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Croatia call up three uncapped players for friendly


ZAGREB, May 2 (Reuters) - Croatia coach Mirko Jozic, faced with the absence of key players due to club commitments, has included three new faces in his squad for the country's final World Cup warm-up match away to Hungary next Wednesday.

The uncapped players are Wolfsburg striker Tomislav Maric, who was called up earlier this year but then sidelined with a broken rib, Dinamo Zagreb midfielder Jerko Leko and defender Filip Tapalovic of TSV 1860 Munich.

Players missing include defensive stalwarts Igor Tudor of Juventus and Bayern Munich's Robert Kovac, top scorer Davor Suker, now with 1860 Munich, and Middlesbrough striker Alen Boksic, while Jurica Vranjes of Bayer Leverkusen is doubtful.

Jozic said the new players should give their best in the match due to take place in Pecs, though few of them are likely to snatch a last-minute place in the World Cup-bound squad.

A possible exception, should he impress, is 28-year old Maric, who has been on target regularly in the Bundesliga and would be a valuable addition to his country's strikeforce.

Croatia, who finished third at the 1998 World Cup in France, boosted their confidence with a 2-0 victory over Bosnia last month after two goalless draws earlier this year prompted waves of criticism and concern about their scoring abilities.

The squad will travel to Austria for a week of training on May 12 before leaving for Japan, where they face Italy, Mexico and Ecuador in the first stage of the tournament, which kicks off in Seoul, South Korea on May 31.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Tomislav Butina (Dinamo Zagreb), Vladimir Vasilj (FC Zagreb)

Defenders: Robert Jarni (Panathinaikos), Dario Simic (Inter Milan), Josip Simunic (Hertha Berlin), Anthony Seric ( Hellas Verona), Filip Tapalovic (TSV 1860 Munich), Goran Sablic (Hajduk Split)

Midfielders: Daniel Saric (Panathinaikos), Robert Prosinecki (Portsmouth), Milan Rapaic (Fenerbahce), Jasmin Agic (Dinamo Zagreb), Jerko Leko (Dinamo Zagreb), Niko Kovac (Bayern Munich), Jurica Vranjes (Bayer Leverkusen)

Forwards: Mladen Petric (Grasshoppers), Ivica Olic (FC Zagreb), Tomislav Maric (Wolfsburg)
05/02/02 06:44 ET
 

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no balaban again? :depress:

jozic should be shot...he should atleast giv him a chance...afterall he did set up the goal that got us to where we r

he also scored a few himself
 

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So Saric has been called as well? and Petric too... he is a good striker, although young... Jerko Leko deserved call due to his good performance against Varteks
 

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T.Maric will bag 2 goals and book his ticket to Japan/Korea. Jozic called up the wrong Leko, it should be Ivan not Jerko. Jasmin Agic? sounds like some caj brand.

If Vranjes doesnt play then i cant see him making the squad. In that is the case, then i think Seric and Sablic will make it along with T.Maric and Vasilj.
 

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hmmm....
I agree with BBB. Balaban should be given a chance, but then again, I really cant wait to see what Maric can do for us.
If he can bring serious firepower to the front line, well, then, there you go...

if he doesnt impress, what then? Bring back Balaban??? stay with Olic??
 

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why in the world would you want to bring balaban? cmn, be releastic here.... we have boksic, vlaovic, suker, vurginec, rapaic, olic at least, who will be fighting for those places...

if he didnt call balaban in past 3 months, then it was rather obvious that he wont call him now, it is not as if he played any games in between

balaban is young, there will be plenty of time for him to play in WC in future
 

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Silvio Maric should've been called up. Why are they saying Vranjes is doubtful, he's not injured as far as I know?
 

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IVO said:
Silvio Maric should've been called up. Why are they saying Vranjes is doubtful, he's not injured as far as I know?
now look whose talkin non-sense

:rolleyes:
 

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Why shouldn't he have been given a chance? He's been playing great for Dinamo since coming back, he doesn't have to be chosen to the squad, but at least let him play in this friendly.
 

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dude, he isnt even fit to play Croatian NT games properly yet... and you want him in NT? what is wrong with you? There is no way he could play 3 games in 9 days... blah, even if he was good enough for it
 

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I want him to be given the chance and he'd be good to have on the bench, his fitness isn't as bad as you seem to think and how can you ignore how he's done for Dinamo so far?
 

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Vranjes has Champions league duties, his team is in the final :)

that's why Zivkovic did get the call.
 

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If he's going to call up the likes of Agic, Leko, and Petric there's no reason not to call up our top scorer through qualifiers or S. Maric who's been there before.

It appears that he's testing here so by any sense why not Maric and Balaban?

I think they're at least worth the try.

The above mentioned probably won't make the team so bringing one who's played there and another who's scored a few for us already is not a risk.

ps.

If T. Maric pulls through with a couple then disregard the above.
 

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I say the following

who the hell is going to score the goals with the strikers Jozic has selected the only guy i see here capable of scoring is maybe T.Maric

second why not call Balaban?

third i say as well if you're gonna call up Jerko Leko? then why not call up Silvio Maric as well? we all know who has more creativity

lastly at least im satisfied with the midfield first time i see we have all our regulars in there thats a great thing to have in our last warm up! the defence we all know is already set in Jozics mind so we really dont need to see them all risking injury in the final warm up game but once again whos gonna do the scoring? hopefully Prosinecki:D
 

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EErie.
 

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If Silvijo Maric should be a part of NT than I would like to see Mario Carevic on the team too.

pozdravlja vas svih,majstor/
 

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Personally im not worried who they play upfront as long as its not Vlaovic.. im sick to death of watching this guy miss sitters game after game.. give someone else a go :)

Gotta admit i would have loved to see Balaban there cause going from previous performances for croatia this dude has talent.. but then again he only has himself to blame for choosing that croatian graveyard they call England and i can understand why Jozic didnt pick him.

Its a shame though :(
 
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