Croatian star Mario Mandzukic says he is eager to face Cameroon on Wednesday after the striker missed the FIFA World Cup™ opener against Brazil through suspension. The 28-year-old striker played a key role in helping his nation reach the World Cup but missed the Opening Match because of a red card he picked up against Iceland in November.

"It is every player's dream to play at a world tournament. I'm eager to play, eager to prove myself together with my team," he said.

"I hope that my first appearance at a World Cup will be marked with a positive outcome," he told reporters.

Mandzukic, who recently announced he was leaving German side Bayern Munich, admitted he was "waiting for the day to play again".

He said: "We came to the World Cup to win, and we have to win against both Cameroon and Mexico. I'm positive and believe that we can make the first step. I am training very hard and this is maybe one of the most important matches. We are ready." 

Coach Niko Kovac echoed Mandzukic's optimism and stressed that he was relying mostly on him for a victory.

He said: "Every coach should be happy to have him [Mandzukic] in the team. I know that Mandzukic will pull for a win."