As Croatia prepare to face France in the Russia 2018 final, Culture Trip has everything you need to know about the football team and their history.
When was the Croatian football team founded?
The country spent most of the 20th century as part of Yugoslavia, but there were a few unofficial games played by ethnic Croats after the First World War. In the 1940s they were briefly recognised by FIFA as the Independent State of Croatia, playing a number of friendly games.
The modern Croatian football team played their first match as a de facto side against the United States on 17 October 1990, winning 2-1. Following their nation’s independence referendum, the Croatian team was readmitted to FIFA in 1992.
Have Croatia ever won the World Cup?
No. Before Russia 2018, their best finish was third place, achieved in 1998 at their first World Cup after independence.
How many times have Croatia qualified for the World Cup?
Croatia have been to five World Cup tournaments. In the three appearances following their 1998 debut– 2002, 2006 and 2014 – they failed to get out of the group stage. This year’s final is the furthest they’ve ever gone.
Who are Croatia’s most famous players?
Central midfielders Luka Modrić and Ivan Rakitić, who play for Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively, are the stars of Croatia’s current crop, but the team’s “golden generation” – which finished third at the 1998 World Cup – featured some incredible players. The creative talents of Zvonimir Boban and Robert Prosinečki in midfield, as well as the goals of Davor Šuker, were among the best in the world for a large chunk of the 1990s.
How many people live in Croatia?
Just 4.17 million people live in Croatia, making it the second-smallest nation by population ever to reach the World Cup final. Only Uruguay, who made the finals in 1930 and 1950, had a smaller talent pool when they reached the biggest game in world football. La Celeste won on both occasions – a good omen for Croatia, perhaps?
Croatia by numbers:
Most capped player: Darijo Srna, 134 caps
Highest goalscorer: Davor Šuker, 45 goals
Biggest win: Croatia 10-0 San Marino, 4 June 2016
Heaviest defeat: England 5-1 Croatia, 9 September 2009
Highest FIFA ranking: 3 (January 1999)
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.