The Croatian Football Federation have often been prepared to do battle with a rival country to acquire the service of Croatian players with dual nationality or mixed parentage. Ivan Klasnic, Niko Kovac and Robert Kovac were all wanted by Germany. Eduardo could have played with Brazil. Josip Simunic and Ante Seric were eligible for Australia. A whole host of players could have suited up for Bosnia Herzegovina. Lately HNS were also interested in Argentine Croat Dario Cvitanich of Pachuca and talented young midfielder Gregory Sertic of Bordeaux in France where he was born.
The latest player to come to Croatia's attention is Mario Gavranovic, who currently represents Switzerland at Under 21 level. Switzerland and Croatia already have history in disputes over current Croatia stars Ivan Rakitic and Mladen Petric. Gavranovic would be unable to play for Croatia Under 21's due to his appearences for Switzerland, so HNS would like the 20 year old to wait his turn for the full national team. Switzerland however appear to have Gavranovic in their shorter term plans after the forward scored 16 goals in 41 games for Lugano and Yverdon and another 8 in the top flight with Neuchatel Xamax. His excellant form at such a young age earned his switch last week to Schalke.
Croatia are certainly looking at Gavranovic's progress in the German Bundesliga as he awaits his debut. Croatia appear to have a good chance of couping Gavranovic as the players parents are of Croatian stock, having only moved to Switzerland a year prior to the birth of young Mario in Switzerland.