Croatia, The Vatreni

early history

Croatian footballers in the early days player for the Kingdom of Yugslavia and later the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. That being said on more than several occasions Croatians formed unofficial teams as Croatia to play in matches. Finally in 1992 Croatia was officially admitted into Fifa after gaining its independence in 1991. They played their first official matches against Australia, Melbourne, and Sydney. Their first official recorded win came in 1994 against Estonia.

2018 world cup run, golden generation

The 2018 World cup a very exciting tournament to watch. One of those reasons was the dark horse team known as Croatia. A team that was not spoken about in the headlines building up to the tournament to say the least but they came out of the gate firing on all cylinders. Toping their group and beating the likes of Argentina 3-0 and going undefeated in the process. They moved to beat Denmark in the round of 16 via penalties which keeper Daniel Subasic saved three penalty kicks equaling the record for most penalties saved in one match. Croatia then played Russia the host country to a 2-2 draw and ultimately winning out in penalties creating yet another historic moment being only the second team to win back to back penalty shoot outs in a World Cup. Unfortunately even after beating England in an electric semi final Croatia was eventually stopped by the young power house team France.

Fun facts

  • Goran Vlaovic scored Croatia’s first goal at a major national tournament
Garan Vlaovic
  • Davor Suker leads the team with the most goals netted
Davor Suker
  • Croatia is the second smallest nation to make it to a World Cup final. This was done after a historic run for them in the 2018 World Cup.
2018 World Cup Final Squad
  • Luka Modric was the first Croatian player to receive the Golden Ball award in a World cup
Luka Modric, Best player of 2018 tournament