Preview: Croatia was the Cinderella story in the 1998 tournament when it stunned Germany and then Netherlands en route to a third place finish.  Up until 1991 Croatia as well Serbia and Montenegro were parts of the former Yugoslavia, who participated in 8 World Cups and reached the semifinals twice.  Croatia hopes to continue that kind of success despite being a much smaller country.

Perhaps the story of the 2006 Croatian team is coach Zlatko Cranjkar's son Niko, who at 21 is captain of the squad and one of the brightest stars of Croatian football.  Luka Modric is another young player who could rival Niko Cranjkar for playing time at midfield.  The poise and experience of a relatively young team will be tested this summer as Croatia attempts to repeat their previous success.

Result: Although Croatia attained respectable results in all of their matches, they failed to secure a decisive win against Australia or Japan and finished third in the group.

Shop for Croatia 2010 replica soccer jersey:
at Kitbag (UK Store)
(see more Croatia gear at Kitbag)
at Subside Sports (UK Store)
(see more Croatia gear at Subside Sports)
Search for Croatia soccer gear on eBay