Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic has sent striker Nikola Kalinic home from the World Cup in disgrace.
The Vatreni won their opening match on Saturday night, defeating Nigeria 2-0.
Kalinic, the AC Milan striker who once upon a time represented Blackburn Rovers, was a substitute during the encounter.
It was the fourth successive international fixture where he had been left on the bench.
But asked to come on in the 85th minute, it’s claimed Kalinic complained of a back problem and refused to enter the fray – something which didn’t convince his manager.
Marko Pjaca, nominally a wide player, came on instead and Kalinic’s subsequent exit means Croatia have just Mario Mandzukic left within their squad as an out-and-out No.9.
There is a press conference this afternoon where Dalic will discuss the situation further.
Kalinic secured a big-money move to AC Milan from Fiorentina last summer, but the 30-year-old scored just six times.