Bilic boosted by Rakitic
Croatia coach Slaven Bilic insists Ivan Rakitic will boost his team ahead of the forthcoming Euro 2008 qualifiers.
By Peter Fraser
Last Updated: 04/09/07 3:48pm
Croatia coach Slaven Bilic insists the presence of Ivan Rakitic will boost his team ahead of the forthcoming European Championship 2008 qualifiers.
Rakitic was born in Switzerland, but Croatia have received clearance from Fifa to play the midfielder against Estonia on Saturday and Andorra four days later.
The 19-year-old, who plays for Schalke, was forced to sit out Croatia's recent friendly meeting with Bosnia while Fifa considered his status.
However, Bilic is delighted to now have Rakitic available for selection.
"We are delighted to finally have Rakitic with us and he will definitely play a part in both matches," said Bilic.
"He is a brilliant prospect and will certainly add depth to our squad.
"I am yet to decide what position he will play in but I am convinced that he will fit in perfectly,"
Meanwhile, Bilic has guarded against underestimating Estonia and Andorra.
"Matches where a win is considered a foregone conclusion are the most difficult to play and we must stay focused in order to remain in the driving seat." Bilic concluded.