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Croatia Euro 2008 Squad



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For a country that only gained independence in 1991, Croatia have already made a massive contribution to European football. Their golden generation, which included players such as Davor Suker, Robert Prosinecki and Zvonimir Boban, made an instant impression in their first major tournament by reaching the quarter-finals at Euro ’96, and followed that up by finishing fourth third at the World Cup in France two years later.

Despite consistently qualifying for major tournaments ever since – Euro 2000 being the only exception – Croatia are rarely mentioned among the favourites – until now. Slaven Bilic’s side were almost faultless in qualifying, with home and away wins over England standing out as particular highlights, while their overall home form was almost exemplary.

Their hopes have been hit by the tragic injury suffered by leading striker Eduardo da Silva, who broke his leg playing for Arsenal against Birmingham back in February, and his goals will be sorely missed. The Brazilian born forward scored 10 times during the qualifying stage – only Ireland’s David Healy scored more – and he will be almost impossible to replace.

All hope has not been lost, however, and with a midfield as powerful as it is creative, Croatia have the tools to damage any side. If they are to prosper, expect the Premier League’s latest expensive import, Luka Modric, to be at the fore. Tottenham surprised many by beating off competition from the likes of Barcelona and Inter Milan to gain the services of the supremely gifted playmaker. Despite his ungainly physique, Modric is difficult to shake off the ball, comfortable with either foot and packs a powerful shot from distance.

Bilic’s preferred formation allows space for not just one but two free spirits, with Modric supported by Portsmouth’s Niko Kranjcar. After the controversy over his selection at the last World Cup, where many believed he was only selected because his father Zlatko was the manager, the youngest-ever captain of Dynamo Dinamo Zagreb has emerged as one of his nation’s outstanding players. His performances for the Fratton Park club this season have been key in their run to the FA Cup final and highest-ever top-flight finish. Arsenal are reportedly readying a £12m bid, but that fee will no doubt inflate if he reaches his potential in the summer.

Flag of Croatia Croatia Euro 08 Squad

Head coach:
Slaven Bilić

No. Pos. Player DoB (Age) Caps Goals Club
1 GK Stipe Pletikosa 8 January 1979 (29) 68 0 Flag of Russia Spartak Moscow
2 DF Dario Šimić 12 November 1975 (32) 98 3 Flag of Italy Milan
3 DF Josip Šimunić 18 February 1978 (30) 61 3 Flag of Germany Hertha BSC
4 DF Robert Kovač 6 April 1974 (34) 73 0 Flag of Germany Borussia Dortmund
5 DF Vedran Ćorluka 5 February 1986 (22) 19 0 Flag of England Manchester City
6 DF Hrvoje Vejić 8 June 1977 (30) 2 0 Flag of Russia Tom Tomsk
7 MF Ivan Rakitić 10 March 1988 (20) 7 1 Flag of Germany Schalke 04
8 MF Ognjen Vukojević 20 December 1983 (24) 4 1 Flag of Croatia Dinamo Zagreb
9 FW Nikola Kalinić 5 January 1988 (20) 1 0 Flag of Croatia Hajduk Split
10 MF Niko Kovač 15 October 1971 (36) 76 13 Flag of Austria Red Bull Salzburg
11 MF Darijo Srna 1 May 1982 (26) 54 15 Flag of Ukraine Shakhtar Donetsk
12 GK Mario Galinović 15 November 1976 (31) 2 0 Flag of Greece Panathinaikos
13 MF Nikola Pokrivač 26 November 1985 (22) 1 0 Flag of France AS Monaco
14 MF Luka Modrić 9 September 1985 (22) 25 3 Flag of Croatia Dinamo Zagreb
15 DF Dario Knežević 20 April 1982 (26) 6 1 Flag of Italy Livorno
16 MF Jerko Leko 9 April 1980 (28) 52 2 Flag of France AS Monaco
17 FW Ivan Klasnić 29 January 1980 (28) 28 8 Flag of Germany Werder Bremen
18 FW Ivica Olić 14 September 1979 (28) 53 9 Flag of Germany Hamburg
19 MF Niko Kranjčar 13 August 1984 (23) 40 7 Flag of England Portsmouth
20 FW Igor Budan 22 April 1980 (28) 5 0 Flag of Italy Parma
21 FW Mladen Petrić 1 January 1981 (27) 22 9 Flag of Germany Borussia Dortmund
22 MF Danijel Pranjić 2 December 1981 (26) 10 0 Flag of the Netherlands Heerenveen
23 GK Vedran Runje 10 February 1976 (32) 4 0 Flag of France Lens

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