This one fell through the cracks for a bit. Not that it's not cool that one of our 19-year-old super talents has been invited to his country's World Cup training camp.
Like most other countries set to play this summer's World Cup, Croatia also named a 30-man provisional squad this week, 23 of whom will be getting plane tickets to Brazil on June 2nd. The youngest, by over a year, is none other than Mario Pašalić, who had been seeing out his final year at Croatian powerhouse Hajduk Split before joining up with Chelsea this summer.
The 19-year-old midfielder had a great season by all indications. His 11 goals (second most on the team) helped Hajduk to a third place in the league (one better than the year previous) and qualification for next season's Europa League qualification playoffs. He received a hero's sendoff in his final home game.
Here's the Croatia provisional squad in full. They will contest the opening match of the World Cup on June 12 against the hosts.
Goalkeepers: Stipe Pletikosa (Rostov), Danijel Subasic (Monaco), Oliver Zelenika (Dinamo Zagreb).
Defenders: Darijo Srna (Shakhtar Donetsk), Dejan Lovren (Southampton), Vedran Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow), Gordon Schildenfeld (Panathinaikos), Danijel Pranjic (Panathinaikos), Ivan Strinic (Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk), Domagoj Vida (Dynamo Kiev), Sime Vrsaljko (Genoa), Igor Bubnjic (Udinese).
Midfielders: Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Ivan Rakitic (Sevilla), Niko Kranjcar (Queens Park Rangers), Ognjen Vukojevic (Dynamo Kiev), Ivan Perisic (Wolfsburg), Mateo Kovacic (Inter Milan), Milan Badelj (Hamburg), Ivo Ilicevic (Hamburg), Marcelo Brozovic (Dinamo Zagreb), Ivan Mocinic (Rijeka), Mario Pasalic (Hajduk Split), Sammir (Getafe).
Forwards: Mario Mandzukic (Bayern Munich), Ivica Olic (Wolfsburg), Eduardo (Shakhtar Donetsk), Nikica Jelavic (Hull City), Ante Rebic (Fiorentina), Duje Cop (Dinamo Zagreb).