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Page last updated at 14:25 GMT, Monday, 5 May 2008 15:25 UK

Bilic reveals Croatian Euro squad

Croatia coach Slaven Bilic
Bilic believes Croatia are on the verge of something big

Coach Slaven Bilic has backed Croatia to make a major impact at Euro 2008 after naming a 23-man squad for the tournament in Austria and Switzerland.

The squad includes two England-based players, Vedran Corluka of Manchester City and Portsmouth's Niko Kranjcar, plus Tottenham-bound Luka Modric.

Meanwhile, Werder Bremen's Ivan Klasnic has been named after regaining full fitness following a kidney transplant.

Croatia, who beat England twice in qualifying, will face Germany, co-hosts Austria and Poland in their first round group.

606: DEBATE

And the players have been boosted by confirmation of Bilic's new two-year deal, which has ended speculation linking him with a number of clubs, including Manchester City, who are expected to part company with Sven-Goran Eriksson.

"Two years ago, it was a brave decision to put us at the helm and we have decided to stay on because we have a lot of confidence in this youthful team," he said.

"There is absolutely no pressure, but our primary objective is to get past the group stage at Euro 2008."

Croatia Federation chief Vlatko Markovic insisted Bilic's desire to stay in charge had never been in question, although some reports suggest it took a doubling of his salary to finally persuade him to agree the new contract.

"We are proud that he stayed with us because half of Europe went nuts about him," Markovic added.

Croatia will play Hungary on 31 May before starting their Euro 2008 campaign against Austria on 8 June.

CROATIA SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Stipe Pletikosa (Spartak Moscow), Vedran Runje (Lens), Mario Galinovic (Panathinaikos)

Defenders: Vedran Corluka (Manchester City), Dario Simic (AC Milan), Robert Kovac (Borussia Dortmund), Josip Simunic (Hertha Berlin), Dario Knezevic (Livorno), Hrvoje Vejic (Tomsk), Danijel Pranjic (Heerenveen)

Midfielders: Darijo Srna (Shakhtar Donetsk), Niko Kovac (Red Bull Salzburg), Luka Modric (Tottenham), Niko Kranjcar (Portsmouth), Jerko Leko (AS Monaco), Ivan Rakitic (Schalke), Ognjen Vukojevic (Dinamo Bucharest), Nikola Pokrivac (AS Monaco)

Forwards: Mladen Petric (Borussia Dortmund), Ivica Olic (Hamburger SV), Ivan Klasnic (Werder Bremen), Igor Budan (Parma), Nikola Kalinic (Hajduk Split)




see also
Croatia deal ends Bilic jobs link
30 Apr 08 |  Internationals
Bilic cools Premier League links
13 Mar 08 |  Football
England 'wilted under pressure'
22 Nov 07 |  Internationals
Bilic targets Premier League job
20 Nov 07 |  Internationals
Bilic's vision
10 Oct 06 |  Football
Pick your Croatia XI
23 May 08 |  Croatia


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