Marin Cilic knows that Nadal's presence for Spain would have altered the outcome of the tie as the Spaniard is one of the best players in the history of the competition.
Nadal led Spain to the trophy in the Davis Cup and at this stage of his career doesn't anticipate to play much anymore. He told the federation earlier this year that he won't play but left the door open for a return in the future.
Cilic sealed Croatia's win over Spain in Malaga and after the match reflected on what would have happened if Nadal was there:
“Yeah, you know, it would be much different, because I would say, you know, both of them are -- you know, Rafa, you know, has been during all his career, you know, a leader of the team and, you know, with his own results and always enjoyed this, like, team atmosphere."
On Alcaraz, Cilic added:
“And then with Carlos, fantastic season for him. Such a pity for him to get injury at Paris-Bercy, not to be able to play also the Masters in Torino, and then also this one at home. So it's very difficult for both of them. Yeah, but a lot to look ahead for Team Spain in the following years, for sure."