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What Are The Top 3 Victories In Croatian History?

March 20, 2020




The HNS proposed a fantastic bracket this week: What is Croatia’s single greatest victory in football history?



The #1 greatest victory of all time is clear and there is no debating it. When the Vatreni defeated England in the semifinals of the 2018 World Cup to book a spot in the Final vs. France, there is no bigger day in Croatian sports history.



However, which other two victories fill out the top 3?



#2 should be Croatia’s 3-0 quarterfinal win against Germany at the 1998 World Cup. It was that match which opened up the world to Šuker, Boban and the red & white checkers. At that time, Germany were 3-time World Cup champions and had lost to a country playing in their first global tournament.



#3 should be Croatia’s third place place at that same 1998 World Cup. After losing a disappointing semifinal to France, the Vatreni rallied back to beat the Dutch in the bronze medal game; winning over the hearts of millions across the globe only seven years after becoming an independent nation.



Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 49 comments

  1. Maminjo says:

    Beating England in Wembley 3-2, despite the referee trying everything he could to save them from being eliminated from Euro 2008 (and giving them a free penalty)… Is way better than that bronze medal game.

    That bronze medal game was a bit anti-climatic, because it was just consolation. It was nice, but the game wasn’t intense.

    Id put a few of those blowout victories ahead of it, like the Euro 96 Denmark game, or the Argentina beatdown, or even that revenge 3-0 game against Turkey in Istanbul.

    I’d even put that crazy 2-0 win we had over Ukraine in Ukraine (when we were left for dead) for the World Cup 2018 qualifiers.
    That was an intense, all-in game, where even a draw would have meant elimination (and never making these World Cup finals).

    We had so many moments where we were stressed in a big and critical match… Then it turned out to be a massive blowout win for us. No better feeling.

  2. Poglavnik says:

    Good top 3.
    I’d find room for Japan 98 in the bracket.
    Guaranteed us a spot in the ko rounds in our first WC.

  3. Poglavnik says:

    Also really enjoyed the 2-2 against France in ’04. Felt like a bit of revenge. Unlucky not to win it.

  4. Maminjo says:

    Ugh. That 2-2 France game, where we scored in our own net, then a terrible back pass that our worst-ever keeper (Butina) kicked right at Trezeguet.

    Both France goals were idiotic.

    Not sure who was a worse keeper, Mrmić, Gabrić or Butina. Seemed like it was always bad news whenever these guys played. Also, that defender Tokić. Worst ever players.

  5. Suba says:

    Nothing will ever beat the feeling of Mandzukic sending us to a World Cup final

    I pray that I have that feeling again one day in my lifetime with us actually winning it

    I would die a happy man

  6. Elviss says:

    If any of you have Sling search Croatia
    You can get the HRT app channel and couple
    Of others to pass the quarantine by.

  7. Crotown says:

    Croatia vs Serbia- anytime , anywhere , anyhow- the adrenaline that those players feel when we play them- like a super bowl times ten- I experienced it once – cannot be duplicated- our guys wanted blood and snapped limbs -

  8. Maminjo says:

    Stimac ruined that Croatia win over Serbia.

    Complete moron making random substitutions when we were on our way to a 5-0 victory at least.

    We were leading 2-0 at the half (it really should have been 3-0 had the referee not called back that early fair goal that Mandzo scored)…
    Then Stimac decided to replace some of our creative midfielders with defenders for some reason. I believe we were playing with seven defensive players in the second half.

    Only then, did Serbia finally start playing some football. They still were nowhere near good enough, but Stimac completely poured cold water all over what was working.

  9. Nick Nizic says:

    Za Dom
    I could watch big joe dummy the fucken Serb all day every
    Rob Nikada

  10. Suba says:


    It was all about not creating a big scene with the Serbs and simmering down tensions

    It’s funny how we also just drew in Belgrade after taking the lead

    It was assisted by the ruling communist Croats all in the name of bratsvo and jedinstvo

    Za dom spremni

  11. Anonymous says:

    Love it ! In these coronavirus days one can never get enough of a cetnik getting manhandled by not so slow joe hahahhaha – i boozed up watching Croatia – Iceland 3rd groups stage game WC – corluka, what a beast on the back line !!!

  12. Maminjo says:


    Nah, man. You’re understating just how incompetent Štimac was as a coach.

    When I saw the formation he was planning on playing in Beograd, I almost cried. He was a complete idiot. He was just lucky that the talent gap between the Croats and Serbs is huge.

    Had we blown the Serbs out in both games, Štimac would have been a legend. He was not trying to play anything down. He was just a complete idiot, and his awful tenure as Croatia coach ended his career in football forever.

  13. Soul Champ says:

    I am going final 4 ..

    1 – 2018 England
    2- 1998 Germany
    3- 2007 England
    4- 2011 Turkey

    France in 2021 to make it in to my final 4.

    @ Svima

    Big Joe = Legend!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Completely agree with @soul champ – honourable mention to euro 08 Germany and Italy 02 rapaic!!! lol

  15. Poglavnik says:

    How about what’s the best you’ve seen us play? Whether it’s a full match or half.
    Off the top of my head I always think of Romania in ’98. We were flying for chunks of that game. Or 2nd half and onward v Eng in ’18

  16. Crotown says:

    Great question- equal 98 Germany or last World Cup vs Argentina- both were complete domination but I would lean towards 98 Germany because nobody including the Germans saw it coming – we toyed with them- but I’d say anytime we hammer the Italianos – they think their so good and we even beat them when didn’t have good teams

    For some reasons- Italians can’t touch us – looking forward to playing the Italians somewhere somehow after the COVID crap clears up-

  17. Anonymous says:

    Ante, you’re fucking anti-moron. I’m going to make you PAY for suppressing my croatian version of pro-white speech.

  18. CroatianPerson85 says:

    I know it’s not there but we dominated the Italians in our most recent game against them in a qualifying match where Perisic scored a squeaker on Buffon. For some reason we show up against them and the Germans. It’s a bigger game for us then it is for them and it will always be that way. I just wish we always showed up that way against all competitors.

    That was the best game I’ve ever seen Croatia play against a top team (until the hooligans threw flares on the field to sabotage the game). Those were not real Croatian fans.

  19. Bobby V says:

    Fairly strong earthquake in the Zagreb area on Sunday morning- 5.3 on the Richter scale. People who were asked to stay in for the Virus were forced to ran outside but are staying apart – WTF.

  20. CroatianPerson85 says:

    Have to agree with Crotown except for the night we tied them and missed out on I think Euro 2000 with Boksics goal that was never called. It so clearly passed the line but hey you can’t win them all.

  21. Maminjo says:

    Crazy that ZG just got hit with a big earthquake.

    A piece of the katedrala came off one of the spires as well.

    Have to deal with this… along with Corona, damn.

    Good to see people helping each other. People there are simply just mentally stronger than us over here.
    Over here, it would be widespread panic and instant riots and looting.

  22. NK Susak says:

    the games in which we were at our best that come to mind: 98′ and 08′ both games against Germany, 3-0 in Istanbul (playoff), 3-1 Ireland in 2012, 4-1 Greece. Just rewatched both semifinal and final from 2018 on DVR and from the 30 minute mark against England, till the 30 minute mark in the final against France, is the best , most relentless relentless span of football this generation played. Wonder what couldve been if that faggot Griezzeman does’nt pull a bitch move and take that dive in the 18th minute. We came out flying and had them pinned until that point.

  23. Maminjo says:

    Yea, these away kits are not as nice as our 2018 ones.

    I’m glad they are black though. I want us to stick with black as our main away kit color. There are so many nice designs that can be done with black as the base theme. Future ones will look better.

    These ones will look okay on the field, once the red numbers and socks are added… But yea, they screwed up on making the grey checkers too small and varied in size.

    Grey checkers on a black kit is a good idea, but the checkers should always be big (not tiny like these).

    At least they got the home kits right.

  24. Pero Pizdolizac says:

    I’ve been watching it and now have a headache like I did in 2018 after being reminded how poor the officiating was.

    Looking forward to meeting the French again next summer. We have a knack for getting revenge against teams, I think France is the only “big” team we have yet to beat.

  25. Maminjo says:

    Watching the Final again really shows how one sided the chances and possession was in our favor.

    I can’t stand it when I hear people (who only go by the scoreline) say that the penalty or the Griezmann flop doesn’t matter because France won by two goals.

    That ref did what he could to kill momentum even in the second half. So many buildup plays killed off by some dumb whistle. Shit, even that band Pussy Riot killed a great buildup when they ran onto the pitch. France has two crap shots on our goal all half, and an injured Subašić didn’t even bend his knees to attempt to save either of them. What a bailout for them.

    Such an undeserving win for France. None of their goals should have happened.

  26. Elviss says:

    It’s was a shit show. I won’t watch it.
    France had to win according to the EU elites.
    If I was a player I would teach Griezmann
    A serious lesson.

  27. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Maminjo, I agree 10000000000%!!!

    My top 3 victories:

    Croatia vs England 2018 (we were better after the first 25 minutes and were a far better team than them in the 2nd half). This game was important to me on many levels. I am an extremely passionate person and soccer is my religion (kidding). Sometimes I make the mistake of politics and history get involved with the way I feel about a team and country. In this case, I felt it was us against our political foe. A country that turned us over to Tito…so the game always means a bit more than just soccer. Lets not forget all the pundits putting England in the finals before our game with them even kicked off.

    Croatia vs Germany 1998 I watched this game at home. I was invited to a wedding that night, a Croatian girl I grew up with married an Italian guy. We were fairly lucky to weather the storm in the first 45 minutes. Jarni scored an incredible goal at the very end of the first half. All I can remember doing was going to my liquor cabinet and getting out some sljivovica to calm my nerves. I spent the entire half time trying not to go crazy, trying to remain calm but all I could do was scream and take another shot…the adrenaline was far too much! I’ve always felt Germans were our friends but they also felt we were friends of a lower class than them and considering the fact that they had some players that thought they were Gods…ie Lothar Matthaus, Bierhoff, Hamann, Klinsmann…I loved the brutal energy we had to combat their arrogance from players like Bilic, Stimac, Soldo, Boban…they were warriors!

    Croatia vs Argentina 2018 I chose this as my 3rd pick for a very simple reason. Argentina demonstrated the lowest form of culture and sportsmanship and it really turned me against them. As a kid, I’d watch the World Cups and really didn’t have a team to cheer for. I was intrigued by Argentina’s uniforms and some of their players looked cool with their long soccer hair…I was a kid and that when I decided they were my team…I remember Passarella and Kempes in particular…two very popular players! All my positive sentiments went to hell when I saw all the ridiculous fouls, the lack of sportsmanship from Otamendi, the ridiculous actions of their coach, the pussy attitude of Messi not shaking anyone’s hands….I’ll never cheer for them again!

  28. Nick Nizic says:

    Za Dom
    Wasn’t a World Cup game or qualifier but I’ll never forget my cousin coming back from Croatia with this VHS tape of the riot in maksimir, anytime I can see a dirty Chetnik or copper get a beating is a good day .
    Za Dom

  29. Anonymous says:

    At “Nick Nizic”, WW2 ended 75 years ago, Chetniks if they even exist anymore are nationalists just like I assume you, so what’s the problem exactly? Are Chetniks trying to pour the 3rd world into Croatia or are traitors trying to do that? You gotta deal with the people shooting you in the back first.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I was watching a champions league game in October and a player did the exact same thing Griezmann did – took a dive in roughly the same area of the pitch and the British announcer called the guy “a cheat” but I never heard anyone call Griezmann that.

    And another thing, any free kick in that spot always takes at least a minute to set up, so why in God’s name could that not have been looked at by VAR? -and then Griezmann given a yellow card and France not going up 1-0.

  31. Anonymous says:

    @”Nick Nizic”, what the fuck is a “balavac”? And how am I shooting you in the back exactly?

    When Croatians declared Independence they were saying we’ll take care of our own affairs, you take care of yours. You’d agree with that right?

    So what is the problem exactly that you have with Serbian nationalists?

  32. Anonymous says:

    Now what if you believed that your set of words or your Book, whether it be Catholicism, Islam, Communism, Political Correctness was the only Truth Faith and would “unite mankind”? Then you could not tolerate any other belief nor loyalty to your own kind. Conversely a Nationalist by definition respects other nationalities and there right to exist. That’s the difference between Wordism and Nationalism.
    So how am I “stabbing you in the back” exactly?

  33. Anonymous says:

    What do you think has a better chance of succeeding these days, National Socialist theory, Nazi salutes and 75 year old Ustasha costumes, or simply being loyal to your own race/being pro-white?

    Irish are minorities in their own Capitol City, English are minorities in their own Capitol City, you see what the French “national team” looks like.

    You live in a world that doesn’t exist anymore because you don’t want to fight, I live in the REAL world.

  34. Anonymous says:

    @Pro white guy

    Who are the traitors?

    Why did the cetnik nationalists not respect the NDH and their right to exist?

    Why did the white protestant English in cahoots with the white communists organise the killing of white Catholic Croats at Bleiburg?

    Why do the white communist leaders of Croatia not seek reparations from white protestant England for those murders committed at Bleiburg against white Catholics?

    Why do the white communist leaders of Croatia pay reparations to the antichrist Jews for crimes that they say were committed by the Ustase, what has this Croatia got to do with the Ustase?

    Clearly some people don’t matter in Croatia.

    HDZ was an anti-Ustasa party from the start.
    SDP is an anti-Ustasa party, they rule Croatia now.

    Who were the enemies of the Ustase/nationalism, are the same the traitors?

    Lol, both HDZ & SDP were all for EU membership, why? Because that assures the world that Croats will never be nationalists again.

    Serbs are still nationalists.

    Croatia is exactly where the cetniks and communists want them to be, under EU tutorship.

    Serbs and communists killed Croatian nationalism and created this new Croatian people.

    Croats are the easiest people in Europe to lead by the nose, or even better, guzicu za nos.

    So who are the traitors again? Your answer has to be the Croats that shitted on the victims at Bleiburg.

    Mi Hrvati imamo dvije narodne mane iz kojih izvire sva naša nesreća: mi svakome vjerujemo bez da promišljamo i lako zaboravljamo krivice koje nam drugi učine.
    – Ante Starčević

    How did Croatia end up like this

    Dok budemo imali domaćih izdajica, dotle ćemo imati tuđinskih gospodara.
    – Ante Starčević

  35. DB says:

    Super underrated
    Italy 1 Croatia 2 in Palermo
    Euro 96 qualifier when the World stood up and took notice of us as we beat the losing finalist from the World Cup a couple of months earlier. Italians gave us a standing ovation as we walked off the field!

  36. KING BRONK says:

    What you forget in that Euro Croatia France clash is that Trezeguets tying goal was a glaring handball that the ref did not call. It cost Croatia progressing in that Euro. Whats new refs always helping France.

    Top 3 Wins
    1.Croatia vs. England WC 2018
    2.Croatia vs Germany 98
    3.Croatia vs England Qualifying Koing England from Euros

    Top 3 Crushing Defeats
    1. Croatia France WC 2018
    2. Croatia Turkey Euros
    3. Croatia France 1998

  37. Anonymous says:

    @pro croatian guy, you proved exactly what I said, you live in a world that doesn’t exist. “Reparations for ww2″? You are fucking delusional. Moron, try to get this thru that armor plating that prevents your brain from thinking; Croatians are white, you are white, Croatia and Croatians aren’t exempt from the program of chasing down the last white person with “diversity”.

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