Euro 2008 Croatia Team Guide
Welcome to the euro2008betting.com Croatia Team Guide for Euro 2008. Here we preview the chances of Croatia for Euro 2008 plus take a look back at their Euro 2008 qualifiying performance and previous appearances at the European Championships.
Coach: Slaven Bilić
Slaven Bilić is a former Croatian football player and current head coach of the Croatian national team. He was an important member of the Croatian team during their successes from 1994-1998, winning a third place medal in the 1998 World Cup. Bilić says he is determined to stay with Croatia until after the Euro 2008 despite interest from many top clubs across Europe.
Euro 2008 Qualifying:
The most consistent performers in a competitive Group E, Croatia qualified with a game to spare thanks to Russia's defeat in Israel – news of which filtered through to the team halfway through their 2-0 defeat in F.Y.R. Macedonia. It was the only defeat suffered by Croatia during an impressive first campaign under former international defender Slaven Bilić. They began with a useful 0-0 draw in Russia and took off the next month with a 7-0 win against Andorra, Mladen Petrić's four goals helping Croatia equal their previous record win, 7-0 against Australia in 1998. Four days later, on 11 October 2006, Croatia got an even better result, 2-0 at home against England. Having scored against England, Brazilian-born striker Eduardo da Silva netted a hat-trick as Croatia won 4-3 in Israel in their next game. With ten goals overall, Eduardo finished as the second top scorer in qualifying behind Northern Ireland’s David Healy. Croatia saved the best for last, their 3-2 win against England at Wembley on 21 November 2007 confirming first place in the section and ending their hosts’ hopes of qualifying.
Past Euro Performance:
Croatia's best performance to date came in their first involvement in the competition. Having topped their qualification round group for UEFA EURO '96 with 23 points from ten games, the Croatians were pitched against Denmark, Portugal and Turkey in the final tournament group phase. Opening with two victories against Turkey (1-0) and Denmark (3-0), the Croatians qualification for the knockout phase was guaranteed prior to their 3-0 defeat against Portugal in their last match. Facing eventual winners, Germany, in the quarter-final phase, the Croatians exited following a 2-1 defeat.