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CROATIA FOOTBALL HISTORY

The Croatia men's national football team (Croatian: Hrvatska nogometna reprezentacija) represents Croatia in international football. The team is controlled by the Croatian Football Federation, the governing body for football in the country. A FIFA-recognised national side had previously represented the short-lived Banovina of Croatia and Independent State of Croatia in nineteen friendly matches between 1940 and 1944. This team was dissolved in 1945 as Croatia became a constituent federal republic of SFR Yugoslavia. In the period between 1945 and 1990, Croatia did not field a separate team for competitive matches and Croatian players played for the Yugoslavia national football team.

The modern Croatian team was formed in 1991, shortly before Croatia's independence from Yugoslavia, and by 1993 had gained membership in FIFA and UEFA.[2] The team played their first competitive matches in the successful qualifying campaign for UEFA Euro 1996, leading to their first appearance at a major tournament. In Croatia's FIFA World Cup debut in 1998 the team finished third and provided the tournament's top scorer, Davor Šuker. Since becoming eligible to compete in international tournaments, Croatia have missed only one World Cup and one European Championship.

Football was introduced to Croatia by English expatriates in Rijeka and Županja in 1873; the official rulebook was recognised in 1896. By 1907 local clubs had been established in Croatia and a modern edition of the sport's laws was published. FIFA records document a Croatian national team playing a full-length fixture against domestic opposition in 1907. Before the nation's independence, Croatian footballers played for the national teams of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1919–39) and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1945–90), though during periods of political upheaval, ethnically Croatian sides sometimes formed to play unofficial matches. A hastily arranged national side, managed by Hugo Kinert, played a few private domestic matches in 1918–19.

In 1940, Jozo Jakopić led an unofficial national team representing the Banovina of Croatia in four friendly matches: two against Switzerland and two against Hungary. Croatia made their debut as an independently sanctioned team by defeating the Swiss 4–0 in Zagreb on 2 April 1940. Following invasion by the Axis powers, the Croatian Football Federation became briefly active, joining FIFA on 17 July 1941, as the Independent State of Croatia. The national side, under the direction of Rudolf Hitrec, played fifteen friendly matches, fourteen as an official FIFA member. Croatia's first recorded result as a FIFA associate was a 1–1 tie with Slovakia on 8 September in Bratislava. Further matches were played until 1945 when the Independent State of Croatia was abolished and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia assumed control, thereby ending the team's affiliation with FIFA.

The last Yugoslav team to field a considerable Croatian contingent played against Sweden on 16 May 1991, days before Croatia's independence referendum. Another Croatian team formed during this time; it played its first modern international game, against the United States, on 17 October 1991, at Maksimir Stadium. The game, which Croatia won 2–1, was one of three games played under original manager Dražan Jerković. Croatia won twice more under his direction before Stanko Poklepović and Vlatko Marković each briefly headed the team. The match against the American side also marked the introduction of Croatia's national jersey. Designed with unique chequers, the initial kit was widely acknowledged for its originality. Croatia was still considered part of Yugoslavia until its independence declaration on 8 October 1991, but this team already served as a de facto national team.

 

CROATIA FOOTBALL TEAM

Fifa  Non-Fifa 
Name  D. o. B.  Position  Current club 
Subašić, Danijel 1984-10-27 Goalkeeper   AS Monaco 1 0 0 0 0 0
Ćorluka, Vedran 1986-02-09 Centre Back   Lokomotiv Moskva 1 0 0 0 0 0
Lovren, Dejan 1989-07-05 Centre Back   Southampton FC 1 0 0 0 0 0
Pranjić, Danijel 1981-12-02 Left Back   Panathinaïkos AO 1 0 0 0 0 0
Srna, Darijo 1982-05-01 Right Back   Shakhtar Donetsk 1 0 0 0 0 0
Milić, Hrvoje 1989-05-10 Left Back   FK Rostov-na-Donu 0 1 0 0 0 0
Schildenfeld, Gordon 1985-03-18 Centre Back   Panathinaïkos AO 0 1 0 0 0 0
Kovačić, Mateo 1994-05-06 Defensive Midfielder   Inter Milano 1 0 0 0 0 0
Maleš, Mate 1989-03-11 Defensive Midfielder   HNK Rijeka 1 0 0 0 0 0
Rakitić, Ivan 1988-03-10 Centre Midfielder   Sevilla FC 1 0 0 0 0 0
Vukojević, Ognjen 1983-12-20 Defensive Midfielder   Dynamo Kyiv 0 1 0 0 0 0
Modrić, Luka 1985-09-09 Centre Midfielder   Real Madrid 0 1 0 0 0 0
Olić, Ivica 1979-09-14 Centre Forward   VfL Wolfsburg 1 0 2 0 0 0
Jelavić, Nikica 1985-08-27 Centre Forward   Hull City 1 0 0 0 0 0
Perišić, Ivan 1989-02-02 Left Winger   VfL Wolfsburg 1 0 0 0 0 0
da Silva, Eduardo 1983-02-25 Centre Forward   Shakhtar Donetsk 0 1 0 0 0 0
Mandžukić, Mario 1986-01-14 Centre Forward   Bayern München 0 1 0 0 0 0

 

WORLDCUP HISTORY

Year Round Position Matches Wins Draws Losses GF GA
1930 to 1990 Competed as part of Yugoslavia - - - - - - -
 1994 Could not enter - - - - - - -
 1998 Third Place 3 7 5 0 2 11 5
 2002 Group Stage 23 3 1 0 2 2 3
 2006 Group Stage 22 3 0 2 1 2 3
 2010 Did not qualify - - - - - - -
 2014 Qualified - - - - - - -
Total 4/5 - 13 6 2 5 15 11


 

CROATIA FOOTBALL PLAYERS RECORD

TOP CAPS

# Name Clubs Croatia career Caps Goals
1 Darijo Srna Hajduk Split, Shakhtar Donetsk 2002– 111 21
2 Stipe Pletikosa Hajduk Split, Shakhta Donetsk, Spartak Moscow
Tottenham Hotspur, Rostov
1999– 109 0
3 Josip Šimunić Hertha Berlin, Hoffenheim, Dinamo Zagreb 2001– 105 3
4 Dario Šimić Dinamo Zagreb, Internazionale, Milan, AS Monaco 1996–2008 100 3
5 Ivica Olić NK Zagreb, Dinamo Zagreb, CSKA Moscow,
Hamburger SV, Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg
2002– 90 18
6 Robert Kovač Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich,
Juventus, Borussia Dortmund, Dinamo Zagreb
1999–2009 84 0
7 Niko Kovač Bayer Leverkusen, HSV, Bayern Munich,
Hertha Berlin, Red Bull Salzburg
1996–2008 83 14
8 Robert Jarni Hajduk Split, Bari, Torino, Juventus, Real Betis,
Real Madrid, Las Palmas, Panathinaikos
1991–2002 81 1
Niko Kranjčar Dinamo Zagreb, Hajduk Split, Portsmouth,
Tottenham Hotspur, Dynamo Kyiv, Queens Park Rangers
2004– 81 16
10 Luka Modrić Dinamo Zagreb, Tottenham Hotspur, Real Madrid 2006– 73 8

 

TOP GOAL SCORERS

 

# Name Croatia career Goals Caps
1 Davor Šuker 1991–2002 45 69
2 Eduardo da Silva 2004– 29 62
3 Darijo Srna 2002– 21 111
4 Ivica Olić 2002– 18 90
5 NikoKranjčar 2004– 16 81
6 Goran Vlaović 1992–2002 15 52
7 Niko Kovač 1996–2008 14 83
8 Mladen Petrić 2001– 13 45
Mario Mandžukić 2007– 13 48
10 Zvonimir Boban 1991–1999 12 51
Ivan Klasnić 2004– 12 41
 

CROATIA FOOTBALL BEST MOMENTS

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