Croatia have called up Luka Modric for upcoming fixtures against Iceland and Northern Ireland despite the Real Madrid midfielder’s recent injury woes.
Modric has not featured for Madrid since suffering a knee injury in the 2-2 Champions League draw with Borussia Dortmund on September 27 and head coach Zinedine Zidane recently stressed the need for patience in his recovery.
Nevertheless, Ante Cacic has ignored Zidane’s pleas not to select Modric for a World Cup qualifier against Euro 2016 surprise package Iceland and a friendly against Michael O’Neill’s side.
Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren, meanwhile, has been left out of the squad for the matches at his own request.
“I have spoken to Cacic and he did not call me up at my own request,” Lovren explained to Sportske Novosti.
“Of course, I will still be available for Croatia in the future and I hope to be in the team for next international matches.
“I will not reveal the reasons why I asked the coach not to call me up this time.”
High-profile names such as Ivan Rakitic, Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic have all made the cut for the November fixtures.
Croatia top Group I on goal difference, with second-placed Iceland alongside them on seven points after three games.
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