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Euro 2012 Spotlight - Croatia
Achiox (Manchester United) 4 years ago
Luka Modric is a beast and Croatia went out with a bang. That is all
Markodon (NK Dinamo Zagreb) 4 years ago
Almost there, but not quite.... Anyways, an admirable performance from the team, and many thanks to Bilic, best coach ever!
Rezatnt (Barcelona) 4 years ago

If they want a peace of this tournament they have to be like Croatia 1998 !

It's hard to push concrete wall of italy defence or storm of Spain ocean attack !

But still : Impossible is Nothing !

Good luck
Volpe111 (Leicester City) 4 years ago
If Croatia become Euro champs I will be a rich(er) man
CFCLAdouchebag (Chelsea) 4 years ago
WTF? Where's nikica? He had a great season with everton
Markodon (NK Dinamo Zagreb) 4 years ago
He's in the team, but Eduardo should be the first choice. I think the other spot is more or less reserve for Mandzukic
Achiox (Manchester United) 4 years ago
As of now, 13% of votes have been "Winner".

Folks, Croatia are destined for Euro glory.

P. S. I'm not going to lie, but I jumped on the (very empty) Croatia bandwagon for this year's Euro
UWMike (Borussia Dortmund) 4 years ago
When I first saw this group, it was hard to look past anyone other than Spain and Italy making the QF. But the way Italy has been going lately and especially with players like Jelavic coming up for Croatia, it's looking a lot like anyone of Croatia, Italy or even Ireland can take that other qualification spot beside Spain. Kind of hoping that it's Ireland though I love the underdog stories
Honestabe (Liverpool) 4 years ago
No one mentioned jelavic? That dude's definitely making some noise
Markodon (NK Dinamo Zagreb) 4 years ago
Jelavic is a beast of a striker, but for some reason he hasn't fit in tha well into the national team, at least so far
Johny (Arsenal) 4 years ago
Croatia going to Semi's mark my words
ARod9 (Sevilla) 4 years ago
I think same the way, everyone should watch out 4 the croats }
Shawkernator (Arsenal) 4 years ago
I've been hoping for years that they win. I think it will happen this year
Superfanof (Manchester United) 4 years ago
If lucky, even the finals or the champions
Markodon (NK Dinamo Zagreb) 4 years ago
Very hard to predict. As a Croat, I obviously hope for great things, but this team hasn't played like they should for years. The only good game was the 0-3 crushing of Turkey. It is true that Croatia is generally a tournament team, and we usually put up good fights against stronger opponents (e. G. 2-1 vs Germany in 2008). But still, I'm not conviced. The team is definitely not as mentally strong as in EC 2008, but we do have Eduardo, who will be playing a major tournament for the first time. The biggest problem is the below average defence for this level, namely Schildenfeld (might be the worst defender ever to play for the national team), Vida (good for Dinamo, but not for the NT). We are also missing Lovren and Simunic is too old, it's obvious. Finally, it is absolutely essential that the key players like Modric, Kranjcar, Corluka, Srna and Eduardo give their highest performances if we are to do anything at this Euro
Footytubeblog (Blog) 4 years ago

FIFA World Ranking

Tournament Odds

Key Players
Luka Modrić – MF – 54 Caps, 8 Goals
Darijo Srna – DF - 90 Caps, 19 Goals
Eduardo – FW – 46 Caps, 22 Goals

Team Rating

C: Spain, Italy, Rep. of Ireland, Croatia

Notable Facts
  • Have reached the QF stage twice in the last 4 European Championships.

  • 4 of their all time top 5 goal scorers in the Euro 2012 squad.

  • Have been in the FIFA’s world top 15 sides for the last 6 years running.

Croatia's Chances
Croatia only gained it’s FIFA membership in 1993 entering the rankings at number 125 after gaining independence from Yugoslavia a few years earlier. In their short history they’ve built a respectable reputation as regular tournament qualifiers with an abundance of technical ability, a determined spirit and the ability to o the unexpected.

In 1998 they finished 3rd place in their first ever World Cup having knocked Germany out at the Quarter Final stage. They have twice reached the Quarter Final stage of the 3 European championships they’ve qualified for with perhaps their biggest and most painful triumph in recent memory being two victories over England in the Euro 2008 qualifying group, the second of which was a dramatic 3-2 victory at Wembley which resulted in England failing to qualify for the finals and Croatia winning the group. The Croats would go on the cause yet more shocks by getting the maximum 9 points from the group stage by beating Germany 2-1 courtesy of an Ivica Olić goal.

Since then the Croat star which raised as high as 5th in the World in 2008 has fallen a little, after being drawn again in England’s group for 2010 World Cup qualification the English had their revenge winning 4-1 in Croatia an 5-1 at Wembley, and subsequent failures to beat Ukraine resulted in Croatia finishing 3rd in the group (if only by a single point) and failing to book their place on South Africa.

The Euro 2012 qualifying campaign had it’s rocky moments too, failures to beat Greece in either of their meetings resulted in Croatia finishing 2nd by 2 points and edging out Turkey in the play off game with a 3-0 away win.

The Croat squad has a nice blend of younger players, but is also sprinkled with talented technical players, all of whom have significant experience at both international and club level, these include Niko Kranjčar, Darijo Srna, Luka Modrić and Eduardo whilst the vastly experienced likes of Ivica Olić and the Josip Šimunić with more than 75 caps each remain in contention as driving forces behind the 67% win ratio achieved by Slaven Bilic during his 6 year tenure as Croatia boss.

Croatia’s group certainly isn’t easy, but it is conducive to a surprise advancement to the next round. The smart money suggests it will be between them and Italy in a straight toss up for second place behind Spain in the group. Having laboured to far too many 1-0 wins during qualifying (including away to the Faeroe Islands) and dropping away points against Northern Ireland and Serbia whilst struggling at the previous few tournaments the Italians may be ripe for another upset and Croatia are well capable of causing that. Qualification hinges in the meeting between Italy and Croatia on June 14th.

“Araz Index”
Chance of qualifying from Group: 50%
Predicted Knock Out Stage: Group Stage

“Matt Index”
Chance of qualifying from Group: 60%
Predicted Knock Out Stage: Quarter Finals

Matt's Possibly True Trivia

  • Croatia's trademark checkered kit comes from their love of playing draughts at half time and just before penalty shoot outs "Kralj Mejn"

  • The Coratian version of the program 'Who Do You Think You Are?! had to cancel an episode featuring Eduardo da Silva due to massive travel costs to Brazil.

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