Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic, who had named one extra player for his provisional 2018 World Cup squad, on Monday announced that defender Matej Mitovic was the man being dropped. Mitrovic had not played for Belgian champions Club Brugge since April 19 and Dalic said that was one of the reasons the defender was cut. "I've been thinking a lot about this, and since the beginning I was saying that one defender will be removed and I stuck to that," Dalic told reporters. "This is my choice and I stand by it."
Croatia are appearing at the FIFA World Cup for the fifth time and have been drawn alongside two time former champions Argentina, Nigeria and Iceland in Group D.
The Croatia squad is led by international stars Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic, but on Sunday it lost a warm-up game, 2-0, to Brazil in Liverpool.
"We should remain stable and learn the lessons from this match," Dalic told state run HRT television after the defeat. "We are doing our job and nothing will unhinge us."
Before flying out to Russia, Croatia will take on Senegal on Friday in Osijek.
Croatia 2018 World Cup squad:
Goalkeepers: Danijel Subasic (Monaco/FRA), Lovre Kalinic (Gent/BEL), Dominik Livakovic (Dinamo Zagreb)
Defenders: Vedran Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow/RUS), Domagoj Vida (Besiktas/TUR), Ivan Strinic (Sampdoria/ITA), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool/ENG), Sime Vrsaljko (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Josip Pivaric (Dinamo Kiev/UKR), Tin Jedvaj (Bayer Leverkusen/GER), Duje Caleta-Car (Salzburg/AUT)
Midfielders: Luka Modric (Real Madrid/ESP), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona/ESP), Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid/ESP), Milan Badelj (Fiorentina/ITA), Marcelo Brozovic (Inter Milan/ITA), Filip Bradaric (Rijeka)
Forwards: Mario Mandzukic (Juventus/ITA), Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan/ITA), Nikola Kalinic (AC Milan/ITA), Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim/GER), Marko Pjaca (Schalke/GER), Ante Rebic (Eintracht/GER).