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Croatia at the 2022 World Cup: Fixtures, results, squad, scorers

Finalists in 2018, Croatia fell to Argentina in the semi-finals, but beat Morocco in the third-place play-off.

Croatia beat Morocco to finish third
Croatia beat Morocco to finish third FIFA via Getty Images

Croatia's World Cup 2022 results

Croatia's mastery of the art of not losing finally failed them in the semi-finals in Qatar. Prior to their 3-0 loss to Argentina, four of their five games at the World Cup had ended level, including two goalless draws in the group stage and back-to-back shoot-out successes in the knockout phase. They cut loose in a 4-1 win against Canada, but their defensive rigour was their hallmark as they shocked the world by eliminating pre-tournament favourites Brazil. Zlatko Dalić's men saw off Morocco in a tight third-place play-off to claim bronze.

23 November: Morocco 0-0 Croatia
27 November: Croatia 4-1 Canada (Kramarić 36, 70, Livaja 44, Majer 90+4; Davies 2)
1 December: Croatia 0-0 Belgium

Round of 16
5 December: Japan 1-1aet Croatia, Croatia won 3-1 on penalties (Maeda 43; Perišić 55)

9 December: Croatia 1-1aet Brazil, Croatia won 4-2 on penalties (Petković 117; Neymar 105+1)

13 December: Argentina 3-0 Croatia (Messi 34p, Álvarez 39, 69)

Third-place play-off
17 December: Croatia 2-1 Morocco (Gvardiol 7, Oršić 42; Dari 9)

Highlights: Malta 1-7 Croatia

Croatia's top scorer

Andrej Kramarić (2 goals)

Togetherness was the key to Croatia's World Cup successes, and they have scored only eight goals in the course of their seven games in Qatar. Four of those came in a 4-1 win against Canada in the group stage, with Hoffenheim striker Andrej Kramarić getting two of them to become his side's only multiple scorer at the finals.

Croatia's final 26-player squad

Goalkeepers: Dominik Livaković, Ivica Ivušić, Ivo Grbić

Defenders: Domagoj Vida, Dejan Lovren, Borna Barišić, Josip Juranović, Joško Gvardiol, Borna Sosa, Josip Stanišić, Martin Erlić, Josip Šutalo

Midfielders: Luka Modrić, Mateo Kovačić, Marcelo Brozović, Mario Pašalić, Nikola Vlašić, Lovro Majer, Kristijan Jakić, Luka Sučić

Forwards: Ivan Perišić, Andrej Kramarić, Bruno Petković, Mislav Oršić, Ante Budimir, Marko Livaja

If one of the players initially included in a squad list picks up an injury or contracts COVID-19, he may be replaced up to the day before the relevant team's first match. In this situation, new call-ups do not necessarily have to feature on the 55-man release list. Any new player will be allocated the number of the player he is replacing in the squad.

How Croatia qualified

Group H: W7 D2 L1 F21 A4

Slovenia 1-0 Croatia
Croatia 1-0 Cyprus
Croatia 3-0 Malta
Russia 0-0 Croatia
Slovakia 0-1 Croatia
Croatia 3-0 Slovenia
Cyprus 0-3 Croatia
Croatia 2-2 Slovakia
Malta 1-7 Croatia
Croatia 1-0 Russia

Top scorers: Luka Modrić, Mario Pašalić, Ivan Perišić (3 goals)

Croatia coach: Zlatko Dalić

Spent the majority of his playing career with Hajduk Split and Varteks before starting his coaching career at the latter. He also coached in Albania and Saudi Arabia before taking the Croatia helm in 2017, leading them to the World Cup final in his first assignment. Exited UEFA EURO 2020 in the round of 16, despite a spirited comeback in a 5-3 thriller against Spain, but bounced back in World Cup qualifying before reaching their maiden UEFA Nations League finals.

Croatia captain: Luka Modrić

Even at 37, there was little doubt that Croatian hopes still depended on the form of midfield maestro Modrić. The regal skipper retains his magic and capacity to dictate matches, with his passes sprayed around with supreme intelligence and his feel for the game on a different level. The five-time Champions League winner with Real Madrid was awarded the Golden Ball for being the best player at the last World Cup.

Croatia vs Türkiye: Brilliant Modrić EURO 2016 volley

Croatia's World Cup history 

Most appearances: Luka Modrić (19)
Top scorer: Davor Šuker, Ivan Perišić (6)
Best performance: Runners-up (2018)
2018 World Cup: Finalists (L2-4 vs France)

Announced themselves on the biggest stage with a bang by finishing third at the 1998 World Cup in their first global tournament following independence. Three group stage exits and a failed qualification campaign for the 2010 finals followed, but those setbacks were erased by their nail-biting run to the 2018 showpiece. Their serene progress through the group stage was a stark contrast to the knockout stages, where they needed penalties to edge out Denmark and Russia, and extra time to complete a comeback success against England in the semi-finals.

Croatia's EURO 2024 qualifying fixtures (Group D)

25/03/2023: Croatia vs Wales
28/03/2023: Türkiye vs Croatia
08/09/2023: Croatia vs Latvia
11/09/2023: Armenia vs Croatia
12/10/2023: Croatia vs Türkiye
15/10/2023: Wales vs Croatia
18/11/2023: Latvia vs Croatia
21/11/2023: Croatia vs Armenia