Croatia national football team

The Croatia national football team (Croatian: Hrvatska nogometna reprezentacija) represents Croatia in international football matches. It is governed by the Croatian Football Federation (HNS), the governing body for football in Croatia. It is a member of UEFA in Europe and FIFA in global competitions. The team's colours reference two national symbols: the Croatian checkerboard and the country's tricolour. They are colloquially referred to as the Vatreni (Blazers) and Kockasti (Checkered Ones).

Croatia
Nickname(s)Vatreni (Blazers)
Kockasti (Checkered Ones)
AssociationCroatian Football Federation (Hrvatski nogometni savez, HNS)
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachZlatko Dalić
CaptainLuka Modrić
Most capsLuka Modrić (174)
Top scorerDavor Šuker (45)
FIFA codeCRO
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 10 Steady (4 April 2024)[1]
Highest3 (1998)
Lowest125 (March 1994)
First international
 Croatia 4–0 Switzerland 
(Zagreb, Yugoslavia; 2 April 1940)
as FIFA member
 Slovakia 1–1 Croatia 
(Bratislava, Slovakia; 8 September 1941)
as modern Croatia
 Croatia 2–1 United States 
(Zagreb, Yugoslavia; 17 October 1990)
as FIFA member
 Australia 1–0 Croatia 
(Melbourne, Australia; 5 July 1992)
Biggest win
 Croatia 10–0 San Marino 
(Rijeka, Croatia; 4 June 2016)
Biggest defeat
 Spain 6–0 Croatia 
(Elche, Spain; 11 September 2018)
World Cup
Appearances6 (first in 1998)
Best resultRunners-up (2018)
European Championship
Appearances7 (first in 1996)
Best resultQuarter-finals (1996, 2008)
Nations League Finals
Appearances1 (first in 2023)
Best resultRunners-up (2023)
Websitewww.hns-cff.hr Edit this at Wikidata

Since 1994, the Vatreni have qualified for every major tournament with the exception of Euro 2000 and the 2010 World Cup. At the FIFA World Cup, Croatia has finished second once (2018) and third on two occasions (1998, 2022), securing three World Cup medals. Davor Šuker won the Golden Shoe and the Silver Ball in 1998, while Luka Modrić won the Golden Ball in 2018 and the Bronze Ball in 2022. The team has reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA European Championship twice (1996, 2008) and finished second in the UEFA Nations League in 2023. In June 2023, Croatia recorded its highest-ever Elo Ratings of 2,012 points.

Upon its admission into FIFA in 1994 ranked 125th, they ascended to third place with their debut 1998 World Cup campaign. This marked the fastest, most volatile ascension in FIFA ranking history, making them the youngest team to ever reach a Top 10 place in the World Ranking. Croatia is the second-smallest country by population (after Uruguay) and land mass (after the Netherlands) to reach a World Cup finals. At the World Cup, Croatia hold records for most penalty shoot-out played (4) and won (4) and most penalties saved in a shoot-out (3), among other team records. They were named FIFA Best Mover of the Year in 1994 and 1998, thus becoming the first national team to win the award twice and also equalling joint records with France and Colombia.

History edit

Official formation edit

The early history of Croatian football was delineated by a variety of unofficial sides as Croatia was not an independent entity until the late 20th century.[3][4] Hugo Kinert first managed an unofficial side that played some international matches in 1918–19.[5] In 1940, Jozo Jakopić led an unofficial national side representing the Yugoslav Banovina of Croatia in four friendly matches against Switzerland and Hungary.[6] Following the 1941 Axis invasion of Yugoslavia, Germany and Italy took control of Croatia, forming the Independent State of Croatia and installing Rudolf Hitrec as an unofficial manager for two years.[7] The side played 15 friendly matches from its re-activation in FIFA in 1941 until the end of World War II.[8][9] In 1945, Croatia returned to Yugoslavia as the People's Republic of Croatia with sides active until 1956.[8][6] State authorities organised the Yugoslav Football Tournament in September 1945 to commemorate the end of World War II, where Croatia finished third behind the Yugoslav People's Army and Serbia.[10] Croatia's only game as a constituent republic was a 5–2 win against Indonesia in 1956.[5] During the nation's pre-independence, Croat footballers played for Yugoslavia at the 1956 Summer Olympics,[11] the FIFA World Cup,[12] and the UEFA European Championship until 1990.[13][14]

Croatia had made its unofficial international debut during modern times against the United States on 17 October 1990, winning 2–1, where they introduced the modern checkered jersey.[15][16] Caretaker manager Dražan Jerković, led the de facto national side before their formal re-admission into FIFA on 3 July 1992,[17] winning two more friendly games against Romania in December 1990 and Slovenia in June 1991.[18][19] Stanko Poklepović took over management of the team and led them on an exhibition tour against Australia, before he was succeeded by Vlatko Marković in April 1993.[20] Croatia gained admission into UEFA in June 1993, three months after qualification for the 1994 World Cup started, missing their window to enter the competition.[21] After winning a match against Ukraine in June 1993, Marković was succeeded by Miroslav Blažević in March 1994.[22]

Blažević period (1994–1999) edit

 
Croatia's third-place certificate and bronze medal for the 1998 World Cup

After its secession from Yugoslavia, the newly formed Croatia entered the FIFA World Rankings in 125th place in March 1994.[23][24] Blažević launched Croatia's qualifying campaign for Euro 1996 with a 2–0 win over Estonia on 4 September 1994 and a 1–0 away loss to Ukraine on 1 June 1995, their first competitive win and loss.[6] After finishing first in qualifying, the team halved their spot in the World Ranking, ascending to rank 62, winning FIFA's 1994 Best Mover of the Year in December 1994.[25][26] In the group stage of Euro 1996, Goran Vlaović scored the team's first goal at a tournament, a late strike to win 1–0 against Turkey.[27] Croatia then beat reigning champions Denmark 3–0,[28] later losing to Portugal by the same scoreline.[29] The team advanced to the knockout stage and were beaten in the quarter-finals 1–2 by Germany.[30] Croatia's qualifying campaign from 1998 to 1999 for Euro 2000 was unsuccessful as they finished third in their group behind FR Yugoslavia and the Republic of Ireland.[31] Both fixtures against FR Yugoslavia ended in draws which prevented Croatia from qualifying by one point.[32]

Croatia began their qualification campaign for the 1998 World Cup with an aggregate victory against Ukraine in the two-legged playoff. In the group stage, Croatia beat both Jamaica and Japan, later losing to Argentina to advance with them to the knockout stage. A 1–0 victory over Romania moved the Croatians to the quarter-finals against Germany.[33] Croatia beat the Germans 3–0 with goals from Robert Jarni, Goran Vlaović and Davor Šuker, all after Christian Wörns had been sent off.[34] They advanced to their first semi-finals against the hosts France. After a goalless first-half, Croatia led after Aljoša Asanović pushed past Zinedine Zidane to cross a ball downfield to Šuker who scored after a one-on-one with goalkeeper Fabien Barthez.[35] France's defender Lilian Thuram equalized quickly after, and scored another goal later in the game to beat Croatia 2–1. In the third place playoff, Croatia prevailed against the Netherlands 2–1 to secure bronze and claim their first World Cup medal.[21] Šuker won the Golden Shoe for scoring the most goals in the World Cup: six goals in seven games.[36] The Croatians' performance during the late-1990s propelled them to rank third place in the FIFA World Ranking in January 1999.[24][13] The team of the 1990s was dubbed the "golden generation"[a] for their contributions to Croatia's ascension in international football.[37][38]

Jozić, Barić and Kranjčar period (2000–2006) edit

 
Fans during Euro 2004 in Portugal

Croatia started their qualifying campaign for the 2002 World Cup with draws against Belgium and Scotland prompting Blažević's resignation as head coach in October 2000.[39] His successor, Mirko Jozić, pushed the team through the rest of qualifiers undefeated. In the group stage, Croatia narrowly lost to Mexico before beating Italy 2–1 and sustaining a 1–0 loss to Ecuador.[40][41] The team was eliminated by one point,[42] leading to the resignation of Jozić and succession of Otto Barić in July 2002, their first manager born outside of Southeastern Europe.[43][44] During Barić's tenure, most of the remaining players from the "golden generation" squad were gradually replaced by younger players over the course of qualifying for Euro 2004. Croatia qualified in a playoff victory against Slovenia, winning 2–1 on aggregate after Dado Pršo's decisive late goal in the second leg.[45] The team was eliminated at the group stage after drawing 0–0 with Switzerland and 2–2 with France, and losing 2–4 to England.[46][47] Barić departed after his two-year contract expired in June 2004.[48]

Prior to launching the team's qualification for the 2006 World Cup, Zlatko Kranjčar succeed Barić in July 2004.[49] Croatia qualified undefeated, topping the group ahead of Sweden and Bulgaria.[50][51] Kranjčar selected his son, Niko, for the national squad, leading local media outlets to accuse him of nepotism.[52] In the group stage, Croatia lost their opening game to Brazil and drew 0–0 with Japan after Darijo Srna missed a first-half penalty.[53][54] A 2–2 draw with Australia in which three players were sent off confirmed Croatia's elimination.[55] The game included a mistake by referee Graham Poll who gave three yellow cards[b] to Croatian defender Josip Šimunić, mistaking him for an Australian player due to his Australian accent.[56]

Bilić period (2006–2012) edit

 
Croatia vs. Brazil at the 2006 World Cup

In July 2006, prior to Euro 2008, Kranjčar was replaced with Slaven Bilić, who introduced newer, younger players to the squad and finished qualifying undefeated.[57][58] His first game was a 2–0 victory against reigning world champions Italy during an international friendly.[59][60] Croatia lost once to Macedonia and beat England twice, who as a result failed to qualify for the first time since 1984.[61][62] Eduardo da Silva, the team's top goalscorer during qualifying, sustained an injury while playing for his club, Arsenal, leading to a shake-up in the finals squad with less experienced players.[63][64] Croatia finished group stage undefeated with a 1–0 win over co-hosts Austria, 2–1 win over Germany, and 1–0 win over Poland.[65] The team collected the maximum group stage points possible (9) for the first time in their Euros history.[66][67][68] Niko Kovač and Dario Šimić held captaincy during the group and knockout stages, respectively.[69][70] Croatia pushed Turkey to a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-finals in which the Turkish side prevailed in an upset win[71] where Luka Modrić, Mladen Petrić and Ivan Rakitić all missed their penalties.[72] Croatia set multiple Euro records: fewest goals conceded (2), fewest games lost (0),[c] and earliest goal scored.[73][74][75]

Bilić renewed his contract in April 2008,[76] before the qualifying campaign for the 2010 World Cup. Croatia won 3–0 against Kazakhstan, before taking a 4–1 loss to England at Stadion Maksimir, their first home loss in 14 years.[77][78][79] The team drew 0–0 with Ukraine and beat Andorra twice, drawing again with Ukraine and beating Belarus twice. In the final stretch of the qualifiers, England delivered Croatia's then-heaviest loss, a 5–1 scoreline, at Wembley Stadium.[80] The team had a number of players' injuries during qualifying and were ultimately eliminated, on points, as Ukraine defeated both England and Andorra to advance in the group.[81]

Croatia was a candidate to co-host Euro 2012 with Hungary which would have resulted in automatic qualification for both countries; UEFA ultimately selected Poland and Ukraine.[82] The Croatians began their qualifying campaign for Euro 2012 with a 3–0 win over Latvia, a goalless draw with Greece, and a 2–1 win against Israel. In the qualifying playoff against Turkey, the team won 3–0 on aggregate.[83] They were grouped with the Republic of Ireland, Italy and defending champions Spain, opening with a 3–1 victory over the Irish.[84] Croatia drew the match with Italy 1–1 in an Adriatic Derby that was marred by disruptive fans and controversial refereeing from English official Howard Webb.[85] The side was knocked out by Spain in a 0–1 loss, which, along with 1–1 rematch with Italy, had Croatia eliminated.[85] Bilić announced his resignation plans before Euro 2012 and, upon his departure, Jutarnji list credited him with a "strong revival" of the national side during his six-years.[86][87] During Bilić's tenure, from 2007 to 2012, the Croatians continuously ranked among the top ten teams in the world on the FIFA Ranking.[88]

Štimac, Kovač and Čačić period (2012–2017) edit

 
Croatia vs. Brazil at 2014 World Cup

Succeeding Bilić, former player Igor Štimac was appointed manager while Davor Šuker assumed the presidency of the Croatian Football Federation in 2012 after the death of Vlatko Marković.[89][90] A year in, Štimac was replaced by former captain Niko Kovač.[91] Kovač led the team to a 2–0 aggregate victory over Iceland in the qualifying playoffs for the 2014 World Cup with both goals coming in the home leg in Zagreb.[92] In the group stage, Croatia opened their campaign with a 3–1 loss to Brazil. The match garnered media attention for controversial refereeing from Yuichi Nishimura which was scrutinized for a number of decisions.[93][94] In their second match, Croatia won 4–0 against Cameroon then lost 3–1 to Mexico, finishing third in the group and not advancing to the knockout stage.[95][96][97]

 
Croatia vs. Portugal at Euro 2016

During the qualifying campaign of Euro 2016, Croatia drew with Azerbaijan and lost to Norway,[98] leading to Kovač's replacement with Ante Čačić.[99][100] The team broke their record for most goals scored in a match with a friendly 10–0 win over San Marino in June 2016.[101] They topped the group stage of that year's Euros, advancing with defending champions Spain.[102][103] Croatia prevailed over Turkey 1–0 with a long-range volley goal from Luka Modrić,[104] before drawing 2–2 draw against the Czech Republic.[105] In the latter match, Croatia took the lead with goals from Ivan Perišić and Ivan Rakitić, while opposing Czech striker Milan Škoda and a last-minute penalty from Tomáš Necid drew the match.[106] There was severe crowd trouble[106] and on-field flares in the game's last minutes with a steward injured by a stray firework.[107] Croatia then overtook Spain 2–1, confirming the Spaniards' first defeat at a Euro finals match since 2004.[108][109] The Croatians were tipped as one of the tournament favourites[110][111] as they entered the knockout stage with Portugal.[112] The Portuguese prevailed 1–0 with Ricardo Quaresma's winning goal in the 117th minute after Perišić hit the post with a header in the previous attack.[113] It was an "abysmal...turgid affair" between the two sides, according to BBC Sport.[114] Following the campaign, Darijo Srna announced his retirement and the succession of Modrić as team captain in August 2016.[115][116]

Dalić period (since 2017) edit

The team arrival in Zagreb after their 2018 World Cup campaign

Croatia qualified for the 2018 World Cup undefeated for their first five matches.[117] Two defeats to Iceland and Turkey, as well as a draw against Finland, led to a public outcry that ousted manager Čačić.[118] He was replaced by Zlatko Dalić, who formally qualified the team with a 2–0 win against Ukraine,[119] and a 4–1 win with Greece, on aggregate, during a playoff round in the first leg in Zagreb.[120][121] The 2017–18 squad was known as Croatia's second "golden generation",[122][123] referencing their 1998 counterparts, during the side's World Cup campaign.[124][125][126] They topped their group, with a 2–0 victory over Nigeria,[127][128] 3–0 win over Argentina,[129][130][131] and a 2–1 win with Iceland – their best-ever group stage performance.[132][133]

During the knockout stage, they beat Denmark in a penalty shoot-out for the first time[134][135] after goalkeeper Danijel Subašić saved three penalties, equalling the record for most penalties saved in a shoot-out.[136] In the quarter-finals, Croatia drew 2–2 with hosts Russia, becoming the first team since 1990 to win two consecutive penalty shoot-outs.[137][138][139] Playing England in the semi-finals, Croatia equalized to force their third consecutive extra time, matching the tournament record.[140][141] Mario Mandžukić and Perišić scored as Croatia won 2–1 making them the second-smallest country by population (after Uruguay) and land mass (after the Netherlands) to reach a World Cup Final.[142][143] In the 2018 World Cup Final they lost to France 4–2, finishing second-place and securing the silver medal.[144] The match was controversial[d] for its refereeing.[146][147] Luka Modrić became the first Croatian to win the Golden Ball.[148] The team was welcomed by an estimated half a million people[e] at their homecoming in Zagreb.[151] In August Croatia was ranked 4th in FIFA rankings and held that position until 4th of April 2019.[152]

The first game Croatia played after the World Cup was a 1–1 draw against Portugal in a friendly match.[153] It is the first time that Croatia managed to draw (and even score) against Portugal.

The team entered the Nations League's inaugural 2018–19 edition in League A, along with England and Spain in January 2018.[154][155] Croatia lost 6–0 away to Spain in their first game, the side's record loss in a match.[156] Croatia drew 0–0 home with England,[157] played behind closed doors due to UEFA sanctions.[158] The team then overtook Spain 3–2 with a goal in stoppage time, followed by a 2–1 away defeat to England.[159] Croatia were set to be relegated to League B until a tournament rule change retained them in League A, grouping them with Portugal, France and Sweden in the 2020–21 tournament.[160][161][162] Croatia lost to France and Portugal, but a single victory against Sweden was sufficient to avoid relegation to League B.[163][164][165]

The team topped their group for the qualifying campaign of Euro 2020,[166][167][168] with a loss to Hungary, and draws against Azerbaijan and Wales.[169][170] The 2020 finals were delayed into 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe.[171] Overall, winning only two out of eight games in 2020, Croatia achieved their worst-ever aggregate win-rate.[172][173] Croatia finished second in their Euros group,[174] with a 1–0 loss to England, a 1–1 tie with the Czech Republic and a 3–1 win over Scotland. They advanced to the round of 16, where they lost to Spain 5–3 after extra time.[175] The loss to Spain led to heightened criticism against Dalić and the team by the Croatian public,[176][177] a faction of whom called for resignations.[178][179] Dalić refreshed the team roster by introducing younger debutants for the remainder of World Cup qualifying in 2021.[180][181]

Croatia qualified for the 2022 World Cup with one loss, two draws and seven wins.[182][183][184][185] The team advanced from group stage after a 0–0 draw with Morocco, a 4–1 win with Canada, and finished ahead of Belgium by a single point after drawing 0–0.[186][187] They won against Japan in a penalty shootout in the round of 16 where Dominik Livaković saved three of four Japanese penalties, equalling a record held by Ricardo and Danijel Subašić.[188][189] Croatia similarly beat Brazil during the quarter-finals in an upset victory on penalties, having come from behind to draw 1–1 in the final minutes of extra time.[190][191] In the semi-final match, Croatia sustained their heaviest World Cup defeat, 3–0 against Argentina.[192] They prevailed 2–1 over Morocco in the third place playoff, securing their second bronze medal.[193]

The team topped their group in the 2023 Nations League, knocking out reigning champions France by winning 1–0 on a penalty – their first-ever win against the French.[194][195] Croatia beat the Netherlands 4–2 in the semi-finals, advancing to their first Nations League final, against Spain.[196][197] After drawing the Spanish 0–0 in extra time, the team lost the penalty shootout 4–5, finishing the tournament in second place.[198]

Croatia finished second in Euro 2024 qualifying, advancing in a "group of death" draw with Italy, Spain, and Albania, due to commence summer 2024.[199][200]

Image edit

Kits edit

 
The team's image references the national colors of Croatia. Pictured: Šime Vrsaljko, 2018.

Croatia's modern-day team jersey was created in 1990 by Miroslav Šutej who also designed the nation's flag, coat of arms and first currency. The red-and-white motif is based on the Croatian checkerboard (šahovnica).[201][202][203] The typical kit color-way features red-and-white checkered shirts, white shorts and blue socks to match the Croatian tricolor (Trobojnica).[201] There have been variations made by the kit manufacturers since the original release; the jersey design has remained consistent throughout the years and has served as a blueprint for other Croatian national sports teams and entities.[16]

Away kits used by the team have for a period been all-blue, incorporating the red-and-white checkers as a trim. Croatia has moved to using darker away kits such as the dark navy-and-black checkered design that featured prominently in the 2018 World Cup campaign. The Vatreni have been required to use their darker away kits even when playing at home because their opponents have red-and-white jerseys that clash with the checkers of Croatia.

Kit supplier Period
  Uhlsport 1990–1991
  Lotto 1992–1994
  Kappa 1994
  Lotto 1994–2000
  Nike 2000–present

Supporters edit

 
Croatia supporters at Euro 2012, featuring the national checkerboard

The team has developed an extensive fan base since its unofficial formation in 1990.[204] Following their debut run at the 1998 World Cup, there was a rise in domestic and global attention for the side. Political scientist Alex J. Bellamy observed in 2003 that the national team became a symbol of statehood in Croatia after their independence through the cultural export of Croatian football.[205] The government's influence on team affairs eased substantially after the death of President Franjo Tuđman in 1999. All matches are followed and televised throughout the country, particularly during major tournaments.[206] In November 2022, the Ministry of Science and Education issued guidance to let school children watch matches during the school day as long coursework is made up later.[207] Following the 2018 World Cup, the Croatian Cabinet attended ministerial meetings in team jerseys,[208] and during the 2022 World Cup, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković delivered a hurried speech "[lasting] only 37 seconds" at the Euro-Mediterranean Summit to catch the quarter-finals.[209]

A part of the team's support consists of fans of Dinamo Zagreb and Hajduk Split, the two largest clubs in Croatia's top domestic football league, the Hrvatska nogometna liga (HNL).[210] Both sets of fans—Bad Blue Boys from Zagreb and Torcida from Split—have been associated with hooliganism due to their ultra-style support,[211][212] though violence between them does not occur at international matches. Other ultras groups are Armada Rijeka, Kohorta Osijek, Ultras Vinkovci, Tornado Zadar, Funcuti Šibenik and Demoni Pula. Support for the team also comes from Croats of Bosnia and Herzegovina, particularly from fans of Zrinjski Mostar and Široki Brijeg.[213] There are also Croatian communities in Australia, North America and South America that follow the team.[214][215] The team's fanbase is known for their use of pyrotechnics, fireworks, and flares at matches and while celebrating. During the qualifiers of Euro 2016, Croatian fans disrupted matches against Italy and the Czech Republic by throwing flares from the stadium onto the field.[216][217]

Among supporters, it is customary to include an inscription of their city of origin onto the Croatian flag to indicate where they are from. Fans also coordinate their vocal support and orchestrate chants during matches. One section may shout "U boj, u boj" ("To battle, to battle") with another responding "Za narod svoj" ("For our people"). When the team wins, supporters might chant "Bježite ljudi, bježite iz grada" ("Run away people, run away from the city") which is a song praising the presence of Croatian fans.[218] The Croatian Football Federation endorses an official fan club for the team, known as Uvijek Vjerni ("Always Faithful").[219] In addition to chants, the team receives support from various local musicians, who release songs dedicated to them. Former manager Slaven Bilić and his rock band released a single, "Vatreno ludilo" (Fiery Madness), which reached the top position on Croatian music charts during Euro 2008.[220][221]

 
Smoke from supporters' pyrotechnics in Ban Jelačić Square, 2018

Fans' behaviour, hooliganism, and ultra-style rioting during matches has led to sanctions both domestically and internationally. The football federation, Croatian government, and players have made efforts to prevent unwanted incidents in order to avoid damage to the perception of the team and Croatian people.[222] This has included banning their own fans from certain games.[223] The behaviour of fans has led to penalties and fines for the national team imposed by FIFA and UEFA.[224][225] Certain disruptive behaviour is centered on ethno-nationalist racism and fascism stemming from the dissolution of Yugoslavia.[7] The Croatian Football Federation has been fined £14,920 for fans' racist taunts against English striker Emile Heskey in 2010,[226] 80,000 for a fan throwing a banana at Italian striker Mario Balotelli in 2012,[227] €100,000 for inadvertently hosting a match against Italy with a faint swastika etched into the pitch in 2016,[228] $53,000 for a crowd of fans' anti-Serb taunts against Canadian keeper Milan Borjan in 2022,[229] and €70,000 for a crowd of fans chanting antiziganist slurs at Romanian referee István Kovács in 2023.[230] The team has been fined for similar incidents and received additional sanctions such as having to play matches without fans, including the October 2018 Nations League game against England.[231][232] There have also been multiple acts of protest against the national team, in response to allegations of corruption within the Croatian Football Federation, and other fan disturbances.[233]

Charity edit

To advance the team's charitable efforts manager Slaven Bilić established the Vatreno Srce (Fiery Heart) Foundation in 2010.[234] The primary cause of the foundation is helping children.[235] As of 2012, the foundation made fifty donations of 1,200,000 HRK to various children's organizations.[236] In December 2012, the foundation made 500,000 HRK on an auction of Niko Kranjčar's shirt and Lionel Messi's shirt that was signed by all FC Barcelona players. The auction was organized in the Esplanade Zagreb Hotel and attended by President of Croatia Ivo Josipović.[236] In November 2018, the players gathered in The Westin Hotel in Zagreb to answer fans' phonecalls, the proceeds of which were donated to the Vatreno Srce Foundation. In 2018, the foundation financed Children's Hospital Zagreb and Korak u Život (A Step Into Life), a charity that helps young children raised in orphanages make the transition into higher education.[234][237] In November 2019, more than 500,000 HRK was collected in another call event that were then directed to Children's Hospital Kantrida.[238] In March 2020, the players collectively donated 4,200,000 HRK for fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and for repair of damage caused by the 2020 Zagreb earthquake.[239] Members of national team also visit and help children with special needs and their education institutions.[240]

Stadiums edit

Since their first match in 1990, the national team has played at thirteen stadiums around the country. The majority of Croatia's home matches take place at Stadion Maksimir in Zagreb, the country's largest football stadium, which is also the home-ground of local football club Dinamo Zagreb.[241] It was one of two venues for Euro 1976, hosted by Yugoslavia, alongside Red Star Stadium in Belgrade. The Croatian Football Federation previously agreed on extensive plans with the government to renovate the stadium and increase its forty-thousand seating capacity, the proposal was eventually rejected by Mayor of Zagreb Milan Bandić in 2008 due to construction costs.[241][242][243]

Some home matches are occasionally played at other, smaller venues around the country. Stadion Poljud in Split has hosted some qualifying fixtures since 1995, the first being a 1–1 draw with Italy. In the period between 1995 and 2011, Croatia never won a competitive match at Poljud, which the local media dubbed Poljudsko prokletsvo ("the Poljud curse").[244] Qualifying fixtures have also been played at Stadion Kantrida in Rijeka along with Stadion Gradski Vrt in Osijek and Stadion Varteks in Varaždin.[245]

Stadium City / town Pld W D L Win % Last match hosted Map of the host cities
Stadion Maksimir   Zagreb 69 48 15 6 069.6 2023
Stadion Poljud   Split 18 4 9 5 022.2 2023
Stadion Gradski vrt   Osijek 14 10 3 1 071.4 2022
Stadion Kantrida   Rijeka 11 10 1 0 090.9 2011
Stadion Rujevica 8 6 2 0 075.0 2023
Stadion Varteks   Varaždin 8 5 2 1 062.5 2019
Stadion A. Drosina   Pula 5 4 0 1 080.0 2019
Stadion Koprivnica   Koprivnica 1 1 0 0 100.0 2016
Stadion Cibalia   Vinkovci 1 1 0 0 100.0 2009
Stadion Kranjčevićeva   Zagreb 1 1 0 0 100.0 1996
Stadion Šubićevac   Šibenik 1 0 1 0 000.0 2003
Stadion Radnik   Velika Gorica 1 0 1 0 000.0 2021
Opus Arena   Osijek 1 0 0 1 000.0 2023
Total 139 90 34 15 64.7% 2023

Last updated: Croatia vs. Armenia, 21 November 2023
Statistics include only official matches recognized by HNS[246]

Results and fixtures edit

The following is a list of match results in the last 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.

  Win   Draw   Loss   Fixture

2023 edit

14 June 2022–23 UEFA Nations League SF Netherlands   2–4 (a.e.t.)   Croatia Rotterdam, Netherlands
20:45 CEST
  • Malen   34'
  • Lang   90+6'
Report
Stadium: De Kuip
Attendance: 39,359
Referee: István Kovács (Romania)
Assistant referees: Vasile Florin Marinescu (Romania)
Assistant referees: Ovidiu Artene (Romania)
Fourth official: Halil Umut Meler (Turkey)
Man of the Match: Luka Modrić (Croatia)
18 June 2022–23 UEFA Nations League F Croatia   0–0 (a.e.t.)
(4–5 p)
  Spain Rotterdam, Netherlands
20:45 CEST Report Stadium: De Kuip
Attendance: 41,110
Referee: Felix Zwayer (Germany)
Assistant referees: Stefan Lupp (Germany)
Assistant referees: Marco Achmüller (Germany)
Fourth official: Ivan Kružliak (Slovakia)
Man of the Match: Marcelo Brozović (Croatia)
Penalties
8 September UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Croatia   5–0   Latvia Rijeka, Croatia
20:45 CEST
Report Stadium: Stadion Rujevica
Attendance: 8,152
Referee: Philip Farrugia (Malta)
Assistant referees: Alan Camilleri (Malta)
Assistant referees: Luke Portelli (Malta)
Fourth official: Trustin Farrugia Cann (Malta)
11 September UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Armenia   0–1   Croatia Yerevan, Armenia
18:00 CEST
(20:00 AMT)
Report
Stadium: Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium
Attendance: 14,233
Referee: Clément Turpin (France)
Assistant referees: Nicolas Danos (France)
Assistant referees: Cyril Mugnier (France)
Fourth official: Ruddy Buquet (France)
12 October UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Croatia   0–1   Turkey Osijek, Croatia
20:45 CEST Report
Stadium: Opus Arena
Attendance: 12,812
Referee: Anthony Taylor (England)
Assistant referees: Gary Beswick (England)
Assistant referees: Adam Nunn (England)
Fourth official: Michael Salisbury (England)
15 October UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Wales   2–1   Croatia Cardiff, Wales
20:45 CEST
(19:45 BST)
Report
Stadium: Cardiff City Stadium
Attendance: 31,240
Referee: Davide Massa (Italy)
Assistant referees: Filippo Meli (Italy)
Assistant referees: Stefano Alassio (Italy)
Fourth official: Matteo Marcenaro (Italy)
18 November UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Latvia   0–2   Croatia Riga, Latvia
18:00 CET
(19:00 EET)
Report
Stadium: Skonto Stadium
Attendance: 6,747
Referee: Urs Schnyder (Switzerland)
Assistant referees: Marco Zürcher (Switzerland)
Assistant referees: Benjamin Zürcher (Switzerland)
Fourth official: Sven Wolfensberger (Switzerland)
21 November UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying Croatia   1–0   Armenia Zagreb, Croatia
20:45 CET
Report Stadium: Stadion Maksimir
Attendance: 20,398
Referee: Ivan Kružliak (Slovakia)
Assistant referees: Branislav Hanckov (Slovakia)
Assistant referees: Jan Pozor (Slovakia)
Fourth official: Martin Dohal (Slovakia)

2024 edit

23 March 2024 FIFA Series Tunisia   0–0
(4–5 p)
  Croatia Cairo, Egypt
21:00 Report Stadium: Cairo International Stadium
Attendance: 4,300
Referee: Mohamed Maarouf (Egypt)
Penalties
26 March 2024 FIFA Series Egypt   2–4   Croatia New Administrative Capital, Egypt
22:00
Report
Stadium: New Administrative Capital Stadium
Attendance: 85,350
Referee: Adalbert Diouf (Senegal)
3 June Friendly Croatia   v   North Macedonia Rijeka, Croatia
Stadium: Stadion Rujevica
8 June Friendly Portugal   v   Croatia Oeiras, Portugal
Stadium: Estádio Nacional
15 June UEFA Euro 2024 Group B Spain   v   Croatia Berlin, Germany
18:00 CEST Report Stadium: Olympiastadion
19 June UEFA Euro 2024 Group B Croatia   v   Albania Hamburg, Germany
15:00 CEST Report Stadium: Volksparkstadion
24 June UEFA Euro 2024 Group B Croatia   v   Italy Leipzig, Germany
21:00 CEST Report Stadium: Red Bull Arena
5 September 2024–25 UEFA Nations League A Portugal   v   Croatia Lisbon, Portugal
20:45 CEST
(19:45 WET)
Report Stadium: Estádio da Luz
8 September 2024–25 UEFA Nations League A Croatia   v   Poland Croatia
20:45 CEST Report
12 October 2024–25 UEFA Nations League A Croatia   v   Scotland Croatia
18:00 CEST Report
15 October 2024–25 UEFA Nations League A Poland   v   Croatia Poland
20:45 CEST Report
15 November 2024–25 UEFA Nations League A Scotland   v   Croatia Glasgow, Scotland
20:45 CET
(19:45 GMT)
Report Stadium: Hampden Park
18 November 2024–25 UEFA Nations League A Croatia   v   Portugal Croatia
20:45 CET Report

Coaching staff edit

 
Manager Zlatko Dalić, 2018
Position Name[247]
Head coach   Zlatko Dalić
Assistant coaches   Ivica Olić
  Vedran Ćorluka
  Mario Mandžukić
Goalkeeping coaches   Marjan Mrmić
  Danijel Subašić
Fitness coach   Luka Milanović
  Marin Dadić
Analyst   Dražen Ladić
Video analyst   Marc Rochon
Scouts   Nikola Jerkan
  Ognjen Vukojević
Physiotherapists   Nenad Krošnjar
  Nderim Redžaj
  Goran Beloglavec
  Miroslav Jamnić
  Neven Golubar
Doctors   Saša Janković
  Eduard Rod
  Tomislav Vlahović
Technical director   Stipe Pletikosa
Team manager   Iva Olivari
Security officer   Miroslav Marković
Media officer   Tomislav Pacak
Chef   Tomica Đukić
Kit men   Mladen Pilčić
  Goran Vincek
  Dennis Lukančić

Coaching history edit

The following table provides a summary of the complete record of each Croatia manager's results in the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA European Championship.

Manager Period Pld W D L Win %
  Jozo Jakopić 1940–1941 4 2 1 1 050.00
  Rudolf Hitrec 1941 1 0 0 1 000.00
  Bogdan Cuvaj 1941–1943 13 6 3 4 046.15
  Bernard Hügl 1943–1945 1 1 0 0 100.00
  Bogdan Cuvaj 1956 1 1 0 0 100.00
Total 20 10 4 6 50%


Manager Period Pld W D L Win % Tournament
  Dražan Jerković 1990–1991 3 3 0 0 100.00
  Stanko Poklepović 1992 4 1 1 2 025.00
  Vlatko Marković 1993–1994 1 1 0 0 100.00
  Miroslav Blažević 1994–2000 72 33 24 15 045.83   1996 European Championship – Quarter-finals
  1998 World Cup – Third place
  2000 European Championship – Failed to qualify
  Tomislav Ivić (c)[f] 1994 1 1 0 0 100.00
  Mirko Jozić 2000–2002 18 9 6 3 050.00   2002 World Cup – Group stage
  Otto Barić 2002–2004 24 11 8 5 045.83   2004 European Championship – Group stage
  Zlatko Kranjčar 2004–2006 25 11 8 6 044.00   2006 World Cup – Group stage
  Slaven Bilić 2006–2012 65 42 15 8 064.62   2008 European Championship – Quarter-finals
  2010 World Cup – Failed to qualify
  2012 European Championship – Group stage
  Igor Štimac 2012–2013 15 8 2 5 053.33
  Niko Kovač 2013–2015 19 10 5 4 052.63   2014 World Cup – Group stage
  Ante Čačić 2015–2017 25 15 6 4 060.00   2016 European Championship – Round of 16
  Zlatko Dalić 2017–present 82 41 21 20 050.00   2018 World Cup – Runners-up
  2020 European Championship – Round of 16
  2022 World Cup – Third place
  2024 European Championship – Qualified
Total 354 186 96 72 52.54% 13 out of 15

Last updated: Egypt vs. Croatia, 26 March 2024. Source: Croatian Football Federation

Players edit

Current squad edit

The following was the squad for the 2024 FIFA Series.[248]

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Dominik Livaković (1995-01-09) 9 January 1995 (age 29) 52 0   Fenerbahçe
12 1GK Nediljko Labrović (1999-10-10) 10 October 1999 (age 24) 1 0   Rijeka
23 1GK Ivica Ivušić (1995-02-01) 1 February 1995 (age 29) 6 0   Pafos
25 1GK Dominik Kotarski (2000-02-10) 10 February 2000 (age 24) 1 0   PAOK

2 2DF Josip Stanišić (2000-04-02) 2 April 2000 (age 24) 17 0   Bayer Leverkusen
3 2DF Marin Pongračić (1997-09-11) 11 September 1997 (age 26) 6 0   Lecce
4 2DF Joško Gvardiol (2002-01-23) 23 January 2002 (age 22) 29 2   Manchester City
5 2DF Martin Erlić (1998-01-24) 24 January 1998 (age 26) 8 0   Sassuolo
6 2DF Duje Ćaleta-Car (1996-09-17) 17 September 1996 (age 27) 24 1   Lyon
19 2DF Borna Sosa (1998-01-21) 21 January 1998 (age 26) 19 1   Ajax
21 2DF Domagoj Vida (vice-captain) (1989-04-29) 29 April 1989 (age 34) 104 4   AEK Athens
22 2DF Josip Juranović (1995-08-16) 16 August 1995 (age 28) 36 0   Union Berlin

7 3MF Lovro Majer (1998-01-17) 17 January 1998 (age 26) 29 6   VfL Wolfsburg
8 3MF Mateo Kovačić (1994-05-06) 6 May 1994 (age 29) 99 5   Manchester City
10 3MF Luka Modrić (captain) (1985-09-09) 9 September 1985 (age 38) 174 24   Real Madrid
11 3MF Marcelo Brozović (1992-11-16) 16 November 1992 (age 31) 95 7   Al Nassr
13 3MF Nikola Vlašić (1997-10-04) 4 October 1997 (age 26) 55 8   Torino
15 3MF Mario Pašalić (1995-02-09) 9 February 1995 (age 29) 62 10   Atalanta
18 3MF Luka Ivanušec (1998-11-26) 26 November 1998 (age 25) 19 2   Feyenoord

9 4FW Andrej Kramarić (1991-06-19) 19 June 1991 (age 32) 91 29   1899 Hoffenheim
17 4FW Bruno Petković (1994-09-16) 16 September 1994 (age 29) 36 11   Dinamo Zagreb
20 4FW Marko Pjaca (1995-05-06) 6 May 1995 (age 28) 25 1   Rijeka
24 4FW Marco Pašalić (2000-09-14) 14 September 2000 (age 23) 4 0   Rijeka

Recent call-ups edit

The following players have been called up to the squad in the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Ivo Grbić (1996-01-18) 18 January 1996 (age 28) 2 0   Sheffield United 2023 UEFA Nations League Finals PRE

DF Josip Šutalo INJ (2000-02-28) 28 February 2000 (age 24) 13 0   Ajax FIFA Series
DF Borna Barišić (1992-11-10) 10 November 1992 (age 31) 35 1   Rangers FIFA Series PRE
DF Dario Melnjak INJ (1992-10-31) 31 October 1992 (age 31) 8 0   Hajduk Split v.   Latvia, 18 November 2023 PRE
DF Jakov Medić (1998-09-07) 7 September 1998 (age 25) 0 0   Ajax v.   Latvia, 8 September 2023 PRE
DF Filip Uremović (1997-02-11) 11 February 1997 (age 27) 6 0   Hajduk Split 2023 UEFA Nations League Finals PRE

MF Martin Baturina INJ (2003-02-16) 16 February 2003 (age 21) 2 0   Dinamo Zagreb FIFA Series
MF Luka Sučić INJ (2002-09-08) 8 September 2002 (age 21) 5 0   Red Bull Salzburg FIFA Series PRE
MF Nikola Moro (1998-03-12) 12 March 1998 (age 26) 1 0   Bologna FIFA Series PRE
MF Niko Sigur U21 (2003-09-09) 9 September 2003 (age 20) 0 0   Hajduk Split FIFA Series PRE

FW Ivan Perišić INJ (1989-02-02) 2 February 1989 (age 35) 129 33   Hajduk Split FIFA Series
FW Ante Budimir INJ (1991-07-22) 22 July 1991 (age 32) 19 2   Osasuna FIFA Series
FW Dion Drena Beljo (2002-03-01) 1 March 2002 (age 22) 2 0   FC Augsburg v.   Armenia, 21 November 2023
FW Josip Brekalo (1998-06-23) 23 June 1998 (age 25) 35 4   Hajduk Split v.   Latvia, 18 November 2023 PRE
FW Petar Musa (1998-03-04) 4 March 1998 (age 26) 6 0   FC Dallas v.   Latvia, 18 November 2023 PRE
FW Franjo Ivanović (2003-10-01) 1 October 2003 (age 20) 0 0   Rijeka v.   Latvia, 18 November 2023 PRE
FW Marko Livaja RET (1993-08-26) 26 August 1993 (age 30) 21 4   Hajduk Split v.   Turkey, 12 October 2023 WD
FW Matija Frigan U21 (2003-02-11) 11 February 2003 (age 21) 0 0   Westerlo v.   Turkey, 12 October 2023 PRE
FW Mislav Oršić INJ (1992-12-29) 29 December 1992 (age 31) 27 2   Trabzonspor 2023 UEFA Nations League Finals PRE

  • INJ = Injured or ill.
  • WD = Withdrew.
  • SUS = Suspended from participating.
  • RET = Retired after latest call-up.
  • U21 = Joined the Croatia U21 team instead.
  • PRE = Preliminary squad.

Individual statistics edit

As of 27 March 2024.[250]
Statistics below are sourced from the Croatian Football Federation, players in bold are still active with Croatia.

Most capped players edit

 
Luka Modrić is Croatia's most capped player.
Rank Player Caps Goals Career
1 Luka Modrić 174 24 2006–present
2 Darijo Srna 134 22 2002–2016
3 Ivan Perišić 129 33 2011–present
4 Stipe Pletikosa 114 0 1999–2014
5 Ivan Rakitić 106 15 2007–2019
6 Josip Šimunić 105 3 2001–2013
7 Ivica Olić 104 20 2002–2015
Domagoj Vida 104 4 2010–present
9 Vedran Ćorluka 103 4 2006–2018
10 Dario Šimić 100 3 1996–2008

Surpassing Robert Jarni's previous record of 81 appearances,[251][252] Dario Šimić was the first player to reach 100 appearances, doing so before his retirement in 2008.[253] Darijo Srna, Josip Šimunić and Stipe Pletikosa collectively reached their 100th cap in February 2013.[254] Srna was the most capped player from 2016 to 2021, with 134 appearances.[255] He was surpassed by Luka Modrić in 2021.[256]

The youngest player to play for Croatia is Alen Halilović (aged 16 years, 11 months and 23 days),[257] while the oldest is Luka Modrić (38 years, 2 months and 12 days).[258]

Top goalscorers edit

 
Davor Šuker is Croatia's top goalscorer.
Rank Player Goals Caps Ratio Career
1 Davor Šuker 45 69 0.65 1991–2002
2 Mario Mandžukić 33 89 0.37 2007–2018
Ivan Perišić 129 0.26 2011–present
4 Eduardo da Silva 29 64 0.45 2004–2014
Andrej Kramarić 29 91 0.32 2014–present
6 Luka Modrić 24 174 0.14 2006–present
7 Darijo Srna 22 134 0.16 2002–2016
8 Ivica Olić 20 104 0.19 2002–2015
9 Niko Kranjčar 16 81 0.2 2004–2013
10 Nikola Kalinić 15 42 0.36 2008–2018
Goran Vlaović 51 0.29 1992–2002
Ivan Rakitić 106 0.14 2007–2019

Davor Šuker is Croatia's highest goalscorer with a record 45 international goals from 1991 to 2002.[32]

The team's youngest goalscorer is Luka Ivanušec (aged 18 years, 1 month and 19 days).[259]

Most clean sheets edit

 
Stipe Pletikosa is Croatia's record holder in most clean sheets.
Rank Player Clean sheets Caps Ratio Career
1 Stipe Pletikosa 54 114 0.47 1999–2014
2 Dražen Ladić 26 59 0.44 1990–2000
3 Danijel Subašić 24 44 0.55 2009–2018
4 Dominik Livaković 18 53 0.34 2017–present
5 Tomislav Butina 15 28 0.54 2001–2006
6 Vedran Runje 9 22 0.41 2006–2011
7 Tonči Gabrić 5 9 0.56 1990–1997
Marjan Mrmić 13 0.38 1995–1999
9 Lovre Kalinić 4 19 0.21 2014–present
Ivica Ivušić 6 0.67 2021–present
10 Ivan Vargić 3 3 1 2014–2016
Joey Didulica 4 0.75 2004–2006

Competitive record edit

  Champions  
  Runners-up  
  Third place  
  Fourth place  
  Tournament played fully or partially on home soil  

FIFA World Cup edit

FIFA World Cup record Qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad Pos Pld W D L GF GA
  1930 Part of   Kingdom of Yugoslavia
  1934
  1938
  1950 Part of   Yugoslavia
  1954
  1958
  1962
  1966
  1970
  1974
  1978
  1982
  1986
  1990
  1994 Did not enter
  1998 Third place 3rd 7 5 0 2 11 5 Squad 2ndOFF 10 5 4 1 20 13
    2002 Group stage 23rd 3 1 0 2 2 3 Squad 1st 8 5 3 0 15 2
  2006 Group stage 22nd 3 0 2 1 2 3 Squad 1st 10 7 3 0 21 5
  2010 Did not qualify 3rd 10 6 2 2 19 13
  2014 Group stage 19th 3 1 0 2 6 6 Squad 2ndOFF 12 6 3 3 14 9
  2018 Runners-up 2nd 7 4 2 1 14 9 Squad 2ndOFF 12 7 3 2 19 5
  2022 Third place 3rd 7 2 4 1 8 7 Squad 1st 10 7 2 1 21 4
      2026 To be determined To be determined
      2030[g]
  2034
Total Runners-up 6/7 30 13 8 9 43 33 6/7 72 43 20 9 129 51

Draws include knockout matches decided via penalty shoot-out; correct as of 17 December 2022 after the match against   Morocco.

Matches
First match   Croatia 3–1 Jamaica  
(Lens, France; 14 June 1998)
Biggest win   Croatia 4–0 Cameroon  
(Manaus, Brazil; 18 June 2014)
Biggest defeat   Argentina 3–0 Croatia  
(Lusail, Qatar; 13 December 2022)

UEFA European Championship edit

UEFA European Championship record Qualifying record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad Pos Pld W D L GF GA
  1960 Part of   Yugoslavia
  1964
  1968
  1972
  1976
  1980
  1984
  1988
  1992
  1996 Quarter-finals 7th 4 2 0 2 5 5 Squad 1st 10 7 2 1 22 5
    2000 Did not qualify 3rd 8 4 3 1 13 9
  2004 Group stage 13th 3 0 2 1 4 6 Squad 2ndOFF 10 6 2 2 14 5
    2008 Quarter-finals 5th 4 3 1 0 5 2 Squad 1st 12 9 2 1 28 8
    2012 Group stage 10th 3 1 1 1 4 3 Squad 2ndOFF 12 8 2 2 21 7
  2016 Round of 16 9th 4 2 1 1 5 4 Squad 2nd 10 6 3 1 20 5
  2020 Round of 16 13th 4 1 1 2 7 8 Squad 1st 8 5 2 1 17 7
  2024 Qualified 2nd 8 5 1 2 13 4
    2028 To be determined To be determined
    2032
Total Quarter-finals 7/8 22 9 6 7 30 28 7/8 78 50 17 11 148 50

Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks; correct as of 21 November 2023 after the match against   Armenia.

Matches
First match   Croatia 1–0 Turkey  
(Nottingham, England; 11 June 1996)
Biggest win   Croatia 3–0 Denmark  
(Sheffield, England; 16 June 1996)
Biggest defeat   Portugal 3–0 Croatia  
(Nottingham, England; 19 June 1996)

UEFA Nations League edit

UEFA Nations League Finals record
Season LG GP Pos Pld W D L GF GA P/R RK Year Round Pld W D L GF GA Squad
2018–19 A 4 3rd 4 1 1 2 4 10   9th   2019 Did not qualify
2020–21 A 3 3rd 6 1 0 5 9 16   12th   2021
2022–23 A 1 1st 6 4 1 1 8 6   2nd   2023 Runners-up 2 1 1 0 4 2 Squad
2024–25 A 1 To be determined   2025 To be determined
Total 16 6 2 8 21 32 2nd Total 1/3 2 1 1 0 4 2

Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks; correct as of 18 June 2023 after the match against   Spain.

Matches
First match   Spain 6–0 Croatia  
(Elche, Spain; 11 September 2018)
Biggest win   Austria 1–3 Croatia  
(Vienna, Austria; 25 September 2022)
  Netherlands 2–4 Croatia  
(Rotterdam, Netherlands; 14 June 2023)
Biggest defeat   Spain 6–0 Croatia  
(Elche, Spain; 11 September 2018)

Other edit

Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA
  1996 King Hassan II International Cup Tournament Champions 1st 2 0 2 0 3 3
  1997 Kirin Cup Soccer Runners-up 2nd 2 0 1 1 4 5
  1999 Korea Cup Champions 1st 3 1 2 0 5 4
  2006 Lunar New Year Cup Third place 3rd 2 1 0 1 4 2
  2017 China Cup Fourth place 4th 2 0 2 0 2 2
  2024 ACUD Cup Champions 1st 2 1 1 0 4 2
Total 3 Title 6/6 11 2 7 2 18 16

Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks; correct as of 14 January 2017 after the match against   China.

Head-to-head record edit

Key
  More wins than losses
  As many wins as losses
  Fewer wins than losses

Correct as of 26 March 2024, after the match against   Egypt. Source: Croatian Football Federation[261]

Pre-independence
Opponent Pld W D L GF GA GD Win %
  Bulgaria 1 1 0 0 6 0 +6 100.00
  Germany 3 0 0 3 2 12 −10 000.00
  Hungary 3 0 2 1 2 3 −1 000.00
  Indonesia 1 1 0 0 5 2 +3 100.00
  Italy 1 0 0 1 0 4 −4 000.00
  Romania 1 0 1 0 2 2 +0 000.00
  Slovakia 7 6 1 0 25 9 +16 085.71
   Switzerland 3 2 0 1 5 1 +4 066.67
Total: 8 teams played 20 10 4 6 47 33 +14 050.00
Post-independence[246]
Opponent Pld W D L GF GA GD Win %
  Andorra 6 6 0 0 24 0 +24 100.00
  Argentina 6 2 1 3 7 8 −1 033.33
  Armenia 3 2 1 0 3 1 +2 066.67
  Australia 6 2 2 2 11 6 +5 033.33
  Austria 7 6 0 1 12 6 +6 085.71
  Azerbaijan 4 2 2 0 9 2 +7 050.00
  Belarus 2 2 0 0 4 1 +3 100.00
  Belgium 9 3 3 3 9 6 +3 033.33
  Bosnia and Herzegovina 4 4 0 0 14 6 +8 100.00
  Brazil 5 0 2 3 3 8 −5 000.00
  Bulgaria 8 5 2 1 12 6 +6 062.50
  Cameroon 1 1 0 0 4 0 +4 100.00
  Canada 1 1 0 0 4 1 +3 100.00
  Chile 1 0 1 0 1 1 +0 000.00
  China 1 0 1 0 1 1 +0 000.00
  Cyprus 3 3 0 0 6 0 +6 100.00
  Czech Republic 4 1 3 0 8 6 +2 025.00
  Denmark 8 4 2 2 11 8 +3 050.00
  Ecuador 1 0 0 1 0 1 −1 000.00
  Egypt 2 1 1 0 6 4 +2 050.00
  England 11 3 2 6 13 22 −9 027.27
  Estonia 9 6 2 1 16 5 +11 066.67
  Finland 2 1 1 0 2 1 +1 050.00
  France 10 1 3 6 10 20 −10 010.00
  Georgia 3 2 0 1 4 3 +1 066.67
  Germany 5 2 1 2 8 6 +2 040.00
  Gibraltar 1 1 0 0 4 0 +4 100.00
  Greece 8 2 4 2 10 9 +1 025.00
  Hong Kong 1 1 0 0 4 0 +4 100.00
  Hungary 9 4 4 1 17 7 +10 044.44
  Iceland 7 5 1 1 13 3 +10 071.43
  Iran 2 1 1 0 4 2 +2 050.00
  Israel 9 8 1 0 22 8 +14 088.89
  Italy 8 3 5 0 10 6 +4 037.50
  Jamaica 1 1 0 0 3 1 +2 100.00
  Japan 4 1 2 1 5 5 +0 025.00
  Jordan 1 1 0 0 2 1 +1 100.00
  Kazakhstan 2 2 0 0 5 1 +4 100.00
  Kosovo 2 2 0 0 7 0 +7 100.00
  Latvia 6 6 0 0 17 1 +16 100.00
  Liechtenstein 2 2 0 0 8 2 +6 100.00
  Lithuania 2 1 1 0 2 0 +2 050.00
  Macedonia[h] 8 5 2 1 12 9 +3 062.50
  Mali 1 1 0 0 2 1 +1 100.00
  Malta 10 9 1 0 29 5 +24 090.00
  Mexico 6 4 0 2 9 6 +3 066.67
  Moldova 2 2 0 0 2 0 +2 100.00
  Morocco 3 1 2 0 4 3 +1 033.33
  Netherlands 3 2 0 1 6 6 +0 066.67
  Nigeria 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2 100.00
  Northern Ireland 1 1 0 0 3 0 +3 100.00
  Norway 5 3 1 1 10 6 +4 060.00
  Peru 1 0 0 1 0 2 −2 000.00
  Poland 5 3 1 1 7 3 +4 060.00
  Portugal 7 0 1 6 4 15 −11 000.00
  Qatar 1 1 0 0 3 2 +1 100.00
  Republic of Ireland 7 2 3 2 8 8 +0 028.57
  Romania 3 3 0 0 4 1 +3 100.00
  Russia 6 2 4 0 6 3 +3 033.33
  San Marino 3 3 0 0 18 0 +18 100.00
  Saudi Arabia 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100.00
  Scotland 6 1 3 2 5 6 −1 016.67
  Senegal 1 1 0 0 2 1 +1 100.00
  Serbia[i] 4 1 3 0 5 3 +2 025.00
  Slovakia 10 5 3 2 18 11 +7 050.00
  Slovenia 12 7 4 1 20 10 +10 058.33
  South Korea 7 3 2 2 11 7 +4 042.86
  Spain 10 3 2 5 12 20 −8 030.00
  Sweden 6 4 0 2 8 7 +1 066.67
   Switzerland 4 1 2 1 6 7 −1 025.00
  Tunisia 2 0 1 1 1 2 −1 000.00
  Turkey 12 4 6 2 15 10 +5 033.33
  Ukraine 9 5 3 1 15 5 +10 055.56
  United States 1 1 0 0 2 1 +1 100.00
  Wales 8 4 3 1 12 7 +5 050.00
Total: 75 teams played 353 185 96 72 597 342 +255 052.41
Croatia total: 76 teams played 373 195 100 78 644 375 +269 052.28

FIFA ranking history edit

The following is a chart of yearly averages of Croatia's FIFA World Ranking.[262] Upon admission to FIFA in 1994, Croatia entered the World Ranking at 125th.[262] Their debut World Cup campaign, during 1998, propelled Croatia to third place after the tournament, marking the fastest, most volatile ascension in FIFA ranking history.[263] It hit a then-record Elo rating of 2,006 points in July 1998 and maintained third place until February 1999.[264][265] The national team recorded its highest Elo rating in June 2023 with 2,012 points.[266] With an average Elo rating of 1,877 points, Croatia maintains the sixth-highest average rating in the world.[267] They are one of three teams—along with Colombia and France—to be named FIFA Best Mover of the Year more than once, winning the award in 1994 and 1998.[268][269]

Honours edit

Major edit

Minor edit

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ A portion of this squad (Jarni, Štimac, Boban, Prosinečki and Šuker) previously won the 1987 FIFA World Youth Championship with the Yugoslavia under-20 team.[35]
  2. ^ The rules of Association football state that on receiving a second yellow card in a single match a player must be given a red card and be removed for the rest of the match per the Laws of the Game.
  3. ^ Under the rules of Association football and the official European Championship tournament regulations, a loss inflicted via a penalty shootout does not count as a defeat but rather a tie which needed a final process to determine the team which advances per the Laws of the Game.
  4. ^ A free kick was awarded to France for a possible dive by Antoine Griezmann as well as penalty later in the game awarded by the video assistant referee (VAR) for a handball by Ivan Perišić.[145]
  5. ^ The mass gathering amounted to over 10% of the nation's population.[149] With 550,000 Croatians present, the event constituted the second-largest gathering in modern Croatia.[150]
  6. ^ In September 1994, national team manager Miroslav Blažević, who was also coaching Croatia Zagreb at the time, was dismissed in a 1994–95 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup match against Auxerre. Blažević was suspended by UEFA for one game and Ivić was appointed as his replacement for the qualifying match against Italy in November 1994 for UEFA Euro 1996.
  7. ^ Additional matches are scheduled to be played in Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the first World Cup, however they are not considered to be official hosts of the tournament. [260]
  8. ^ The team changed the name to North Macedonia national team in 2019, following the Prespa Agreement. However, Croatia have yet to play a game against them under the new name.
  9. ^ Includes the records against the no longer active FR Yugoslavia national team, whose successor is considered by UEFA and FIFA to be Serbia national team.

References edit

  1. ^ "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 4 April 2024. Retrieved 4 April 2024.
  2. ^ Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 27 March 2024. Retrieved 27 March 2024.
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