Croatia are one of the favorites in Qatar, but they will not have one of the key players, Ivan Rakitic, who was highly important during the previous World Cup.
Croatia has a very similar squad to their roster during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, with some exceptions such as Mario Mandžukić and of course Ivan Rakitic.
At the previous World Cup in Russia, Ivan Rakitic was an important player, scoring the winning penalty kick against Denmark to reach the quarter-finals and another penalty kick against Russia to reach the semi-finals.
Rakitic is one of the best midfielders from Croatia, he played for FC Barcelona during Messi’s last years in Barcelona. After Barcelona, Rakitic returned to Sevilla, where he currently plays.
Why is Ivan Rakitic missing the Qatar 2022 World Cup?
After the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Ivan Rakitic barely played a few games during the EURO 2020 qualifiers, and that same year the Croatian Football Federation announced that Rakitic was no longer going to play for the national team and therefore was released from any international calls.
Rakitic on his retirement from Croatia’s national team: “Saying goodbye to the Croatian national team is the most difficult decision in my career, but I felt that this was the moment when I had to break away and make that decision. I enjoyed every game I played for my homeland, and unforgettable moments from the World Cup will remain among my favourites. I am convinced that we still have a great team with a bright future ahead. I wish my friends and teammates all the luck in the world for the upcoming challenges, and in me they will have the biggest fan.”
After 106 appearances and 15 goals Rakitic will be remembered as one of the best Croatian midfielders, he was a key player not only to qualify in the previous World Cup but he was an inspiration for the youngest. Croatia are light favourites, but the World Cup Qatar 2022 simulator puts them in a good spot to reach far.