Bilic keeping control in Croatia
Posted May 18, 2007on:
Croatia coach Slaven Bilić is in focused mood after naming a strong 25-man squad for the UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifing matches against Estonia and Russia.
Bilić’s men begin with a trip to Tallinn on 2 June before welcoming Russia to Zagreb four days later. That promises to be a particularly competitive encounter as Group E leaders Croatia are just two points ahead of Guus Hiddink’s men but the first test is also occupying the coach’s thoughts. “I don’t want to talk about Russia, first we have a match against Estonia,” said the former defender, who was part of the Croatia team that finished third at the 1998 FIFA World Cup. “It is always difficult to play against Estonia. Even when I was playing we had a hard job to defeat them.”
Goalkeepers: Stipe Pletikosa (FC Spartak Moskva), 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), Dario Kenežević (AS Livorno).
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), Anthony Šerić (Panathinaikos FC).
Forwards: Mladen Petrić (FC Basel 1893), Ivica Olić (1. FC Hamburg), Boško Balaban (Club Brugge KV), Eduardo da Silva (NK Dinamo Zagreb), Igor Budan (Parma FC).
By Elvir Islamovic