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Croatia

Published: Friday 1 July 2011, 16.21CET
Mato Stanković returned home in summer 2010 to take over Croatia as they prepare for their first final tournament in 11 years as UEFA Futsal EURO 2012 hosts.
Croatia
Croatia are hosting UEFA Futsal EURO 2012 ©futsalplanet.com
 

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Published: Friday 1 July 2011, 16.21CET

Croatia

Mato Stanković returned home in summer 2010 to take over Croatia as they prepare for their first final tournament in 11 years as UEFA Futsal EURO 2012 hosts.

Croatia have been absent from the UEFA European Futsal Championship finals since 2001 but, having been chosen as hosts for the 2012 event, they are aiming to make a big impact.

Respected coach Mato Stanković returned home in summer 2010 to revive the team and oversaw positive performances that November when they travelled to Libya and won the inaugural Mediterranean Cup by beating the hosts on penalties, having previously defeated future EURO qualifiers Turkey and Slovenia. Then, in June 2011, they overcame Argentina 3-0 in a friendly. "We set high goals and I hope all the players will be ready by the time of the EURO," Stanković said. "I think we'll be capable of reaching the knockout phase and then we'll see what we can do."

Key players
Ivo Jukić (goalkeeper), Dario Marinović, Tihomir Novak

Coach: Mato Stanković

Date of birth: 28 September 1970
Playing career:
NK Konavljanin (football), NK Jadran Supetar (football), NK Dalma-Aquarius, MNK Split
Coaching career:
MNK Split, Libya, Croatia

Dubrovnik-born Stanković was a lower-division football player before switching to futsal with some success, helping Split to the 1996/97 Croatian title. It was there he began coaching and he quickly proved his worth, winning five league titles and five Croatian Cups in six years as well as helping Split to the semi-finals of the inaugural 2001/02 UEFA Futsal Cup, probably Croatian futsal's greatest achievement.

In 2006, he accepted a job to coach Libya and also made a rapid impact, leading them to victory at the Arab Futsal Championship in 2007 and 2008 – in the second of those years also winning the African Futsal Championship – and taking them to the FIFA Futsal World Cup for the first time. After that success, he was appointed in August 2010 to prepare Croatia for UEFA Futsal EURO 2012 on home soil.

Tournament record
2010: Did not qualify
2007: Did not qualify
2005: Did not qualify
2003: Did not qualify
2001: Group stage
1999: Group stage
1996: Did not qualify

Last updated: 15/11/11 10.41CET

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http://www.uefa.com/futsaleuro/news/newsid=1652422.html#croatia

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