Arsenal's Eduardo named in Croatia squad

28 January 2009 05:20
Eduardo had been out of action since breaking his leg in a Barclays Premier League match at Birmingham last February.

The match was held up for nearly eight minutes as the Brazilian-born Croatia international was treated on the field before finally being carried off on a stretcher.

The tacklewas deemed too horrific that even Sky television said they would not replay the incident. Birmingham City defender Martin Taylor was given a straight red card for his challenge.

Eduardo went on to miss the European Championships having helped Croatia qualify top of their group of while denying England a place at this year's tournament in Switzerland and Austria.

The 25-year-old, signed from Dinamo Zagreb for £7.5 million in July 2007, spent part of his rehabilitation in his native Brazil and managed to play the first half of Arsenal's 2-0 reserve win over Portsmouth at Barnet's Underhill Stadium in December.

At the time, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger issued a note of caution.

'For him to be back playing in the first team will not be a physical problem, it will be more a psychological hurdle to go back into the fight,' said Wenger.

'For a striker, the goal is about the fraction of a second he was ahead of the defender. Any reluctance to go into contact takes that away and then you do not score any more.

'That is where the question mark will be about Eduardo. He is a very brave guy, but sometimes you cannot master those kind of reflexes.

'So it is better he goes into a game where people do not care about him and he discovers for himself he is strong enough to deal with it.'

Now, however, Bilic believes the striker has recovered enough from the potentially career-ending injury and could feature in Croatia's friendly in Bucharest on February 11.

Tottenham stars Vedran Corluka and Luka Modric and Portsmouth's Niko Kranjcar are also included in the squad.

Croatia squad: Stipe Pletikosa (Spartak Moscow), Danijel Subasic (Hajduk Split); Vedran Corluka (Tottenham Hotspur), Josip Simunic (Hertha Berlin), Robert Kovac (Borussia Dortmund), Hrvoje Cale (Trabzonspor), Hrvoje Vejic (Hajduk Split), Ivica Krizanac (Zenit St Petersburg); Danijel Pranjic (Heerenveen), Nikola Pokrivac (Monaco), Luka Modric (Tottenham Hotspur), Niko Kranjcar (Portsmouth) Ivan Juric (Genoa), Ognjen Vukojevic (Dynamo Kiev), Ivo Ilicevic (Bochum), Darijo Srna (Shakhtar Donetsk), Ivan Rakitic (Schalke 04); Eduardo (Arsenal), Mladen Petric (Hamburg), Ivica Olic (Hamburg), Nikola Kalinic (Hajduk Split), Mario Mandzukic (Dinamo Zagreb).

Source: Telegraph

World Cup Group G

England 2 0 0 6 6
Belgium 2 0 0 6 6
Tunisa 0 0 2 -4 0
Panama 0 0 2 -8 0
Last updated : 10:18