Croatia’s World Cup honeymoon is over and there is ground to make up

Croatia’s World Cup honeymoon is over and there is ground to make up

12-Oct-2018 09:00:25 | Guardian

The 2018 World Cup finalists face England on Friday after a torrid three months peppered with retirements, a health scare, a court case or two and a record 6-0 defeat against Spain

Charlie was the first to go. Vedran Corluka, who goes by that nickname, announced his international retirement on 10 August via his Instagram account; that was only expected as the trusted veteran defender struggled with injuries and had lost his starting place. Within five days Mario Mandzukic and Danijel Subasic, who had both impressed at the World Cup, followed suit.

It felt like an era coming to end and almost everyone thought Luka Modric, the Golden Ball winner in Russia and Croatia’s playmaker for the past 12 years, was going to be next. There were rumours of Ivan Rakitic retiring as well.

Related: Croatia invoke grievance procedure for closed-doors rerun with England

Related: John Stones tells England to start new era by healing World Cup wound

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