Croatia team profile

Since seceding from Yugoslavia in 1991, Croatia have emerged as a force in international football, reaching five European final tournaments in just six attempts.

Davor Šuker (EURO 1996)

Best result: quarter-finals (1996, 2008)
Coach:
Ante Čačić
Leading scorers:
all-time – Davor Šuker (45); current – Darijo Srna (21)
Most appearances:
all-time – Darijo Srna (127); current – Darijo Srna (127)
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 qualified for the UEFA EURO 2016 finals – their fourth in a row – as runners-up to Italy in Group H.

EURO pedigree
Matches played
Overall: P76 W46 D18 L12 F136 A55
Final tournament: P14 W6 D4 L4 F18 A16
Qualifying: P62 W40 D14 L8 F118 A39

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 scored the winner for already-qualified Croatia 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 18/11/15