FIFA World Cup™ finals history
Croatia reached the semi-finals at their maiden FIFA World Cup in 1998, recording victories over Romania and Germany, among others, en route to the last four, where they were defeated 2-1 by hosts and eventual champions France. They even managed to beat the Netherlands to the bronze medal, winning 2-1 in the Play-off for Third Place. However, Croatia have not been able to repeat such feats at subsequent tournaments, and failed to progress beyond the group stage at Korea/Japan 2002, Germany 2006 and Brazil 2014, while they did not even qualify for South Africa 2010.
Croatia may not have enjoyed much success recently, but they are still capable of competing with the world’s biggest teams. Experienced captain Darijo Srna is the figurehead of a side that relies on the creative talents of playmakers Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic. Furthermore, national team coach Niko Kovac has several top-class players at his disposal in attack, including Ivan Perisic, Ivica Olic and Mario Mandzukic.
Ante Cacic was appointed coach in September 2015, arriving from top flight club Lokomotiva Zagreb. He took over from Niko Kovac after the team's poor performances in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying. Cacic has coached Dinamo Zagreb and was also an assistant coach for Croatia's U-21 side from 1994 to 1998 and the Libya national team from 2003 to 2006.
7 – Croatia have an evenly balanced World Cup record, having won seven and lost seven of their 16 finals matches.
The former stars
Davor Suker, Zvonimir Boban, Robert Prosinecki, Dario Simic, Niko Kovac, Robert Kovac