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Croatia

Croatia
Davor Šuker celebrates his memorable lob against Denmark at EURO '96 ©Getty Images

Croatia

Best result: quarter-finals (1996, 2008)
Coach:
Niko Kovač
Leading scorers:
all-time – Davor Šuker (45); current – Eduardo (29)
Most appearances:
all-time – Darijo Srna (110); current – Darijo Srna (110)
Association formed:
1912
Nickname:
Kockasti (Checks)
Where they play:
Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb

Since seceding from Yugoslavia in 1991, Croatia have emerged as a force in international football. They qualified in their debut UEFA European Championship and FIFA World Cup campaigns, finishing third at France '98 where Davor Šuker was the six-goal top scorer. Croatia have become final tournament regulars, missing out only twice – in 2000 and 2010 – but have progressed beyond the group stage on just one further occasion, at UEFA EURO 2008. They face Brazil in the opening game of the 2014 World Cup.

EURO pedigree
Matches played
Overall: P66 W40 D15 L11 F116 A50
Final tournament: P14 W6 D4 L4 F18 A16
Qualifying: P52 W34 D11 L7 F98 A34

UEFA EURO 2012 was Croatia's fourth European final tournament in five attempts since the break-up of Yugoslavia, their only failure coming in 2000. Inspired by three-goal Šuker, Miroslav Blažević's 1996 vintage reached the last eight in their maiden finals appearance, and the semi-finals beckoned in 2008 before Turkey's last-gasp equaliser and then defeat in the penalty shoot-out. There was more disappointment four years later as Slaven Bilić's side were narrowly edged out of a tough group by Spain and Italy, the eventual finalists.

Croatia, of course, also contributed players to the Yugoslavia team that twice finished runners-up at the UEFA European Championship. They lost the inaugural showpiece 2-1 in extra time against the Soviet Union in 1960 and went down 2-0 to hosts Italy in a final replay eight years later.

Memorable EURO matches
11/11/11: Turkey 0-3 Croatia, UEFA EURO 2012 play-offs
Croatia stunned the home fans with three goals inside 50 minutes of the first leg.

21/11/07: England 2-3 Croatia, UEFA EURO 2008 qualifying
Nearly 90,000 at Wembley were similarly silenced as Mladen Petrić booked a finals place and eliminated the hosts.

16/06/96: Croatia 3-0 Denmark, UEFA EURO 1996 group stage
An impressive victory best remembered for Šuker's magnificent chip over Peter Schmeichel.

Did you know?
Croatia finished above an Italy side fresh from finishing runners-up at the 1994 World Cup in their first major tournament qualifying campaign, advancing to EURO '96 where they were one of a record six teams making their finals debut.

*Last updated on 07/01/14

Last updated: 28/01/14 15.19CET

http://www.uefa.com/teamsandplayers/teams/teama/team=56370/profile/index.html#croatia

Club record in UEFA competitions

  • Biggest win:
    07/10/2006, Croatia 7-0 Andorra, Zagreb
  • Biggest defeat:
    19/06/1996, Croatia 0-3 Portugal, Nottingham
  • Appearances in UEFA European Football Championship: 6
  • Player with most appearances: 34
    Darijo Srna (CRO)
  • Top scorers: 19
    Davor Šuker (CRO)
 
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