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Episode 435             Episode 437
Episode 436

Croatia national football team
Fri, 2018-Jul-13 01:14 UTC
Length - 3:23

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Welcome to popular Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of a popular Wikipedia page every day.

With 215,840 views on Thursday, 12 July 2018 our article of the day is Croatia national football team.

The Croatia national football team (Croatian: Hrvatska nogometna reprezentacija) represents Croatia in international football. The team is controlled by the Croatian Football Federation (HNS), the nation's governing body of football. A FIFA-sanctioned national side previously represented the short-lived Banovina of Croatia and Independent State of Croatia in nineteen friendly matches between 1940 and 1944. This team was dissolved in 1945 as Croatia became a constituent federal republic of Yugoslavia; up until 1990, local players played for the Yugoslavia national football team.

The modern Croatian team was formed in 1990, shortly before the nation's independence from Yugoslavia, and by 1993 was recognized by both FIFA and UEFA. The team played its first competitive matches in the successful qualifying campaign for Euro 1996, leading to its first appearance at a major tournament. Led by their first "Golden Generation", Croatia's FIFA World Cup debut in 1998 garnered a third place finish and provided the tournament's top scorer, Davor Šuker. Exactly twenty years later, anchored by their second "Golden Generation", Croatia reached the 2018 World Cup Final after finishing all tournament stages undefeated. Similarly to Croatia's semi-final match in 1998, the team is set to once again play France on July 15.

Most home matches are played at the Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb, with some fixtures also taking place at the Poljud Stadium in Split or at other smaller venues, such as Kantrida Stadium in Rijeka or Gradski Vrt in Osijek. The team was undefeated in its first 36 competitive home matches at Maksimir, the run ending with a defeat to England in September 2008. The team's traditional nickname is Vatreni ("The Blazers").

Croatia was named FIFA's "Best Mover of the Year" in 1994 and 1998, one of only two teams —along with Colombia — to win the award more than once. Upon admission to FIFA, Croatia was ranked 125th in the world; following the 1998 World Cup campaign, the side rose to third place in the rankings, making it the most volatile team in FIFA Rankings history.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 01:14 UTC on Friday, 13 July 2018.

For the full current version of the article, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Croatia_national_football_team.

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