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This Is The First Croatian Team To Get To World Cup Semi-final as Debutants

Coached by Miroslav Blažević, Croatia made their FIFA World Cup debut as an independent nation in 1998 and were placed in Group H, alongside Argentina, Jamaica and Japan.

They beat Jamaica 3-1, beat Japan 1-0 and lost 1-0 to Argentina, to finish second in the group with six points.

Next, they beat Romania 1-0 in the Round of 16 and beat Germany 3-0 in the quarter-finals before losing 2-1 to France in the semi-finals.

They faced Netherlands in the third-place playoff and beat them 2-1 to finish third.

Aged 30, Croatia’s Davor Šuker finished as the tournament’s top scorer with six goals, becoming the oldest player to win the award- a record yet to be matched.

He also won the Silver Ball award and was named in the 1998 FIFA World Cup All-Star Team.

Shortly after the tournament, Croatia were ranked third by FIFA- their highest ever ranking.

Ever since, Croatia have appeared in the 2002, 2006, 2014, 2018 and 2022 editions, with 2018 being their best finish so far, having finished as runner-up to France.

They also finished third in 2022 after beating Morocco 2-1 in the third place playoff.

Source: Football kitchen

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