It is now official that Nikola Kalinić has been kicked out by Croatia boss Zlatko Dalić and his World Cup experience ended earlier than expected.
Kalinić’s miserable year continues. Last summer he forced a move to Milan by refusing to train with Fiorentina, and today he got kicked out of Croatia’s World Cup squad for refusing to play.
“In agreement with his coaching staff, Croatia head coach Zlatko Dalić decided to exclude Nikola Kalinić from the World Cup squad. Kalinić leaves Croatia basecamp in Roshchino on Monday and returns to Croatia,” the Croatian FA announced on Monday, putting an end to the rumours.
Dalić later explained: “During the Nigeria match, Kalinić was warming-up and should have come in the second half. However, he said he wasn’t ready to go on because he felt a back problem. He did the same thing against Brazil and England, saying he wasn’t ready, and for yesterday’s training session too. I accepted it calmly, because I need ready and healthy players who can help their teammates. He’s not like that, on three occasions he hasn’t been ready, so I made this decision.”
The side of Kalinić has not been heard yet, but it should be remembered that also at Milan, he was once left out of the squad for not training with maximum effort, after learning that he would not be in the starting XI. Nikola, 30, played 41 matches in his first year in Red and Black, scoring 6 goals.
Sevilla have been rumored to be interested in signing Kalinić, but seeing the striker get kicked out of the squad in the middle of the World Cup could change their minds.