FIFA World Cup 2022: Croatia Team Analysis

Croatia experienced a spectacular run in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Now it is time to analyse the potential of their team in 2022.

Croatia advanced all the way to the championship game in the FIFA World Cup but lost to France. The runners-up return in 2022 after winning their group—which also included Russia, Slovakia, and Slovenia—by a point and only dropping one game. They qualified as the group’s top team.

The Blazers won their group in the UEFA Nations League after dominating their group in the qualifying phase, defeating Denmark, France, and Austria. Despite having a final xGDiff of +1.01, Croatia had a 3-3 record in the xG fight in those games. One wonders if the offense will be able to sustain itself in this competition with an average of 1.222 xG and just one significant scoring opportunity per 90 minutes.

There will be a significant amount of knowledge and familiarity carried over from the previous World Cup squad, beginning with Zlatko Dali as the nation’s manager. His team’s midfield, which has Chelsea’s Mateo Kovai and superstar Luka Modri, will be its main strength. Meanwhile, Marcelo Brozovic should once more serve as the middle piece of the midfield three, shielding the backline. Striker Mario Mandzukic and international team retiree Ivan Rakiti will be the two biggest losses from the runners-up line-up.


Croatia’s Group F Fixtures


23 November, 11:00 (local time)


27 November, 17:00 (local time)


1 December, 16:00 (local time)

The Strategy and Approach of Dalic

Aside from the legendary Modric’s unwavering excellence, Dalic’s club is known for its 4-3-3 formation, which has produced some outstanding results in previous seasons. The coach’s tried-and-true game plan has been a success, and he is certain to stick with a strategy that produces a strong attack-minded style of play where the squad tries to play in the opponent’s half. Since taking over as national team coach, the Livno native has presided over 62 matches, recording 31 victories, 14 ties, and 17 losses.

Dominik Livakovic of Dinamo Zagreb appears to be in line to start in goal after holding off competition from Ivo Grbic and Ivica Ivusic. He was able to win this race in part because of the consistent playing time he receives at the club level. In contrast, Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Grbic, who returned to the Wanda Metropolitan this season after spending last season at Lille, is having trouble getting regular playing time, which could ultimately be his undoing.

As for the defence, Lovren is the most seasoned member of the backline and, given his background and recent form for Zenit, he is likely to be given the responsibility of managing the backline.

Luka Modric is the Star in this FIFA World Cup

We will never get tired of stating that there is one player on the national team who is simply head and shoulders above the rest: the one and only Luka Modric, despite the fact that Croatia are frequently described as a solid unit blessed with immense quality and despite the fact that it has been said countless times in the past.

The pass master’s incredible list of victories with Real Madrid says volumes about his talent, and he furthered his reputation by winning the adidas Golden Ball at Russia 2018—an honor he was quick to dedicate to his countrymen: “This is a pretty significant moment for me, and I’m proud. One of the pinnacle moments of my professional life.

To me, receiving praise from others is invaluable, especially when it comes from those who are close to and who love me. This honour also belongs to the Croatian people, who supported us from the very beginning of the World Cup in Russia.

The historical events in Eastern Europe had an impact on Modric’s progression through the game at a time when he was just beginning his career. Modric overcame adversity, though, and was able to build the admirable qualities that have helped him become the exceptional player and person he is today, both on and off the field. One of the finest players of his time, Modric has achieved greatness through a combination of natural talent and unwavering work ethic.

Watch out for Josko Gvardiol in this FIFA World Cup

The young Gvardiol might end up being one of Qatar’s most notable performers. The young man is a ball-playing center-back with exceptional technical ability who also adopts a no-nonsense stance while engaging opposition forwards, traits that together make him a perfect example of a contemporary defender. The Zagreb-born youngster is regarded by many observers as one of football’s most promising young players, and he will be eager to seize the chance to display his talents on the largest platform.

He joined Leipzig in 2021 after learning the ropes at Dinamo Zagreb, where he made his first-team debut in 2019. The imposing centre-back is gaining praise at Leipzig.

At the FIFA World Cup, Croatia’s Performance

Croatia has experienced the most success in tournaments and the World Cup among all the countries that came into existence after Yugoslavia’s dissolution.

Two years after making their debut at a UEFA EURO, Croatia experienced the world championship for the first time at the 1998 edition in France. On French soil, the Balkan team came as a surprise and was only eliminated at the semi-final stage by the hosts, who went on to win the championship. In the play-off for third place in a competition where Davor Suker led all scorers, Croatia finished an amazing inaugural campaign by winning 2-1 over the Netherlands to capture a bronze medal.

Croatia came close to winning the tournament in Russia 2018, but ultimately had to settle for second place after making history by making it to the championship game, where they were defeated 4-2 by France. In a competition that the Croatians dominated, star player Modric won the adidas Golden Ball.

Since making their debut, Croatia has only missed one edition of the international football tournament—South Africa 2010. After placing third behind Mexico and Italy in Korea/Japan, they were eliminated during the group round. They also exited the competition in Germany 2006’s opening round in a group that included Brazil and Australia.

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