Welcome to the Croatia National Football Team Wiki
About Croatia NT
The Croatia national football team (Croatian: Hrvatska nogometna reprezentacija) represents Croatia in international football. The team is controlled by the Croatian Football Federation, the governing body for football in the country. A FIFA-recognised national side had previously represented the short-lived Banovina of Croatia and Independent State of Croatia in nineteen friendly matches between 1940 and 1944. This team was dissolved in 1945 as Croatia became a constituent federal republic of SFR Yugoslavia. In the period between 1945 and 1990, Croatia did not field a separate team for competitive matches and Croatian players played for the Yugoslavia national football team.
The modern Croatian team was formed in 1990, shortly before Croatia's independence from Yugoslavia, and by 1993 had gained membership in FIFA and UEFA. The team played their first competitive matches in the successful qualifying campaign for UEFA Euro 1996, leading to their first appearance at a major tournament. In Croatia's FIFA World Cup debut in 1998 the team finished third and provided the tournament's top scorer, Davor Šuker. Since becoming eligible to compete in international tournaments, Croatia have failed to qualify for only one World Cup (in 2010) and one European Championship (in 2000).
Most home matches are played at the Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb, with some fixtures also taking place at the Poljud Stadium in Split or at other, smaller venues, such as Kantrida Stadium in Rijeka or Gradski Vrt in Osijek. The team was undefeated in its first 36 home competitive matches at Maksimir, the run ending with a defeat to England in September 2008. The team's traditional nickname is Vatreni ("The Blazers").
The team was named FIFA's "Best Mover of the Year" in 1994 and 1998, the only team along with Colombia to win the award more than once. On admission to FIFA, Croatia was ranked 125th in the world; following the 1998 World Cup campaign, the side rose to third place in the rankings, making it the most volatile team in FIFA Rankings history.
In 2005, Luka Modrić signed his first long-term contract with Dinamo, for ten years. After a goalless first season, he managed to secure a place in Dinamo's first team, contributing 7 goals in 31 matches to help win the league. During this time, Modrić rapidly established his role as playmaker or designated left winger in the team's 4–2–3–1 formation.
In the 2006–07 season, Dinamo again won the league with Modrić making a similar contribution, acknowledged by the Prva HNL Player of the Year award. The following season, he led Dinamo's attempt to qualify for the UEFA Cup. In the final play-off stage, Modrić converted a penalty in the away fixture against AFC Ajax in a game that ended 1–1 after regular time. Dinamo then went on to win the game 3–2 in extra time after a brace from teammate Mario Mandžukić secured their win on away goals.
At his last home game with the club at Maksimir Stadium, Modrić was given a standing ovation and fans held up supportive banners. He finished his impressive six-year tenure at Dinamo with a tally of 31 goals and 29 assists in four seasons, contributing most notably in the 2007–08 season when Dinamo became champions by a 28-point margin and won the Croatian Cup in the same year.