Croatia, the tenth in the FIFA ranking, will participate only for the fourth time at the European Championship and will try to improve their best result which was the quarterfinal achieved twice.
Croats took the second place in the qualifying group losing two points to the Greeks, the European Champions of 2004. In the playoffs they did not give any chance to the Turkish team by winning the first game 3-0 and the second ending with a goalless draw.
A large impact on the game of the Croats will be exercised by Ivica Olic, the star of Bayern Munich, Dario Srna, Niko Kranjcar, Eduardo and Luka Modric, a great Tottenham player, who is to be the powerhouse of the team. It will be extremely difficult to advance form the group. The Croats in the group will challenge the defenders of the trophy, Spain, the favoured Italy team, and Ireland doomed to be devoured.
Croatia is a solid team with two or three great players who create the game, but the strength of this team is the collective and the harmony of the players. Assessing the real chance of the “Hrvatski” team in this tournament, it is clear that they have very little chance to play in the quarterfinal games.
Croatia Euro 2012 Squad
Goalkeepers: Stipe Pletikosa (FC Rostov), Ivan Kelava (GNK Dinamo Zagreb), Danijel Subašić (AS Monaco FC).
Defenders: Jurica Buljat (Maccabi Haifa FC), Vedran Ćorluka (Tottenham Hotspur FC), Danijel Pranjić (FC Bayern München), Gordon Schildenfeld (Eintracht Frankfurt), Josip Šimunić (GNK Dinamo Zagreb), Darijo Srna (FC Shakhtar Donetsk), Ivan Strinić (FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk), Domagoj Vida (GNK Dinamo Zagreb).
Midfielders: Milan Badelj (GNK Dinamo Zagreb), Tomislav Dujmović (FC Dinamo Moskva), Ivo Iličević (Hamburger SV), Niko Kranjčar (Tottenham Hotspur FC), Luka Modrić (Tottenham Hotspur FC), Ivan Perišić (Borussia Dortmund), Ivan Rakitić (Sevilla FC), Ognjen Vukojević (FC Dynamo Kyiv).
Forwards: Eduardo (FC Shakhtar Donetsk), Nikica Jelavić (Everton FC), Mario Mandžukić (VfL Wolfsburg), Ivica Olić (VfL Wolfsburg).
Croatia Euro 2012 Group Matches
Sunday, June 10, 2012 Ireland v Croatia (20:45 CET in Poznan)
Thursday, June 14, 2012 Italy v Croatia (18:00 CET in Poznan)
Monday, June 18, 2012 Croatia v Spain (20:45 CET in Poznan)
Croatia Quick Facts
- Best World Cup Result: Third Place (1998)
- Best European Championship Result: Quarter Final (1996 & 2008)
- Record Scorer: Davor Suker (45 goals from 1990-2002)
- Most Capped Player: Dario Simic (100 caps from 1996-2008)
- Coach: Slaven Bilic
- Captain: Darijo Srna