Croatias Road To FIFA 2010

Rukavina earns maiden Croatia call

Posted on: March 12, 2007


Precocious striker Ante Rukavina looks set to continue a memorable breakthrough season after being named in Slaven Bilić’s 24-man Croatia squad for the UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifier against F.Y.R. Macedonia on 24 March.

Hajduk move
Having scored eight goals in the first half of the campaign, the 20-year-old Rukavina secured a move from HNK Šibenik to HNK Hajduk Split during the winter. He is now in line for a first taste of senior international football, and Bilić explained: “From now on we will call one talented player for each game; those we think will be international players in the future.”

‘Clear favourites’
The theory is that Rukavina could benefit from spending time with players at the other end of the experience spectrum, such as Juventus defender Robert Kovač, who has 62 caps and is included in the party despite being ruled out with injury as Bilić looks to maintain a settled party. Unbeaten in Group E, Croatia top the section by two points after four games, though their coach is not taking F.Y.R. Macedonia lightly, saying: “We are clear favourites and there’s no escaping that, but Macedonia are strong and we cannot be complacent.”

Croatia squad
Stipe Pletikosa (FC Shakhtar Donetsk), Vedran Runje (Beşiktaş JK), Mario Galinović (Panathinaikos FC).

Defenders: Dario Šimić (AC Milan), Robert Kovač (Juventus), Josip Šimunić (Hertha BSC Berlin), Hrvoje Vejić (FC Tom Tomsk), Vedran Ćorluka (NK Dinamo Zagreb), Boris Živković (HNK Hajduk Split).

Midfielders: Niko Kovač (FC Salzburg), Jerko Leko (AS Monaco FC), Marko Babić (Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Darijo Srna (FC Shakhtar Donetsk), Milan Rapaić (R. Standard de Liège), Niko Kranjčar (Portsmouth FC), Luka Modrić (NK Dinamo Zagreb), Jurica Vranješ (Werder Bremen), Danijel Pranjić (SC Heerenveen).

Forwards: Mladen Petrić (FC Basel 1893), Ivica Olić (PFC CSKA Moskva), Boško Balaban (Club Brugge KV), Eduardo da Silva (NK Dinamo Zagreb), Igor Budan (Parma FC), Ante Rukavina (HNK Hajduk Split).

by Posted by Denis

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7 Responses to "Rukavina earns maiden Croatia call"

The Only thing im worried right now with, is our defense. I really would like to see robert kovav, simunic, simic, and corluka

Anyways!! 12 days left until Macedonia!!

will be fine denis..marko babic has been playing reguraly for bayer at left back..he will play left back corluka right back simunic and simic will be the center backs..with babic and corluka we have 2 guys who can attack down the flanks..

🙂 Thanx you made me feel much better

ma kakav rukavina, novinari od dečka rade zvijezdu prije nego je zabio 5 golova u karijeri, samo neka ga dižu u nebesa i propast če

Yes it does look thin at the back nowdays but Srna has played right back for his club too, and with Babic there’s enough cover with a bit of flair.We can accommodate more creative players like miki and kranjcar in the team.It’s our attack which is winning games for us now which is nice after years of 1-0 wins and goalless draws.

Oh, and it’s really far too soon for Rukavina but great experience for him.Maybe another full season at Hajduk though before he really will get his chance.Bilic isn’t afraid to use young homegrown players and they haven’t let him down yet.If he’s confident and scoring regularly he might get his chance.
He’ll be 22 if we get to Euro 08, and with another season and half to be prepared he could be up to the level.

eduardo, rukavina is not just a star created by the media..he has been scouted by some big clubs like lyon arsenal and marsille..josip skoblar has said that rukavina is the biggest talent croatia had had in long time..bilic and asanovic are both very high on the kid and besides he is only going for training..this can only benefit him..i have seen sharabini and mandzukic play and rukavina is a much better talent then them thats why he has big teams watching him..if he was a dinamovac you probably wouldn’t be complaining..

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