Barcelona-bound Alen Halilovic is arguably the most important player that has missed out on Croatia’s provisional World Cup squad.
The boss Robert Kovac yesterday named his 30-man squad, but there was no place for Dinamo Zagreb youngster, who is set to complete a summer move to Barcelona.
Another important player missing is veteran defender Josip Simunic, who was slapped with a 10-man ban for rascist chanting after the 2-0 play-off triumph over Iceland.
Premier League stars Dejan Lovren and Nikica Jelavic are among the 30 players, just like QPR star Niko Kranjcar and former Arsenal forward Eduardo Da Silva.
Home-based players Oliver Zelenika, Ivan Mocinic and Marcelo Brozovic are the biggest surprises in the squad that also features Real Madrid star Luka Modric and Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic.
Udinese starlet Igor Bubnjic is seen as a solution to team’s defensive crisis, while Europa League winner Ivan Rakitic will be one to watch at the tournament finals.
Rober Kovac will announce his final 23-man squad on 2 June, before Croatia face Brazil, Mexico and Cameroon in Group A at the tournament finals.
Croatia will play hosts Brazil in the opening fixture at the 2014 World Cup on 12 June, where Vatreni are 3.75 (11/4) not to lose.
Croatia provisional squad:
Goalkeepers: Stipe Pletikosa (Rostov), Danijel Subasic (Monaco), Oliver Zelenika (Dinamo Zagreb);
Defenders: Darijo Srna (Shakhtar Donetsk), Dejan Lovren (Southampton), Vedran Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow), Gordon Schildenfeld (Panathinaikos), Danijel Pranjic (Panathinaikos), Ivan Strinic (Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk), Domagoj Vida (Dynamo Kiev), Sime Vrsaljko (Genoa), Igor Bubnjic (Udinese);
Midfielders: Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Ivan Rakitic (Sevilla), Niko Kranjcar (Queens Park Rangers), Ognjen Vukojevic (Dynamo Kiev), Ivan Perisic (Wolfsburg), Mateo Kovacic (Inter Milan), Milan Badelj (Hamburg), Ivo Ilicevic (Hamburg), Marcelo Brozovic (Dinamo Zagreb), Ivan Mocinic (Rijeka), Mario Pasalic (Hajduk Split), Sammir (Getafe);
Forwards: Mario Mandzukic (Bayern Munich), Ivica Olic (Wolfsburg), Eduardo (Shakhtar Donetsk), Nikica Jelavic (Hull City), Ante Rebic (Fiorentina), Duje Cop (Dinamo Zagreb).