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Croatia’s 2018 World Cup Pursuit Inspired by the Past

By Emma L. McAleavy, The New York Times, 07/12/18, 12:00PM CDT

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The team is playing in the shadow of the 1998 squad, but that seems to inspire its players. As defender Vedran Corluka has said: “We are in the semifinal again, after 20 years. That is something special in our country.”

The modern Croatian team was readmitted to FIFA in 1992 after gaining independence from Yugoslavia. Since its World Cup debut, Croatia has qualified for all but one World Cup tournament. This is the team’s second appearance in the semifinals.

Some other stats:

First appearance: 1998

Total appearances: Five out of 21 World Cup tournaments

Title wins: 0

What’s the History

An Impressive Debut

At its World Cup debut in 1998, Croatia made it all the way to the semifinals, ultimately winning the third-place matchup