- Nikola Kalinic has refused to accept his FIFA World Cup silver medal following his sudden exit
- Kalinic was awarded a silver medal despite not playing a minute during the just concluded Mundial
- The AC Milan forward was reportedly annoyed to be handed a fourth consecutive bench role
Croatia’s Nikola Kalinic has refused to accept his FIFA World Cup silver medal following his sudden axe after the Blazers first match against Nigeria at the Mundial.
According to a UK Sun report citing Russia’s Sportske Novosti, Nikola Kalinic has repeatedly stressed he did not deserve the honour.
Compassionately, Kalinic's squad mates as well as backroom staff have handed the 30-year-old his runners-up medal despite refusing to come on against Nigeria’s Super Eagles in their World Cup opening game.
Kalinic and Blazers manager Zlatko Dalic were involved in an argument on the touchline during the match where he reportedly refused to come on as a late substitute and was eventually sent packing from the global football fiesta.
"Thanks for the medal, but I did not play in Russia,” the AC Milan forward was quoted as saying by Russia’s Sportske Novosti.
Interestingly, the East European side initially claimed that Kalinic's back injury forced him to decline coming on as substitute despite the fact that the forward had completed the warming up exercises.
The Blazers boss Dalic was bitter with the attitude put forward by the former Blackburn player, having encountered a similar incident against Brazil in a pre-World Cup game as well as in a training session.
Kalinic was reportedly annoyed to be handed a fourth consecutive bench role by the manager.
However, only time will tell if his well-publicised 'sack' at the Mundial will have a negative effect on his club career at AC Milan.
In his absence, the Croatia’s Blazers went all the way to their first final FIFA World Cup final in their history.
After emerging Group D winners, they defeated Denmark and Russia in a penalty shoot-out.
In the semi-final stage, they ended England’s Three Lions final quest with a 2-1 victory in the extra time.
In the final contest they squared up a formidable France’s Les Bleus and after 90 minutes of football they fell 4-2 in a thrilling final inside Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously had reported that two French football supporters have been confirmed dead while celebrating France's victory over Croatia during the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.
According to reports in France, a 50-year-old fan died after breaking his neck when he sprung into a canal in the Alpine city of Annecy at the end of Les Bleus World Cup victory.
While the second victim, thought to be in his 30s crashed his car into a tree as he celebrated the win near Saint-Felix.
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