Header Ban

Croatia's latest miracle: We're only thinking about winning the World Cup

On the eve of their second consecutive semi-final appearance, Croatia has once again overcome the odds to again stand on the precipice of reaching a World Cup.

The small European side that only has a population of 3.9 million has time and again punched above its weight and goes into the game against an Argentinian side led by Lionel Messi with only one thing on their collective minds, lifting the World Cup trophy.

"Everyone left us for dead, but we have shown once again that we never gave up," said Croatian talisman Luka Modric to Gol Mundial after eliminating Brazil, on penalties, in the quarterfinals of the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

It is almost inexplicable how a country of only 3.9 million people that is only 31 years old has such an illustrious sporting record. Besides their accomplishments on the football pitch the country also has two Davis Cup titles, two Olympic gold medals in handball, and two water polo World Cups.

Furthermore, the country also has a host of individual accolades with the Kostelic brothers, Ivan and Janica, having eight Olympic medals in skiing, with Blanka Vlasic, Nikola's sister, claiming two world championships and a further two Olympic medals in the discipline of high jump.

Football rules all

However, the one area where Croatia continues to excel is on the football field. The country has qualified for six World Cups and has reached the semi-finals on three occasions.

Former Croatia striker Mate Bilic further elaborates on why the country is so successful at football.

"This is our moment and we have to take advantage of it. Four years ago we had our first contact, but in Croatia all they think about is winning the World Cup," Bilic told MARCA.

"It's in our DNA. You can have more or less quality... but giving up is not an option. Football is sport king, but discipline doesn't matter. The local leagues have almost no level and we have been world champions in water polo and handball, we have no snow and there is the example of the Kostelic brothers. Imagine what we could do if we had the resources of the that others have."

Success without resources

What makes Croatia's success even more impressive is the fact that there has been almost no investment in the sports they excel at, a fact highlighted by one of the country's leading basketball stars Ante Tomic.

"It's not easy to find an explanation why such a small country is so successful in so many sports," Tomic said.

"It even seems strange to me because they don't invest as much in sport. It's amazing. We are a country of athletes. Croatia is known for sports and, lately, for tourism. We don't like to work a lot [smiles], but we have plenty of talent."

Adblock test (Why?)

No comments

Powered by Blogger.