Nikola Kalinić. Photo: Reuters

Croatia reached the final of the main football tournament with truncated bid – immediately after the first round of the team was expelled striker Nikola kalinic, who is now just regret his actions.


Breakthrough Croatia unique not even because before it had not reached the world Cup final. And not because in Croatia living in a million fewer people than in Saint Petersburg.

The uniqueness of the triumph of the “checkers” in that it perfectly fits the phrase “against all odds”. Here are the facts that in another situation would have a negative impact on the team:

1) Croatia was able to get to the world Cup, but right before a crucial qualifying match with Ukraine Croatian football Federation dismissed the Ante Cacica and appointed new coach Zlatko Galicia. Croatia defeated Ukraine and Greece in the play-off meetings.

2) Croatia is the second in history to have played in three consecutive two-hour matches at the world Championships. And the first ever won in all.

3) a Month ago for six and a half years for the financial fraud was sentenced shadow of the head of the Croatian football Zdravko Mamić.

4) All known scandal with Vida and Ognjen Vukojević.

5) The Dismissal Of Nikola Kalinic.

On the latest event will discuss in detail. Forward “Milan” and national team of Croatia got into the final application that did not surprise anyone. Wasn’t meant to be: kalinic, of course, had poor season (only six goals in 40 appearances for Milan), but in the national team, he was considered one of the main strikers.


However, after the first round in Croatia thundered scandal: a 30-year-old striker was sent home. The reason at a specially convened press conference announced Dalic: “during the meeting with Nigeria I sent Kalinic to warm up and was going to release it in the second half. However, after the warm-up he told me that he is not ready to take the field due to back pain. Same thing I heard during the friendly game with Brazil before the tournament and before training. I took the words Nikola. But I need players who are fully ready to play. So I decided to do so.”

Kalinic difficult to understand. If he had serious back problems, why he lied to medical staff and coach? After all, so he deliberately deprived his team of a full-fledged combat units in the application. If the pain is minor, then why has refused to get on the field? Went 85 minutes when Dalits gave the attacker a command to change. By the time the Croats were defeated Nigeria with the score 2:0, so that Kalinic had just not to spoil the picture. But the player again, according to Dalicho, referred pain, and the coach could not stand.

What’s the matter? Banal resentment. All players want to play, and the forwards especially. Strikers with high self-esteem – even more so. In the first play-off match against Greece and Croatia scored four goals and virtually guaranteed himself a spot in Russia. A key role in that match played kalinic: he appeared in the starting line earned a penalty in the 11th minute (it sold Modric), almost immediately doubled the score – the goal was victorious.

And in the return game with Greece kalinic went on the basis, though not scored. But surely in his head settled idea that he is the main striker of the country. However, in the opening game of the championship from the first minutes left Rebić and Kramaric – those who replaced Kalinic in two play-off meetings. Apparently, the attacker holds a grudge.


Although there is an alternative view. Coach of “Milan” Gennaro Gattuso has reacted to the expulsion of the player of his team: “This pain chased him for a long time. Sometimes due to back problems kalinic has completed the training earlier than others. But he was wrong about that not being honest with the coach and not told about the injury immediately. And once the coach all the time required to do our best, but this pain could not occur. Nikola had to share with the coach, but he was not completely honest with him.”

Most likely, Gattuso is right, and kalinic just decided to keep the sores to go to the world Cup. But in this case he did stupid and mean. Croatia has already held the tournament three two-hour match, and in such circumstances, each player counts. Kalinic could benefit his team in a final meeting with France after coming on as a substitute, to help in pressing, to press the defenders. In the end, the strikers job is not just to score goals.

But he acted selfishly and now with the horrible feelings of watching the victories of their team. Does he get the medal? It is not clear. Such a case has never happened before in history, and the Croatian football Association will decide for itself. But it would be better Delic and Suker gave the award Kalinic, for example, the cleaning lady at their base in Roshchino. Even she made for the success of Croatia’s more than this player.

Andrey KUZICHEV, Sport-Express