Croatia Striker Nikola Kalinic Turns Down His World Cup Medal
Nikola Kalinic has refused to accept his World Cup runners up medal from Croatia, feeling as though he doesn't warrant one.
The Former Blackburn Rovers striker was on the substitutes bench for Croatia's opening game against Nigeria and was asked to come on with five minutes left of the 2-0 victory.
Kalinic reportedly complained about a back problem, according to media outlet 24sata, and didn't feel ready to play. But it clearly didn't go down very well with the coaching staff and prompted Zlatko Dalic to send him home from Russia.
ATTENTION:- Roger Gonzalez (@RGonzalezCBS) July 11, 2018
I want you to meet Nikola Kalinic. He came to the World Cup as part of Croatia's squad. He's a talented striker. He reportedly refused to come in as a sub in the group stage win over Nigeria.
He was then sent home as a result.
Don't be like Nikola Kalinic. pic.twitter.com/cr8lT4yRRy
The 30-year old missed on his country's fairytale run to the World Cup final and Croatia played the rest of the tournament with 22 players as they were not able to draft in a replacement.
And though he was still entitled to receive a medal for coming second to France despite not playing a single minute, Kalinic opted to turn it down as per reports in Croatia.
"Thanks for the medals, but I did not play in Russia," Kalinic is said to have told Sportske Novosti.
The AC Milan man watched Croatia's 4-2 final defeat to France from home and then was not involved in the celebratory parade through Zagreb - which looked like a pretty incredible experience to miss out on.
Fair play to him turning down the medal but something tells us if the result was a bit different on 15 July in the Luzhniki Stadium, he may well have accepted the memento.
Kalinic, meanwhile, has been strongly linked with making a switch to Atletico Madrid to add extra competition for Antoine Griezmann and Diego Costa after Fernando Torres departed for Japan.
Thoughts on his Kalinic's decision?
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