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The Croatia national football team represents the Republic of Croatiamarker in international football. The team is controlled by the Croatian Football Federation, the governing body for football in the country, and has been managed since 2006 by Slaven Bilić.

A recognized national team represented the short-lived Banovina of Croatia and Independent State of Croatiamarker in nineteen friendly matches between 1940 and 1944. Although this team was affiliated with FIFA, Croatia remained a constituent federal republic of Yugoslavia during the period (similar to England, Wales and Scotland in Great Britain) and did not field a separate team for competitive matches, because due to World War II there were no international competitions.

The modern Croatian team was formed in 1990, shortly before Croatia's independence from Yugoslaviamarker, and by 1993 had gained membership in FIFAmarker and UEFA. The team first played competitive matches in a successful qualifying campaign for UEFA Euro 96, leading to its first appearance at a major European championship. At Croatia's first FIFA World Cup in 1998 the team finished third and provided the tournament's top scorer, Davor Šuker. Since becoming eligible to participate in 1993, Croatia have missed only one World Cup and one European Championship.

Most home matches are played at the Maksimir Stadiummarker in Zagrebmarker, though some fixtures take place at the Poljud Stadiummarker in Splitmarker or at other, smaller venues, depending on the nature of the match. The team was undefeated in its first 36 home competitive matches, the run ending with a 2008 defeat to England.

With a population of just over 4 million, Croatia is arguably the most successful 'small' country in football. Croatia was named FIFA's "Best Mover of the Year" in 1994 and 1998, becoming the only team to win the award more than once. On admission to FIFA, Croatia was ranked 125th in the world; following the 1998 World Cup campaign, the side ranked third, making it the most volatile team in FIFA Rankings history.

History

Pre-independence

Football was introduced to Croatia by Englishmarker expatriates in Rijekamarker and Županjamarker in 1873; the official rulebook was recognized in 1896. By 1908 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 Yugoslaviamarker (1919–39) and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslaviamarker (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.

The first recognized Croatian team played against Switzerland in 1940.
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 Zagrebmarker on April 2, 1940. Following invasion by the Axis powers, the Croatian Football Federation became briefly active, joining FIFA on July 17, 1941 as the Independent State of Croatiamarker. 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 September 8 in Bratislavamarker. Further matches were played until 1945 when the Independent State of Croatia was abolished and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslaviamarker assumed control, thereby ending the team's affiliation with FIFA.

From 1950 to 1956 another unofficial Croatian team was briefly active; it won games against Indonesia and a Yugoslav team playing as "Serbia". The Yugoslavia squad at the 1956 Summer Olympics included Croatian footballers, as did Yugoslavia in World Cup and European Championship tournaments up to 1990.

Official formation

The last Yugoslav team to field a considerable Croatian contingent played against Sweden on May 16, 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 October 17, 1990 at Maksimir Stadiummarker. 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. Croatia was still considered part of Yugoslavia until its independence declaration on October 8, 1991, but this team already served as a de facto national team.

In mid-1992 the team joined FIFA and UEFA. The team's performances before Croatia's independence were not recorded by FIFA, so they entered the World Rankings in 125th place. Miroslav Blažević was appointed manager and oversaw the team's qualifying campaign for Euro 96, beginning with Croatia's first officially recognized post-independence victory: a 2–0 win over Estonia on September 4, 1994. Their first competitive defeat came on June 11, 1995, with a 1–0 away loss to Ukraine during the same qualifying campaign. They finished on top of their qualifying group and won FIFA's 1994 Best Mover of the Year award as their international rankings rose.

"Golden Generation"



Croatia's 3-5-2 lineup during the 1998 World Cup.
Initial striker Alen Bokšić was withdrawn due to injury.
Goran Vlaović scored the team's first goal at a major tournament, a late winner against Turkey at the City Groundmarker during Euro 96. After their opening victory Croatia beat reigning champions Denmark 3–0, a match in which striker Davor Šuker scored with a lob from 12 yards after receiving a long pass. He later described the goal as a favourite. Croatia lost 3–0 to Portugal in their final group fixture but still advanced to the knockout stages, where they were beaten by eventual champions Germany in the quarter finals.

Miroslav Blažević remained as manager during Croatia's 1998 World Cup qualifying campaign, which ended successfully with victory over Ukraine in the play-offs. In the group stage of the World Cup, Croatia beat Jamaica and Japan but lost to Argentina, before defeating Romania to reach a quarter final tie against Germany, then ranked second in the world. Though regarded as underdogs, Croatia won 3–0, with goals from Robert Jarni, Goran Vlaović and Davor Šuker after Christian Wörns was sent off for Germany.Croatia faced the host nation, France, in the semi-final: after a goalless first-half, Croatia took the lead, only to concede two goals by opposing defender Lilian Thuram and lose 2–1. Croatia won third place by defeating the Netherlands, and Davor Šuker won the Golden Boot award for scoring the most goals in the tournament. This was among the best debut performances in the World Cup, and as a result, Croatia were placed third in the January 1999 FIFA World Rankings, their highest ranking to date. Croatia again won the Best Mover of the Year award in 1998. For their achievements the team of the 1990s was dubbed the "Golden Generation". Many of these players were also in the former Yugoslavia under-20 team which won the 1987 FIFA World Youth Championship in Chile.

Despite these successes in their first two major competitions, Croatia finished third in their Euro 2000 qualifying group, behind Yugoslavia and Republic of Ireland, and thus failed to qualify. Both fixtures between Croatia and Yugoslavia ended in draws; this fuelled the politically-based tension between fans of the two teams, and political protests broke out during the fixture in Belgrademarker. The return match in Zagreb ended in a 2–2 draw, preventing Croatia from qualifying for the tournament.

Decline under Jozić and Barić (early 2000s)

Coach Blažević resigned in autumn 2000 and Mirko Jozić was appointed his successor. Despite the retirement of many "Golden Generation" players, Croatia were unbeaten in their qualifying matches for the 2002 World Cup. They commenced the tournament campaign with a narrow loss to Mexico before producing a surprise 2–1 victory over Euro 2000 finalists Italy in the next fixture. At the tournament the team blamed the pressure of high expectations for their final fixture loss to Ecuador which prevented their progression to the knockout stages. Jozić resigned and was replaced in July 2002 by former Fenerbahçe coach Otto Barić, the team's first manager born outside the Balkans.

Under Barić Croatia performed indifferently in the Euro 2004 qualifiers, reaching the tournament finals with a playoff win against Slovenia after finishing second in their group. At the tournament Croatia drew 2–2 with reigning champions France but lost to England and were eliminated in the group stage. Barić's two-year contract ended in July 2004 and was not renewed.

Kranjčar and Bilić's revival

Former Croatia international Zlatko Kranjčar, appointed to succeed Barić in July 2004, oversaw Croatia's qualification for the 2006 World Cup without losing a match, but was accused of nepotism for selecting his son Niko for the national squad. Croatia lost their opening game to Brazil and drew 0–0 with Japan after Dario Srna missed a first-half penalty. A 2–2 draw with Australia, in which three players were sent off, confirmed Croatia's elimination at the group stage. The game was notable also for a mistake by referee Graham Poll, who awarded three yellow cards to Croatia's Josip Šimunić. Poll, heavily criticized for losing control of the match, retired from refereeing shortly afterwards.

The HNS replaced Kranjčar with Slaven Bilić in July 2006. Bilić appointed several younger players to the squad and saw early success, overseeing a 2–0 friendly defeat of Italy in his first match. Having controversially suspended players Dario Srna, Ivica Olić and Boško Balaban for missing a curfew after a turbofolk nightclub outing, Bilić led the team in qualification for Euro 2008; they topped their group, losing only one game (to Macedonia) and beating England twice, who consequently failed to qualify for the first time since 1984.

After primary striker Eduardo da Silva suffered a compound fracture while playing in the English Premier League, Bilić was forced to alter his tournament squad significantly and recruited Nikola Kalinić and Nikola Pokrivač, neither of whom had yet played competitive games for the national team. The team received criticism after poor attacking performances in warm-up games against Scotland and Moldova, but at the tournament beat Austria, Germany, and Poland to reach the quarter finals with maximum group points for the first time in their tournament history. Niko Kovač remained team captain at what was expected to be his final international tournament, except in the final group fixture when Dario Šimić temporarily held the position. Croatia's tournament run ended dramatically when they lost a penalty shoot-out to Turkey, but secured the tournament record for fewest goals conceded (2), fewest games lost (0), and earliest goal (in the fourth minute of their opening game against Austria—this was also the all-time earliest successful penalty at the European Championship Finals).

Amidst speculation that he would quit, manager Bilić renewed his contract, the first manager since Blažević to lead Croatia to successive tournaments. Croatia were again drawn to play England in the qualification stages of the 2010 World Cup; the tie was voted the most anticipated of the campaign on FIFA.com. After a home win against Kazakhstan Croatia lost at home to England, ending a fourteen-year unbeaten home record. The team was eventually burdened with a number of key injuries and went on to suffer their heaviest defeat ever, losing 5-1 to England at Wembley Stadium. Although Croatia defeated Kazakhstan in their final qualifying fixture, they were ultimately eliminated after Ukraine, who had previously defeated group leaders England, beat Andorra to gain second place in the group. Bilić was once again heavily expected to resign as national coach, but instead vowed to renew his contract and remain in charge.

Tournament records

World Cup record

Croatia have qualified for every World Cup since their tournament debut in 1998. However, Croatia have failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa after finishing 3rd in Group 6 of their Qualification Group behind England, and Ukraine. Ukraine advanced to the Knock Out Round. Although they joined both FIFA and UEFA by 1992, they were unable to enter the 1994 World Cup as qualification had started before the side was officially recognised. The nation's best performance came in their first World Cup; in their following two World Cup campaigns they were eliminated after finishing third in their groups.

  • 1930 to 1990Not applicable.
  • 1994Could not enter.


Year Round Position Matches Wins Draws Losses GF GA
1998 Third place 3 7 5 0 2 11 5
2002 Round 1 23 3 1 0 2 2 3
2006 Round 1 22 3 0 2 1 2 3
2010 Did Not Qualify - - - - - - -
Total 3/4 - 13 6 2 5 15 11


European Championship record

Croatia's best results in UEFA Championships were quarter final finishes on their debut, in 1996, and in 2008. They did not qualify for the 2000 tournament. The HNS raised an unsuccessful joint bid with the Hungarian Football Federation to co-host the 2012 tournament, which was awarded instead to Poland and Ukraine.
  • 1960 to 1992 – Could not enter.


Year Round Matches Wins Draws Losses GF GA
1996 Quarter finals 4 2 0 2 5 5
2000 Did not qualify - - - - - -
2004 Round 1 3 0 2 1 4 6
2008 Quarter finals 4 3 1 0 5 2
Total 3/4 11 5 3 3 14 13


Minor tournaments

Year Round Position Matches Wins Draws Losses GF GA
1996 King Hassan II Tournament Winners 1 2 0 2 0 3 3
1997 Kirin Cup Group stage 2 2 0 1 1 4 5
1999 Korea Cup Winners 1 3 1 2 0 5 4
2006 Carlsberg Cup Third place 3 2 1 0 1 4 2
Total - 2 Titles 9 2 5 2 16 14


Statistics

Managers

Before Croatia's independence distinct Croatian football federations and teams were occasionally formed separately from the official Yugoslavian organizations. Ivo Kraljević served as the manager of the initial federation, established in 1939, and organised non-sanctioned matches played by unofficial national squads up to 1956. These temporary sides, playing non-competitive fixtures, were led by seven different managers.

Statistically, Dražan Jerković and Vlatko Marković are the most successful managers in Croatia's history; they both recorded victories in each of their few games in charge. Miroslav Blažević, who was the team's first official manager, holds the highest number of competitive victories, having led Croatia to their best performances at major international tournaments.

Name Tenure Played Won Drawn Lost Win % Points per game Achievements
1990–1991 3 3 0 0 100.00 3.00
1992 4 1 1 2 25.00 1.00
1993 1 1 0 0 100.00 3.00
1994–2000 73 36 22 15 49.31 1.78 1996 Euro - quarter final

1998 World Cup - third place
2000–2002 18 9 6 3 50.00 1.83 2002 World Cup - group stage
2002–2004 24 11 8 5 45.83 1.70 2004 Euro - group stage
2004–2006 25 11 8 6 44.00 1.64 2006 World Cup - group stage
2006–present 38 27 7 4 71.05 2.31 2008 Euro - quarter final
Totals 186 99 52 34 53.22 1.87


Last updated: Croatia 5–0 Liechtenstein, 14 November 2009. Statistics include official FIFA-recognised matches only.


Most appearances

# Name Clubs Croatia career Caps Goals
1 Dario Šimić Dinamo Zagreb, Internazionale, Milan, Monaco 1996–2008 100 3
2 Robert Kovač Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich,

Juventus, Borussia Dortmund, Dinamo Zagreb
1999–2009 84 0
3 Niko Kovač Bayer Leverkusen, HSV, Bayern Munich,

Hertha Berlin, Red Bull Salzburg
1996–2008 83 15
4 Robert Jarni Hajduk Split, Bari, Torino, Juventus, Real Betis,

Real Madrid, Las Palmas, Panathinaikos
1990–2002 81 1
5 Stipe Pletikosa Hajduk Split, Shakhtar Donetsk, Spartak Moscow 1999–present 79 0
6 Josip Šimunić Hertha Berlin, Hoffenheim 2001–present 76 3
7 Darijo Srna Hajduk Split, Shakhtar Donetsk 2002–present 71 18
8 Davor Šuker Dinamo Zagreb, Sevilla, Real Madrid,

Arsenal, West Ham United, 1860 Munich
1990–2002 69 45
9 Ivica Olić NK Zagreb, Dinamo Zagreb, CSKA Moscow,

Hamburger SV, Bayern Munich
2002–present 68 13
10 Aljoša Asanović Metz, Cannes, Montpellier, Hajduk Split, Real Valladolid,

Derby County, Napoli, Panathinaikos
1990–2000 62 4


Last updated: Croatia 5–0 Liechtenstein, 14 November 2009. Statistics include official FIFA-recognised matches only.


Top goalscorers

# Name Croatia career Goals Caps
1 Davor Šuker 1990–2002 45 69
=2 Darijo Srna 2002–present 18 71
=2 Eduardo da Silva 2004–present 18 28
4 Goran Vlaović 1992–2002 16 52
5 Niko Kovač 1996–2008 15 83
6 Ivica Olić 2002–present 13 68
=7 Zvonimir Boban 1991–1999 12 51
=7 Ivan Klasnić 2004–present 12 39
=9 Robert Prosinečki 1993–2002 11 49
=9 Mladen Petrić 2001–present 11 35


Last updated: Croatia 5–0 Liechtenstein, 14 November 2009. Statistics include official FIFA-recognised matches only.


1940s participants

From 1940 to 1944 temporary national teams played nineteen friendly matches, of which it won nine, drew four and lost six. Twelve players scored for the team during this period.

# Name Croatia career Goals Caps Average
1 Franjo Wölfl 1940–1944 13 18 0.72
2 Zvonimir Cimermančić 1940–1944 8 17 0.47
3 August Lešnik 1940–1944 6 9 0.66
=4 Milan Antolković 1940–1943 3 9 0.33
=4 Branko Pleše 1941–1944 3 13 0.23
=6 Slavko Pavletić 1941–1942 2 4 0.50
=6 Mirko Kokotović 1940–1944 2 15 0.13
=8 Slavko Beda 1941 1 1 1.00
=8 Antun Lokošek 1944 1 1 1.00
=8 Zvonko Jazbec 1940 1 3 0.33
=8 Florijan Matekalo 1940 1 4 0.25
=8 Ratko Kacijan 1940–1943 1 10 0.10


Players

These are the squad lists for all the major tournaments Croatia participated:

Current squad

Croatia's current squad, formed to compete against Liechtenstein in a friendly match on November 14, was announced on November 2, 2009 by head coach Slaven Bilić.

Caps, goals and numbers are as of November 14, 2009 and the conclusion of the last match vs Liechtenstein.







withdrew due to injury
Sadded as a substitute

The following players were ineligible for selection for the last match due to injuries
and U21 squad obligations.



Records

Dario Šimić, with 100 appearances before his 2008 retirement, is Croatia's most capped international player, surpassing Robert Jarni's record of 81 appearances.

With 45 goals scored, Davor Šukeris Croatia's highest-scoring player. He was named Croatia's "Golden Player" at the UEFA jubilee celebration in 2004 in recognition of this achievement. Darijo Srnais in a distant second position with 17 goals (as of September 2008). Mladen Petrićholds the national team record for goals in a single match, having scored four times during Croatia's 7–0 home victory over Andorraon October 7, 2006.

The national team's joint record for highest-scoring victory comes from two 7–0 results, over Andorrain 2006 and Australiain 1998. Croatia's worst defeat is also a joint record, the Independent State of Croatiamarker side having twice lost 5–1 defeats to Germany in the 1940s.In the modern era Croatia lost 4–1 to Slovakiain a 1994 friendly and 3–0 to Portugalat Euro 96. The worst defeat in the modern period was the 5–1 loss to England in the 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign.

Hierarchy

The Croatian team is a fully licensed member of FIFAmarker and UEFA.FIFA governs Croatia's participation in global international tournaments including the FIFA World Cup; UEFA presides over European tournaments.

The team is also governed by the Croatian Football Federation, which governs domestic football under FIFA and UEFA affiliation. The federation is led by Vlatko Marković, who represents the team in conferences. The federation (abbreviated HNS) governs player registration and selects the team coaching staff and pays players' salaries. Head coach Slaven Bilićselects and organises national squad players and enforces team policies.

Stadium

Most home matches take place at the Maksimir Stadium in Zagrebmarker.The venue, built 1912 and refurbished in 1997, is named after the surrounding neighbourhood of Maksimirmarker.The stadium has hosted national games since Croatia's competitive home debut against Lithuania; it also hosted the Croatian teams' home matches during World War II. The football federation and the Croatian government have agreed further improvements (among them an increase in the current forty-thousand seating capacity) that would make Maksimir the most expensive football stadium in the world. However, in 2008, UEFA threatened to limit the number of fans allowed to attend home games after crowd discipline problems during the European Championships. Zagreb MayorMilan Bandićdeclined the final renovation plans in 2008, citing high construction costs; as of December 2008 the renovations are postponed.

Home matches have occasionally been played at other venues. The Poljud Stadiummarker in Splitmarker hosted several qualifying fixtures for Euro 1996 and the 1998 World Cup.The team also played qualifying matches at the Gradski vrtmarker stadium in Osijekmarker and the NK Varteksmarker stadium in Varaždinmarker.The last competitive match outside Maksimir took place in 2003 when Croatia beat Andorra in Euro 2004 qualifying.

Home venues record

Since Croatia's first fixture (October 17, 1990 vs. United States) they have played home games at nine stadiums.



Last updated: Croatia 5–0 Liechtenstein, 14 November, 2009. Statistics include official FIFA-recognised matches only.


Team image

Names

Croatia's checkered kit is well known around the World due to its originality
Under the official FIFA Trigrammethe team’s name is abbreviated as CRO; this acronym is used to identify the team in FIFA and media. The team is also identified under the International Organization for Standardizationcountry codefor Croatia, HRV. "Croatia national football team" can be translated into Croatianas "Hrvatska nogometna reprezentacija" (pronounced: xř̩.ʋaː.ʦkaː nɔːɠɔːmɛtnaː ɾɛpɾɛzɛntaːtsijaː). Among the team's nicknames are Vatreni("The Blazers") and, more recently, "Bilić Boys" (from the name of the coach, Slaven Bilić).

Supporters

Prominent among Croatia's supporters are followers of Hajduk Splitand Dinamo Zagreb, the two best-supported clubs in the Croatian domestic league, the Prva HNL. The clubs' ultra-style supporter groups, the Bad Blue Boys of Zagreb and The Torcida from Splitmarker, have both been associated with hooliganism, though violence between the two is not reported at international games.Croatia's supporters are collectively affiliated with Uvijek Vjerni(translated as 'Always Faithful'), which is the national team's official fan association aiming to bring together all fans around the world.

A Croatian crowd celebrate with flares following Croatia's victory over Germany in 2008.
Nonetheless, fan behavior at international games has led to international sanction against the side. Croatia was penalized and threatened with expulsion from UEFA for racist behaviour by fans at Euro 2004On other occasions Croatia fans defied security regulations. During the 2006 World Cupa fan evaded security at a German venue and approached Croatian players on the field; he was arrested for trespassing. During a friendly match against Italy in Livornomarker, a small group of Croatian fans stood in a swastika formation in response to Italians fans waving communist flags; UEFA penalized the Croatian football federation for the incident.Similar events occurred at Euro 2008; UEFA penalized Croatia for a display of racist banners against Turkeyand FIFA fined the Croatian football federation for racial abuse of England striker Emile Heskeyon September 10, 2008.

Croatia fans often use flares in both domestic league derby matches and in international games, a practice which, according to agent Igor Štimacand midfielder Luka Modrić, motivates the Croatian team. The practice is banned at most international games and Croatia fans have been reprimanded and had devices confiscated by UEFA and FIFA security staff. Croatia fans also clashed with Turkish Muslims during a Euro 2008 game against Turkey. Security was tightened when Croats and Turks gathered in Viennamarker shortly before the quarter final game of the tournament; after the match, Croatian fans resisted police and brawled with Turkish fans.

Tensions with fans of sides from other former Yugoslav states have also manifested at Croatia games. Croatia fans in the crowd at a June 3, 1990 game between Yugoslavia and the Netherlands booed the Yugoslavian national anthemand players and cheered for the Dutch side instead. Maksimir Stadium was the scene of a riotbetween Croat and Serb fans at a Dinamo Zagreb – Red Star Belgradegame following the parliamentary electionthe same year. During the 2006 World Cup brawls broke out between Bosniaks and Croats in Mostarmarker over religious differences.

Media and public relations

Franjo Tuđman, the first president of Croatia, kept a strong relationship with the national team during his reign and credited their contribution towards the formation of a sovereign Croatian republic.
Football is Croatia's most popular team sportand occupied a large role in the country's independent break-up from Yugoslavia. Nationalismgrew heavily during the team's formation in the 1990s when Franjo Tuđmanwas elected president. By competing separately in both official and unofficial matches, the national team strengthened the unity of Croatian culture, an accomplishment which the predominant Catholic Churchand economy were criticized for failing. Furthermore, Tuđman’s correlation with the national team became a strong force towards becoming a patriotic Croatian state. After Croatia’s success at the 1998 World Cup, Tuđman declared that "football victories shape a nation’s identity as much as wars". The team’s unanimous support grew largely after such attention from the political party. American politician and diplomat Strobe Talbottpredicted Croatia’s growth in football to influence that of the nation itself. The national team were greeted by Tuđman and 100,000 residents from all around the country after their return from the World Cup. Tuđman spoke on behalf of the supporters by honouring the squad upon their appearance.

When connections between the team and political parties was strong, concerns of fascismarose. Though the relationship between the team and any political party has waned since Tuđman's death in 1999, the team (and football) remain patriotic traditions in Croatia.

Since its formation, the team has constantly been the focus of Croatian media attention. The team's games are regularly broadcast live on Croatia's principal station HRTmarker.In 2007, the team donated proceeds from the sales of their calendars to charity. The following year, the Vlado Malešević Foundation revealed the production of a football anthem dedicated to Croatia's national team, with all proceeds also devoted to charity. Shortly after becoming manager, Slaven Bilić and his rock band released a single, "Vatreno Ludilo" (Fiery Madness), which recalled the team's progress during the 1998 World Cup and praised their present ambitions. The song reached the top position on the Croatian music charts and was widely played during Euro 2008. Because of Bilić's enthusiasm, the team was dubbed "Bilić's Boys". Other Croatian artists such as Dino Dvornik, Connect, Prljavo Kazališteand Barunihave recorded songs in support of the team, among which are "Malo Nas Je al Nas Ima" (We are little, but we are many), "Samo je Jedno" (There is but one thing [in my life]), "Moj Dom je Hrvatska" (Croatia is my homeland), "Srce Vatreno" (Heart of Fire), and "Hrvatska je Prvak Svijeta" (Croatia[ns] are world champions).

Additionally, the team adopted the song "Lijepa li si" (How beautiful you are) by rock band Thompson, mainly because of its similarity to the Croatian national anthem. Recently, many of Thompson's songs have been played during significant games; however, when Croatia faced Israelin a home qualifying game, Thompson songs were not played due to Jewishorganisations' criticism of the band. At the conclusion of the match, the squad and management team voiced their concerns and opposed the allegations of the band's racism.

See also



References

Footnotes

  1. Ramet 2005, p. 171
  2. Klemenčić, all pages
  3. Related images from Reuters, Eurosport and Javno news service: Croatia fans with flares in the stands, Similar celebrations, Primary photo gallery
  4. Foster 2004, p. 52
  5. Bellamy 2003, p. 113
  6. Bellamy 2003, p. 116
  7. Giulianotti 1997, p.22


Books



External links

Official



Statistics



News and fans



Name
DOB (Age)
Club
Caps (goals)
Goalkeepers
Stipe Pletikosa Spartak Moscow 79 (0)
Matej Delač Inter Zaprešić 0 (0)
Defenders
Dejan Lovren U21 Dinamo Zagreb 2 (0)
Midfielders
Luka Modrić Tottenham Hotspur 36 (7)
Ivan Rakitić U21 Schalke 04 24 (7)
Forwards
Ivica Olić Bayern Munich 68 (13)
Mladen Petrić HSV 35 (11)
Nikola Kalinić U21 Blackburn Roversmarker 3 (0)
Venue
City
Played
Won
Drawn
Lost
GF
GA
Points per game
Stadion Maksimirmarker
Zagrebmarker
43
29
12
2
94
23
2.30
Stadion na Kantridimarker
Rijekamarker
10
9
1
0
17
4
2.80
Gradski stadion u Poljudumarker
Splitmarker
9
0
6
3
7
12
0.66
Stadion Anđelko Herjavecmarker
Varaždinmarker
6
4
2
0
12
3
2.33
Stadion Gradski vrtmarker
Osijekmarker
5
3
2
0
14
5
2.20
Stadion u Kranjčevićevoj ulicimarker
Zagrebmarker
1
1
0
0
3
0
3.00
Stadion Šubićevac
Šibenikmarker
1
0
1
0
2
2
1.00
Stadion Aldo Drosina
Pulamarker
1
0
0
1
1
2
0.00
Stadion HNK Cibaliamarker
Vinkovcimarker
1
1
0
0
5
0
3.00
Totals 77 47 24 6 155 51 2.14

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