"Unquestionable" - Celtic star Josip Juranovic handed international vote of confidence

By Lewis Laird

September 19, 2022

Celtic full-back Josip Juranovic has had his place in the Croatia squad for the Qatar 2022 World Cup all but confirmed by international boss Zlatko Dalic.

In recent years, the 26-year-old has become a regular for his nation within the defensive backline, picking up 20 caps since his debut in 2017.

Juranovic’s performances at Celtic have helped further secure his place in the Croatia starting line-up, impressing whilst working under Ange Postecoglou.

Photo by Igor Kralj/Pixsell/MB Media/Getty Images

Of course, not only did his performances attract attention from back in his homeland but also from some of the biggest clubs in Europe this past summer.

Reports earlier in the transfer window suggested that the full-back was attracting transfer interest from the likes of Atletico Madrid and Chelsea.

However, Juranovic remained a Celtic player and has continued to keep his place as first-choice right-back for Postecoglou.

This season, the former Legia Warsaw man has been given the opportunity to perform at the highest level, playing in the UEFA Champions League against Real Madrid, RB Leipzig and Shakhtar Donetsk.

Playing against some of the best clubs in Europe is likely to attract further interest from clubs within the next 12 months. But, it will also help Juranovic continue to keep his place in the Croatian national team squad ahead of the Qatar World Cup later this year.

And barring any unfortunate injuries between now and November, Juranovic looks to have nailed down one of the defensive slots in the 26-man Croatia squad heading to Qatar, according to national team boss Zlatko Dalic.

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Speaking ahead of his side’s first fixture of this international break against Denmark on Thursday, the Croatian manager was asked about his thoughts on the right-back position as the tournament edges closer to getting underway.

The 55-year-old confirmed that Juranovic is all set to be named in his squad, stating that the Celtic full-backs inclusion is ‘unquestionable’, and the opportunity appears to have risen for him to make the position his own due to others’ lack of game time and retirement.

He said [Sportske Novosti]: “Honestly, I don’t have a lot of doubts about the roster for Qatar; that’s pretty much what I announced for this action. But we’re going to solve a few concerns.”

Dalic continued: “The candidates for Qatar are Josip Juranović and Josip Stanišić. Juranovic is unquestionable, Stanisic does not play at Bayern, but he bought a place with games with Denmark and France.

“I hope he plays more at Bayern. Šime Vrsaljko said goodbye; he made the fairest and most correct decision; he struggles for four years, he is aware that he is not like in Russia, that young people are coming. Thank him for all he’s done for the national team and me as a coach.”

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

After missing out on the Hoops’ 2-0 loss against St Mirren on Sunday afternoon, there potentially were some concerns regarding Juranovic’s fitness.

However, having played a lot of football so far this campaign, it appears that the full-back was simply rested, and he has now arrived in Croatia ahead of this month’s international fixtures.

Juranovic will be looking to carry his strong start to the season with Celtic over to the international scene as Croatia targets top spot in their UEFA Nations League group.

The Celtic defender is expected to start in games against Denmark and Austria as international sides play their final competitive fixtures before heading to Qatar in two months’ time.

It is always good to see our players succeed on the international stage, and Juranovic looks all set to be heading to this year’s World Cup, which is a brilliant achievement for a good national side.

In other news, RB Leipzig suffer injury blow as £25m-rated midfielder set to miss both Celtic matches.