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Flag of Croatia
The lands that today comprise Croatia were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the close of World War I. In 1918, the Croats, Serbs, and Slovenes formed a kingdom known after 1929 as Yugoslavia. Following World War II, Yugoslavia became a federal independent Communist state under the strong hand of Marshal TITO. Although Croatia declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, it took four years of sporadic, but often bitter, fighting before occupying Serb armies were mostly cleared from Croatian lands. Under UN supervision, the last Serb-held enclave in eastern Slavonia was returned to Croatia in 1998.
Map of Croatia
More about Croatia:
|Nickname||Vatreni (Fiery Ones)|
|Association||Croatian Football Federation|
|Coach||Zlatko Kranjcar, 2004-|
|Most caps||Robert Jarni (81)|
|Top scorer||Davor Šuker (45)|
Croatia 2 - 1 U.S.A.
(Zagreb, Croatia; 17 October 1990)
(but see text)
Croatia 7 - 0 Australia
(Zagreb, Croatia; 6 June 1998)
Slovakia 4 - 1 Croatia
(Bratislava, Slovakia; 20 April 1994)
Portugal 3 - 0 Croatia
(Nottingham, England; 19 June 1996)
France 3 - 0 Croatia
(Saint-Denis, France; 13 November 1999)
(but see text)
|Appearances||3 (First in 1998)|
|Best result||Third place, 1998|
|Appearances||2 (First in 1996)|
|Best result||Quarterfinals, 1996|
The Croatian national football team has played since Croatia's independence in 1990-1992 and is controlled by the Croatian Football Federation.
The team played in their first major tournament in 1996 and have been a strong force in international football ever since, finishing third in the 1998 World Cup, led by Golden Boot winner Davor Šuker. They have qualified for every World Cup that they have entered as an independent nation.
Between October 17, 1990 and March 1, 2006, Croatia has played 141 international games and had 71 victories, 42 draws and 28 losses. The team has been FIFA's "Best Mover of the Year" in 1994 and 1998.