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New faces for bold Baric

Published: Thursday 14 November 2002, 15.29CET
Croatia coach Otto Baric has turned to youth for the friendly against Romania on 20 November.
Published: Thursday 14 November 2002, 15.29CET

New faces for bold Baric

Croatia coach Otto Baric has turned to youth for the friendly against Romania on 20 November.

Croatia coach Otto Baric has turned to youth for the friendly against Romania on 20 November at Temisvar.

Srna selected
Baric's side drew with Estonia and lost in Bulgaria in their opening UEFA EURO 2004™ fixtures, and the coach has turned to six new players including debutants HNK Hajduk Split's Dario Srna and charismatic Maccabi Haifa FC playmaker Giovani Rosso.

Dilemma for Rosso
Rosso has hinted in the past of his desire to represent the country where he now resides, Israel. But he said: "If I turn down the offer to play for Croatia I may never be called up again."

New call-ups
Miljenko Mumlek, Srdjan Andric, Nino Bule and Boško Balaban have also received call-ups from Baric for the first time, with established squad members Alen Bokšic, Igor Tudor, Mario Stanic, Davor Vugrinec and Josip Šimunic all injured.

'Very important'
"This is a very important test for us," said Baric of the trip to Romania. "We are playing against a better ranked team and Romania is also leading in their EURO 2004™ group. This is the first of four friendly matches that we plan to play before our next qualification match against Belgium on 29 March, a match we must win", said Baric.

Croatia squad
Pletikosa, Butina, Šimic, Kovac, Tokic, Zivkovic, Tomas, Djolonga, Srna, Rosso, Leko, Babic, Andric, Mumlek, Rapaic, Bule, Balaban, Olic, M. Maric, T. Maric.

Last updated: 15/11/02 16.34CET

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