tournament with 22 players.

Kalinic secured a big-money move to AC Milan from Fiorentina last summer, but the 30-year-old scored just six times.

Croatia started off its 2018 World Cup run about as well as could have been hoped, looking pretty fit in a 2-0 victory over Nigeria to earn three points towards advancing out of what appears to be a highly contested Group D.

Modric converted in the 71st minute when referee Sandro Ricci awarded a penalty after William Ekong held onto Mario Mandzukic, the only recognised Croatia No 9 following Kalinic's dismissal.