Rangers’ Barisic finally explains truth about Croatia ‘axe’…

Rangers’ Barisic finally explains truth about Croatia ‘axe’…
HAMILTON, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 29: Borna Barisic of Rangers FC prior to the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Hamilton Academical and Rangers at Hope CBD Stadium on August 29, 2020 in Hamilton, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Rangers’ Borna Barisic has effectively admitted national manager Zlatko Dalic was not entirely honest with the facts after Croatia’s boss announced Barisic’s availability and first-pick nature for the Euros, knowing full well Rangers’ star LB was injured and probably wouldn’t make much of the group stage at all.

Dalic explained to the press that Barisic was number one choice for that slot, and available, but Barisic has revealed his boss was basically protecting him, and doing what a manager often does, and lying, in order to keep Barisic’s issues under wraps.

He said:

“In terms of the situation with my back, everything is fine now. In my second training session when I came to Rovinj, I injured my back and had problems since then. I managed to briefly fix that, but then it returned, but the situation is fine now. To end everything about the injury, I’ve played a lot of matches with Rangers and of course at the end of the season and the end of the championship, my focus was on the European Championships which I had been waiting for so much and had been postponed because of Covid. Of course, when I had my first injury at Rangers against Celtic, I was worried about the Euro, I was worried about the condition I’d be in when I came to Croatia. I managed to fix that and came in good condition. But unfortunately I had an unusual injury with my back and that messed with my plans a bit but thank God, everything is fine now, everything is good. I played those 20 minutes against Scotland and managed to do my part a bit and help the team qualify for the next round.”

Barisic has always been first choice under Dalic, so it was bewildering that he was axed for the group stage – the national manager was inconsistent with his reasons, one minute saying he’s available, the next that he’s injured, but it seems the situation was less clear and his NT coach was doing his best to shield Rangers’ man while he fully recovered.

In truth, Barisic did actually arrive at the Croatia camp in good nick, but then he got injured. So Dalic’s initial insistence wasn’t actually false. It was what came after which bent the truth a bit.

Managers lie though – Stevie’s done it, Dalic has done it – they all do it – they fib to the press to protect the interests of their team, and it’s justifiable.

Often it leads to incorrect conclusions, but those are understandable.

Now we know – Barisic is first choice and will hopefully be fit for the KO stage of the tournament.

And Croatia will finally have their left flank back again.

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