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Atletico Madrid defender Sime Vrsaljko aims to prove his worth to Simeone

Sime Vrsaljko played in both his country's recent World Cup qualifiers.

Sime Vrsaljko has told AS he intends to prove himself to Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone, despite having played only once since his €16 million summer arrival.

Defender Vrsaljko joined Atletico from Sassuolo on a five-year contract in July, choosing to move to the Estadio Vicente Calderon despite interest from Juventus and Napoli.

But long-term first choice Juanfran Torres is still favoured at right-back by Simeone, meaning Vrsaljko, who played in both Croatia's recent World Cup qualifiers,...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic to miss Croatia World Cup qualifying

Ivan Rakitic
Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic has an Achilles tendon strain.

Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic will miss Croatia's World Cup qualifiers against Kosovo and Finland due to an Achilles tendon strain, Croatia coach Ante Cacic confirmed on Monday.

The team will also be without the services of Luka Modric and Dejan Lovren, who are also injured.

The 28-year-old Rakitic pulled out with an Achilles tendon strain while Modric has been ruled out for a month after undergoing knee surgery last week.

"We can't count on Rakitic. He has a problem with his Achilles tendon and that...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Ex-Bolton and Croatia striker Ivan Klasnic 'critically ill' after kidney failure

Ivan Klasnic
Ivan Klasnic starred for Bolton in the Premier League.

Former Bolton Wanderers and Croatia striker Ivan Klasnic is fighting for his life after suffering kidney failure.

Klasnic, 36, first suffered kidney problems while playing for Werder Bremen in Germany in 2006 but a transplant provided by his father allowed him to continue his career.

The striker played for his country at Euro 2008 and then joined Bolton from Nantes a year later and scored 20 goals in 77 games for the club before he joined Mainz on a one-year deal in 2012.

However, another replacement...