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CroatiaParticipating Teams in the Euro Football 2024 Tournament

Croatia are one of the competing teams at the 2024 European Championship finals, and Zlatko Dalic’s men are looking to go all the way this summer. They have been mightily impressive in recent World Cups, but can the Croatians do the business on the European stage? 

We explore how Croatia got to the 2024 Euro Cup, highlight key players to watch out for, and evaluate their estimated performances on German soil. Join us as we take a closer look at the Croatian national team and their chances of winning this summer’s European Championship.  

The Croatian Football Team in the Euro Football Tournament

Croatia was part of Yugoslavia for every European Championship up to the Euro Cup in 1996. The tournament in England in the mid-nineties was their first official competition under the Croatian flag, and the Blazers did a remarkable job of reaching the quarter-finals. 

They failed to qualify for the next one in 2000, but Croatia were back in Europe’s elite international tournament four years later in Portugal. Unfortunately, the Croatians failed to get past the group stage on Portuguese soil. 

They reached the quarter-finals in Austria and Switzerland in 2008 and were knocked out of the group stage in 2012. In the last two editions of the Euro Championship, Croatia have been eliminated in the Round of 16. 

Despite some disappointing results in Euro Cups, Croatia’s record in recent World Cups has been nothing short of extraordinary. With a population of under four million, the Croatians defied the odds by reaching the final of the World Cup in Russia in 2018. They were beaten by France in the showpiece event, but a silver medal was a superb outcome. 

In Qatar, four years later, Croatia were in the last four of the World Cup again. They finished runners-up to Morocco in Group F to secure a spot in the knockouts. Dalic’s boys then beat Japan and Brazil on penalties to reach the last four. 

Argentina proved to be too strong for the Blazers in the semi-finals, with the Argentinians running out comfortable 3-0 winners in Lusail. However, Croatia bounced back in the third-place play-off, beating the Moroccans 2-1 to win the bronze medal. 

Having finished in the top three at three World Cups, Croatia are now looking to go far in a European Championship. They missed out on Pot 1, but the Croatians were seeded in Pot 2 with the likes of Denmark, Romania, and Turkey. 

Many Croatian fans would have winced when the draw was made, as their nation was dumped into Group B alongside Spain and Italy. The group is being labelled as the “Group of Death” at the 2024 European Championship. 

Spain, who are three-time winners, are one of the tournament favourites in Germany. As for Italy, the Italians are the defending champions after winning the 2020 edition. 

Croatia’s Euro journey starts with a tough-looking game against the Spaniards at the Olympiastadion in Berlin on June 15th. The Croatians will be the underdogs in that one. 

On matchday two, Dalic takes his men to the Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen to face the Albanians on June 20th. With Croatia, Spain, and Italy all battling for the top two automatic places, a win is a must for the Croatians.  

Croatia’s third and final group match will be against the reigning champions on June 24th. The mouth-watering match with the Italians will be held at the stunning Red Bull Arena in Leipzig. Can the Croatians pick up a positive result against Gli Azzurri? 

The top two will automatically go through to the Round of 16 in Germany, while third place will be enough for four of the best third-place teams. One win should guarantee a top-three finish, while four points will do the trick. 

Getting the better of both Italy and Spain will be a tall order, but Croatia have a habit of defying the odds in major tournaments. They have an experienced manager and a talented set of players, and the Croatians could fly under the radar in Germany this summer. 

Croatia’s Road to the European Championship 2024

After qualifying from Group D, this will be Croatia’s seventh Euro Championship appearance. Their first as a sole nation was in England in 1996, where they went on to reach the last eight. 

The Croatians were involved in a competitive qualifying group, and Dalic’s boys had a few hiccups along the way. They had to settle for second place in the end, with Turkey winning Group D by a point. Still, the Croatians finished above Wales, Armenia, and Latvia to go through. 

On matchday one, Croatia were held to a frustrating draw by the Welsh at Stadion Poljud in Split. The Checkered Ones took a first-half lead thanks to an Andrej Kramaric effort, but the Dragons snatched a point at the death. Ipswich Town man Nathan Broadhead equalised in the 93rd minute. 

Croatia licked their wounds and bounced back in style in game two. They went up against Turkey in a hostile atmosphere in Bursa and left with a massive three points. Mateo Kovacic, who is now a Manchester City player, scored both goals in the 2-0 victory. 

Croatia’s next qualifier was six months later, and it was certainly worth the wait for the supporters. They eased to a 5-0 win against Latvia in Rijeka, with Bruno Petkovic and Mario Pasalic among the scorers.  

Croatia then recorded another vital victory, this time edging past Armenia away from home. Kramaric was the main man again, scoring the only goal of the game in the 13th minute to give his side a priceless three points in Yerevan. 

Croatia then suffered a real setback on matchday six, which left the door open for Wales. In a tight game against the Turks in Osijek, the Croatians suffered a 1-0 defeat courtesy of Baris Alper Yilmaz’s first-half strike. 

The pressure was piled on even more when Croatia lost to Wales in their penultimate game. A capacity Cardiff City Stadium was rocking, and two goals from Fulham man Harry Wilson gave the Dragons a deserved 2-1 home win.  

Nevertheless, Croatia held their nerve to get over the line after those back-to-back defeats, beating Armenia on the final day to secure second place in the group. Ante Budimir netted the only goal at the Stadion Maksimir in Zagreb, while Wales and Turkey drew 1-1 in Cardiff. 

Overall, Croatia won five of eight qualifying matches, though they lost out on first place with two defeats from the last three. Kramaric finished as the group’s top scorer with four goals, while Kovacic, Pasalic, and Petkovic all scored two each. 

Croatia’s Star Players in the Team

Croatia’s team may be ageing, but Dalic still has a strong squad of players to pick from for the upcoming European Championship. 

Even as he approaches 40, Luka Modric is still the main man for Croatia. The skipper played a huge role in Croatia’s journey to the World Cup final in 2018, and he still has a lot to offer his national side. 

Modric has won pretty much everything at club level. In over ten years in the heart of Real Madrid’s midfield, the playmaker has picked up three league titles and has won the Champions League on five occasions. He has lifted many other trophies and won a whole host of individual awards during his time in Spain. Modric will undoubtedly be a key man for Croatia this summer. 

The experienced heads of Ivan Perisic and Mateo Kovacic will also be huge. Perisic has struggled with injuries at Tottenham Hotspur and is fighting to be fit for the finals. Kovacic has enjoyed his time at Man City after making the move from Chelsea last summer. 

As he proved in qualifying, Andrej Kramaric is crucial to the team at the top end of the pitch. The Hoffenheim man continues to bang in goals in the Bundesliga, and the 32-year-old scored four during the qualifiers. Kramaric will be helped in attack by Marko Pjaca and Ante Budimir.  

Josko Gvardiol is still settling in at Man City, and the 21-year-old already has almost 30 caps for the national side. Ajax duo Josip Sutalo and Borna Sosa will also be battling for positions in defence, while Marcelo Brozovic remains a vital cog in Croatia’s midfield machine. 

Croatia’s Chances of Winning the 2024 European Championship

Many of Croatia’s star players will be playing in their final European Championship this summer. Luka Modric will be 39 in September, while Ivan Perisic and Marcelo Brozovic are both in their thirties. Nevertheless, can they go out with a bang in Germany?

In terms of experienced squads, Croatia’s is right up there with the best. They also have some exciting talent coming through, including Man City’s Josko Gvardiol. 

Starting XI?

Meet The Team




Lovre Kalinić

Hajduk Split

Dominik Livaković

Dinamo Zagreb

Simon Sluga

Luton Town




Domagoj Vida


Dejan Lovren

Zenit Saint Petersburg

Šime Vrsaljko

Atlético Madrid

Borna Barišić


Duje Ćaleta-Car


Josip Juranović

Legia Warsaw

Domagoj Bradarić


Mile Škorić


Joško Gvardiol

Dinamo Zagreb




Luka Modrić (c)

Real Madrid

Mateo Kovačić


Marcelo Brozović


Milan Badelj


Luka Ivanušec

Dinamo Zagreb

Nikola Vlašić

CSKA Moscow

Mario Pašalić





Ivan Perišić


Ante Rebić


Andrej Kramarić

1899 Hoffenheim

Ante Budimir


Bruno Petković

Dinamo Zagreb

Josip Brekalo

VfL Wolfsburg

Mislav Oršić

Dinamo Zagreb