Nikola Kalinic: The Man Who Refused To Come On As Sub Will Be Gutted Right Now
Remember when It emerged that a member of Croatia's World Cup squad was sensationally 'kicked out' after he refused to come on during their 2-0 victory against Nigeria? Well, he might be regretting his actions after last night's historic result.
Former Blackburn Rovers striker Nikola Kalinic was on the substitutes bench for the fourth consecutive game against the Super Eagles, but it quickly turned sour for the 30-year-old.
Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic asked him to come on in the 85th minute, but he straight up refused.
Kalinic reportedly complained about a back problem, according to media outlet 24sata, but it clearly didn't go down very well with the coaching staff.
Instead, Juventus wide man Marko Pjaca entered the field of play and as we know, Dalic's side went on to win their opening game of the tournament comfortably.
Croatia might have only had one natural number 9. in their squad, Mario Mandzukic, but they have reached the final with a string of impressive, if not close, results.
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
Big call by Croatia to send Nikola Kalinic home from the World Cup after he refused to come on as a sub in first game. He'll miss a WC final now. No matter how much talent you have, it not worth risking a toxic dynamic in a dressing room.- DaveOCKOP (@DaveOCKOP) July 12, 2018
No matter how bad you feel this morning, at least you're not Croatia's Kalinic. He refused to come on as a late sub against Nigeria, claiming to be 'injured', he was sent home from the World Cup. and now has to watch his country play in a World Cup final from his home.- Mootaz Chehade (@MHChehade) July 12, 2018
Kalinic, who currently plays for Fiorentina but spent last season on loan at AC Milan, has been linked with a move away from Italy in recent weeks but these actions could hamper a move.
Thoughts on the striker's actions against Nigeria?
How devastated would you be to potentially miss out on a World Cup medal because of the above actions.