Rebel Croatia Striker Kalinic Rejects World Cup Runners-Up Medal

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Nikola Kalinic has rejected a World Cup runners-up medal gifted him by his teammates and coaching staff.

Despite not playing a minute at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Kalinic’s international team-mates and coaching staff decided to award the 30 year old with a silver medal following the World Cup final defeat to France.

“Thanks for the medal, but I did not play in Russia,” Kalinic told Sportske Novosti.

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Kalinic was sent home from the tournament after Croatia’s opening game against Nigeria by head coach Zlatko Dalic after the Milan striker refused to come on as a substitute in Croatia’s 2-0 win over Nigeria, citing fitness issues.

Dalic claimed after the game that he needed players who were “fit and ready to play.”

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Kalinic had earlier missed out on the pre-tournament warm-up game with Brazil and was forced to sit out training due to back spasms.

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