Rangers’ Borna Barisic dropped again as Croatia face Brazil

Rangers’ Borna Barisic dropped again as Croatia face Brazil
Croatia's defenders #03 Borna Barisic (L) and #24 Josip Sutalo (2nd L) and midfielder #15 Mario Pasalic (R) take part in a training session at Al Erssal in Doha on November 26, 2022, on the eve of the Qatar 2022 World Cup football match between Croatia and Canada. (Photo by Ozan KOSE / AFP) (Photo by OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images)

Zlatko Dalic has dumped Borna Barisic straight back to Croatia’s bench for today’s quarter final with Brazil, after first choice Borna Sosa recovered from illness in time.

Rangers’ left back performed a solid cameo against Japan, among the highest-rated players for Dalic’s side statistically, but Dalic has his favourite and that’s Sosa, and the Stuttgart man (24).

It means Barisic’s world cup is probably done today, with slim-to-no chance Hrvatska will get past the Samba superstars who tore Korea apart in the last 16, and even less chance that Dalic would have then restored Barisic to the starting XI for a potential semi final.

No, Barisic just isn’t in favour with this coach, with, in fairness, a pretty average season so far at best at Rangers under former boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst, and while Michael Beale could certainly get more out of him, it’s come far too late to give him any preference when it comes to the national team.

Barisic, for a long time, was first choice for Croatia, but unfortunately for him his rise only applied during friendlies and qualifiers – at the Euros he was immediately dropped for Gvardiol, who then migrated into the central position thereafter, and now it’s Borna Sosa who has taken the former Osijek man’s slot.

He is now the first choice by a long way, Barisic was there as cover – he did well enough against the Land of the Rising Sun, but not well enough for his coach to consider him a better option than the Bundesliga regular.

No, unless Sosa gets injured today against the mighty Brasil, Barisic is finished at the world cup and his cap v Japan is likely to be his only career start at a major championship probably for the rest of his time in football.

Still, as long as he’s not coming back injured to Ibrox, that’s the best outcome for Rangers and our fans – it is selfish, but if he’s not going to play, we just hope he’s not to come back hurt, and it looks like that’ll be the case.

We’d be very surprised if Croatia overcome Brazil.

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