Football is such a great game. And currently the final of the biggest football competition in the world, the World Cup is on its way. You may have heard about the game between France and Croatia.
We all know France, a great nation, and a great football team. But do you know anything about the Croatian National Football team? After this 400 words, you will know al crucial information.
In Croatian, the team is called “Hrvatska Nogometna Reprezentacija.” However, that is their official name. More commonly they are known as “Vatreni” which could be roughly translated into the fiery ones or “Kockasti” which means to be chequered.
In their history, Croatians have played as Banovina of Croatia (1939 – 1941), Independent State of Croatia (1941-1944) and then as part of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1945 to 1992) before the official National Football team of Croatia was founded at the time of Croatia’s independence. Since then it is being recognized by the Union of European Football Association – UEFA and Fédération Internationale de Football Association – FIFA.
As in many countries, football is Croatia’s most popular sport. By far. But in international waters, we may say, Croatia is young. Its first time in the European Championship was in 1996 and then the first FIFA World Cup for them was in 1998. Despite being the newcomers, they have built their Golden Generation. It was called like that because they made it up to the semi-finals, where they lost again… guess who. Yes, France! (Now it is payback time). They lost the game, but later they defeated the Netherlands to become third in the competition and their striker, Davor Šuker, who is the current president of the Croatian Football Federation, was the top scorer of the tournament. Their “Second” Golden Generation is now in the finals!
Since we mentioned the Croatian Football Federation, in Croatian it is called “Hrvatski Nogometni Savez” or simply the HNS and it is the governing body of association football in Croatia.
Their biggest win was against San Marino in 2010 when they won with 10 to 0. Their biggest loss was to England in 2009 with 5 received goals and only one conceived.
Croatia was named “Best Mover of the Year” in 1994 and 1998.
Currently, the team is the team is number 5 in the world.
With 45 scored goals for the National Team, Davor Šuker is still the best goalscorer in the history of Vatreni, followed by the current striker Mario Mandžukič with 32 goals.