Dejan Lovren left out of provisional Croatia Euro 2016 squad
Ante Cacic: ‘He can return one day if he realises that he has to be a team player’
Dejan Lovren of Liverpool will not be going to Euro 2016 despite his fine club form. Photograph: EPA
Lovren was an unused substitute in the 1-1 draw and later made angry remarks about Cacic, who axed him after the centre back stopped warming up when he realised he would take no part in the game.
“These are the best players we have at our disposal,” Cacic told a news conference on Monday.
“Playing in the national team requires good form and total commitment at club and international level. We want to keep a sound atmosphere in the dressing-room.
“I haven’t closed the door on Lovren for good, he can return one day if he realises that he has to be a team player,” he added.
“When it dawns on him that he can’t look down on his team mates, the staff and the coach, he will perhaps find a way to get back in.”
Lovren has stood out for Liverpool recently, scoring a stoppage-time winner in the epic 4-3 second-leg win over Borussia Dortmund which sent the Premier League side into the Europa League semi-finals.
He was also outstanding in the 3-1 aggregate semi-final defeat of Spanish side Villarreal which propelled Liverpool into the final against holders Sevilla in Basel.
Cacic’s squad includes six players from Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb, with 21-year old goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic called up on stand-by.
Croatia are in Group D at 24-nation Euro 2016 along with holders Spain, the Czech Republic and Turkey.
Goalkeepers: Danijel Subasic (Monaco), Lovre Kalinic (Hajduk Split), Ivan Vargic (Rijeka), Dominik Livakovic (Dinamo Zagreb).
Defenders: Vedran Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow), Darijo Srna (Shakhtar Donetsk), Domagoj Vida (Dynamo Kiev), Sime Vrsaljko (Sassuolo), Gordon Schildenfeld (Dinamo Zagreb), Ivan Strinic (Napoli), Tin Jedvaj (Bayer Leverkusen), Duje Caleta-Car (Red Bull Salzburg).
Midfielders: Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid), Marcelo Brozovic (Inter Milan), Milan Badelj (Fiorentina), Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan), Alen Halilovic (Sporting Gijon), Domagoj Antolic (Dinamo Zagreb), Marko Rog (Dinamo Zagreb), Ante Coric (Dinamo Zagreb).
Forwards: Mario Mandzukic (Juventus), Nikola Kalinic (Fiorentina), Marko Pjaca (Dinamo Zagreb), Andrej Kramaric (Leicester City), Duje Cop (Dinamo Zagreb).