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Croatia Striker Nikola Kalinic Turns Down His World Cup Medal

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.

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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.

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.

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"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.


Image: PA
Image: PA

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?

Sound off in the comments.

Topics: Football News, Football, Croatia, AC Milan, World Cup, Russia

Josh Lawless

Josh is a sports journalist who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.

 

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