Luka Modric and Mario Mandzukic to lead Croatia at World Cup

Luka Modric and Mario Mandzukic were included in Croatia's 23-man final squad for the World Cup announced Saturday.

The Real Madrid midfielder and Bayern Munich striker are expected to form the core of country's team at the tournament in Brazil, where it will play host Brazil, Mexico and Cameroon in Group A.

However, Mandzukic will have to sit out the World Cup opener against Brazil on June 12 in Sao Paulo because of his sending off during Croatia's playoff match against Iceland.

Also included in the squad are Shakhtar Donetsk defender Darijo Srna, Sevilla midfielder Ivan Rakitic and Wolfsburg striker Ivan Perisic who scored two goals in Croatia's 2-1 win against Mali in a warm-up match Saturday.