Bilic to leave Croatia post after Euros
Croatia coach Slaven Bilic said Thursday he will step down after the European Championship.
Bilic made the announcement when naming his 27-man provisional squad.
The 43-year-old Bilic has been coach since 2006 and guided the team to the quarterfinals at Euro 2008.
Croatia has been drawn in a tough group at the June 8 to July 1 tournament in Poland and Ukraine, alongside defending champion Spain, four-time World Cup winner Italy and Ireland.
”This is my last championship in charge,” Bilic said. ”I leave a great team that has spent five years in the top 10, a squad that has been rejuvenated and one that could last for a long time.
I can’t say that this side are better than in 2008, but I can say that I think I am better.”
Croatia’s first match at Euro 2012 is against Ireland on June 10.
Strikers Ivan Klasnic of Bolton and Mladen Petric of Hamburg were surprisingly left out of the squad, while Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric was named captain.
Goalkeepers: Stipe Pletikosa (Rostov), Danijel Subasic (Monaco), Ivan Kelava (Dinamo Zagreb), Goran Blazevic (Hajduk Split).
Defenders: Domogoj Vida (Dinamo Zagreb), Vedran Corluka (Bayer Leverkusen), Josip Simunic (Dinamo Zagreb), Dejan Lovren (Lyon), Sime Vrsaljko (Dinamo Zagreb), Gordon Schildenfeld (Eintracht Frankfurt), Ivan Strinic (Dnipro), Danijel Pranjic (Bayern Munich), Jurica Buljat (Maccabi Haifa).
Midfielders: Darijo Srna (Shakhtar Donetsk), Tomislav Dujmovic (Real Zaragoza), Ognjen Vukojevic (Dynamo Kiev), Ivan Rakitic (Sevilla), Luka Modric (Tottenham), Ivan Perisic (Borussia Dortmund), Niko Kranjcar (Tottenham), Milan Badelj (Dinamo Zagreb), Ivo Ilicevic (Hamburg).
Forwards: Ivica Olic (Bayern Munich), Nikica Jelavic (Everton), Mario Mandzukic (Wolfsburg), Eduardo da Silva (Shakhtar Donetsk), Nikola Kalinic (Dnipro).