Croatia is due to face Mexico in a friendly soccer match on Wednesday, March 28. However, one player who will not be taking the field is captain Luka Modric because Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic released him.
Modric is considered by many people to be the spearhead of his national team, but Dalic may have released his captain early because Real Madrid is due to face Juventus in the Champions’ League quarter-final’s first leg on April 3, in Turin.
Experienced defender Vedran Corluka will take the captain’s armband from Modric for the clash that takes place at the AT&T Stadium in Texas, U.S.
Five other Croatia players have been released alongside Modric, including Juventus forward Mario Mandzukic, who will expect to line up against Modric next month.
“I don’t know [why Croatia has sent the players back] and don’t have the arguments to give an opinion,” Osorio said.
“The organizers in the future have to take into consideration the situation and have suggestions and norms in the contract so that we can play against the best possible XI.”
According to ESPN, despite the fact that he is not happy with Croatia’s decision to rest Modric, Osorio chose to rest star forward Javier Hernandez in Mexico’s recent friendly match against Iceland.
Many managers have expressed fears that their star players could face burnout at the World Cup, so the decision to rest the 32-year-old Modric seems to be a sensible one. Young midfielders such as Marko Rog and Mario Pasalic will have a chance to impress their coach in the wake of Modric’s absence.
Since his debut for Croatia in 2006, Modric has won 103 caps and has scored 12 goals.
At the 2014 World Cup, Croatia and Mexico were drawn together in Group A. Mexico progressed to the Round of 16 while Croatia failed to make it out of the group.
Croatian fans will be hoping that their captain can inspire them during the 2018 World Cup, so Modric’s fitness needs to be carefully monitored before the tournament starts on June 14 in Russia. Earlier in March, Modric overcame a hamstring injury and played for 90 minutes in Croatia’s recent friendly game against Peru.
Croatia will face Nigeria in their first group game on June 16 in Kaliningrad. Mexico begins its campaign against Germany on June 17 in Moscow. Fans of both teams will be hoping that their squads will progress into the latter stages of the competition.