The president of the Croatian Football Association has revealed that the whole country is still reeling from the injury to Eduardo da Silva.
Eduardo's leg was broken by a mistimed challenge from Martin Taylor in Arsenal's 2-2 draw at Birmingham on Saturday.
He is now certain to miss the rest of the Premier League season and Euro 2008 in the summer.
Vlatko Markovic has flown in to see Eduardo in hospital and has brought with him messages of support from his homeland.
But he admits the injury to Eduardo is the biggest possible blow to Croatia's hopes ahead of the European Championship.
Markovic told Sky Sports News: "It is because of Eduardo I am here. It is a very worrying time.
"Not just as a player but as a person, he was close to our hearts.
"He came to Croatia when he was only 14. There have been thousands and thousands of text messages asking about him.
"It is a very difficult time for the Croatia national team. He scored most goals in our qualification for Euro 2008. Our whole game is built around him.
"Now we know he will not be there."
Zorislav Srebic, general secretary of the Croatian FA, has been encouraged by the positive way Eduardo has begun to come to terms with his injury, and hopes he will be back in action sooner than the nine months predicted by Arsenal.
"We hope it is maybe six, seven months," said Srebic.
"I spoke to Eduardo and he is optimistic. He is a very important player in our team, he is our superman."