Rangers star Borna Barisic might’ve been recalled to action for Croatia this week, but it didn’t stop his manager Zlatko Dalic making a loaded comment about his recent involvement in the pre-match.
Dalic was speaking with Barisic struggling to hold down a first-team place for the nation and mentioned the fact the competition play for “stronger clubs”.
Despite the comments, the manager would then recall the Croat for the visit of Slovakia with Barisic booked in an eventual 2-2 draw in an Osijek homecoming.
The result leaves Croatia’s automatic qualification hopes in the balance with Russia beating Slovenia 2-1 and currently top on 19 points, two points ahead of the Croats.
The final group game in Croatia against the Russians is set up to be a decisive one.
But there’s no guarantee Borna Barisic will be involved in the match as he enjoys an up and down experience with his national side.
Always proud to represent Croatia, Barisic went into the summer’s European Championships regarded the first-choice for his country.
A few months on and suddenly Barisic is generally playing second fiddle to the likes of Stuttgart left-back Borna Sosa following injury.
Borna Barisic still in Croatia plans despite indirect Rangers barb
When pressed on this, Dalic appeared to drop a hint that this may be something to do with where the Rangers star plays his football.
“I am happy with the growing number of young players who are coming and the growing competition. Borna is here and in competition,” said Dalic [Daily Record].
“The competition is very strong, there are players who play in the Bundesliga and stronger clubs.
“I would like the situation to open up for him, but competition is very strong, but Borna is also in the mix.
“Whoever I put, I will not go wrong.”
So it’s clear that Borna remains part of the nation’s plans but comments like are evidence of the perception held about Rangers – or rather Scottish football – outside of the country.
Once linked with a £22m move to Tottenham Hotspur [90min], Barisic has also been mentioned alongside the likes of AS Roma, Napoli and Leeds United.
Widely regarded as one of the Ibrox side’s biggest assets – when playing well – Dalic may well have to deal with Borna’s current status at Rangers for the next period.
The left-back signed a new deal in January 2020 which keeps him at Rangers until the summer of 2024.
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