Rangers fans were left shocked yesterday as Croatia star Borna Barisic was not only ditched from their opening Euros clash starting team, but was awol from the bench too.
Naturally there was a tonne of confusion about why this was, with some theorising an injury, others a pure dropping, but either way, the Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic, is guilty of at best misinformation and at worse downright lying about the Rangers star after leaving him out.
The reason we call this out is that Dalic is said to have been quoted post-match confirming Barisic had a niggling injury for the past week and was borderline.
The problem there is the same man the previous day absolutely unequivocally confirmed Barisic would start and was first choice.
There was simply no mention of him being an injury doubt, and this claim only surfaced after the match.
As you can see from the headline photo, Barisic was in among the balls and training on Saturday, and there was zero doubt at that point he was pencilled in for starting. As confirmed by his boss.
So what changed?
Was Dalic pressured by his country’s fans/media into selecting their choice Gvardiol? We just don’t know. What was evident was Croatia desperately missed Barisic’s delivery from the left, with Gvardiol managing just one abysmal effort which went way over everyone’s head. Aside that, there was no threat on that side, and England also had a tonne of joy down their right.
Either way, we fully expect Barisic to be given his slot back for the next one v the Czechs and frankly it’s ridiculous he wasn’t in v England.