Ivan Rakitic could miss Croatia’s 2018 World Cup qualifying opener against Turkey on Monday for family reasons.
Barcelona midfielder Rakitic has been granted permission from coach Ante Cacic to delay his arrival to the national team camp in order to stay with his ill daughter Adare.
The 28-year-old could yet feature at the Stadion Maksimir if his child is given the all clear from medical staff, but he thanked the coach and his team-mates for their understanding.
In a statement published on the Croatian Football Federation’s website, Rakitic said: “Family always comes first and that is why I asked the coach and my team-mates for understanding.
“Some medical tests went fine and if doctors confirm today she is OK, I will join Croatia team on time.
“If not, I wouldn’t be focused on football and as such, I wouldn’t be of any help to national team. I thank the coach and my team-mates for understanding.
“I believe I’ll see you soon and together we’ll beat Turkey.”
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