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Croatia Top “Fantastic 4” Euro Qualifying Group

November 12, 2020

 

This will be a trivia question in the future to which you will know the answer to:

 

Which country topped the only qualifying group in UEFA history to send four teams to an international tournament?

 

And of course – the answer is – CROATIA!

 

Although Croatia and Wales qualified for EURO 2020 exactly 12 months ago, the four extra teams that would qualify through the Nations League path were postponed due to COVID. Thursday night, eight teams kicked off with only four spots on the line.

 

Scotland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Macedonia with be headed to the Euros next summer. Hungary was the only team to beat Croatia during qualifying with the Vatreni defeating Slovakia twice.

 

And that’s why we love sports. Huungary finished fourth in their Euro qualifying group. Won their two Nations League playoff games. Now, they will be grouped with Germany, Portugal, and France. Good luck!

 

 




Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 30 comments





  1. Bobby V Bobby V says:

    Cool that FIFA is allowing 4 lesser nations to qualify for the Euros. It means so much to these lesser nations and their fans.

    Glad to see Macedonia qualify and especially happy for Goran Pandev – old man comes back to score the winning goal to send his country thru – great story. Party in Skopje tonight!

    It gives hope and excitement to the European minnows who usually show up and get their asses kicked by major countries every year.

    Best decision FIFA has made in a long time.

  2. Maminjo says:

    These same four teams also qualified for the previous Euros (Euro2016)… and all of them made it to the knockout rounds as well.

  3. Bobby V,

    I can’t agree with the decision to expand the tournament. This is supposed to be a contest between the best teams in Europe, and to allow an extra 8 teams waters down the tournament quality. Further, with 6 groups of 4 teams, the 4 best third place teams will qualify for the knockout round. Just another cash grab from Uefa. The same goes for Fifa with a bloated 42 team World Cup in North America.

  4. Bobby V Bobby V says:

    @Fellow – Basically, you went from roughly having the best 16 teams in Europe to having the best 20.

    Not that much of a jump and keeps the spirit alive throughout Europe. Well worth it.

  5. Bobby V Bobby V says:

    I’m more concerned with having home teams playing in their national stadiums.

    Could you imagine the bitching and crying from English fans if they had to play the Czech Republic in Prague and Croatia in Zagreb?

  6. gbvh says:

    I agree with fellowfromtheselo, too many teams.
    I don’t care about some sort of artificial fun and glory for these also-ran teams.
    Let’s just let em all in?!

  7. Soul Champ says:

    I am happy for Macedonia and like this new format.

    Theses teams went through a tough play off format and beat the best of the rest.

    Actually seems Serbia is even more inept that they had two opportunities to qualify in an expanded format. At home can’t produce?

    They seem to be missing a soccer gene?

    ZERO intelligence in the middle and even less ideas.

    Everyday thank god to be Croatian.

    Bog I Hrvati.

  8. Soul Champ says:

    I am happy for Macedonia and like this new format.

    Theses teams went through a tough play off format and beat the best of the rest.

    Actually seems Serbia is even more inept that they had two opportunities to qualify in an expanded format. At home can’t produce?

    They seem to be missing a soccer gene?

    ZERO intelligence in the middle and even less ideas.

    Everyday thank god to be Croatian.

  9. Maminjo says:

    Serbia had three spots available in front of them to qualify for the Euros… and Portugal, Ukraine and Scotland took those spots.

    That’s gotta suck.

  10. @Bobby,

    The tournament didn’t increase by just 4 teams. It will increase from 16 teams in 2016 to 24 teams for the upcoming tournament. The same sort of thing will happen with the World Cup increasing by 10 teams to 42. It will be great for Croatia for qualifying in the future if we have a poor qualifying round, but it devalues the tournament. It should be a celebration of the best in football every 4 years. I understand how it will be good for those teams that would otherwise not be able to attend the tournament, but I prefer the previous ideal where only the best would play the best.

  11. Maminjo says:

    The worst part about this 24-team format is the confusion it creates re: which third placed team goes through and which one doesn’t…
    Also, it seems to reward some of the top-2 finishing teams (where some get to play against a third placed team) whereas others do not.

    The 16-team format was nice and simple in that it was a strong group where the top two go on, and it’s straight to the quarters. But I think a lot of people like the extra Round of 16 knockout round.

  12. Crotown says:

    sharpen those elbows boys !!!! England and Scotland- those guys are going to want to get nasty with Croatia and let them bring it – it will be a hard tackling , get under our skin matches- they know they don’t have the skill that we have even with a far inferior team to 2018 – we’ll have to play a totally different strategy especially England- we we’re very fortunate to win 2018 semi against them- England had so many chances and if Kane was on the ball he could have had 3 goals in the first half – that’s ancient history now.

  13. Maminjo says:

    Yea, I was listening to some pundits pumping up Scotland’s chances at the Euros. They mentioned how Croatia is an old team.

    Funny thing is that Croatia is a younger team now…
    Vlasic instead of Rakitic;
    Kramaric/Petkovic instead of Mandzo;
    Bradaric instead of Strinic; and
    At least one of Vida/Lovren being replaced by Caleta-Car.

    All these first team changes are positive, except for the Mandzo one…which could swing either way depending on how we play it.

    Our skill level against the Scots is so high.
    Our combination of physical strength and skill will be too much for them.
    I can’t see the Scottish elbows doing much to players like Rebic, Petkovic, Perisic, and Vlasic up top.

    Kramaric and Brekalo are highly skilled, but might get outmuscled if the Scots want to play like that.
    This is why I love our depth. We can change things up in the first round.

    Krama and Brekalo would be more useful against England, where we would need that skill level (and the two of them created the last goal we scored on England too).

  14. Bobby V Bobby V says:

    @Fellow What I meant was that the top 20 teams are now there, plus 4 minnows.

    You seemed to imply that there are now 8 minnows watering down the tournament.

  15. Medo says:

    One won’t complain about the watered down euro if a minnow surprises in another group to advance and play us.
    Then again we tend to play up or down to our opposition in many matches.

  16. Medo says:

    To the level of our opposition

  17. Eric says:

    100% agree with @fellow
    Euros are getting watered down by allowing too many teams in. It should be an elite tournament, where it is considered an achievement just to qualify. They want us to believe the expansion is “to give the poor minnows a chance”, but most of us can see that its all about the money.

  18. @Bobby,

    That is what I meant, that there are 8 weaker teams that will dilute the tournament quality.

    I understand the point that increasing the size of the tournament will allow minnows and their supporters to experience playing in a big tournament, but I believe it should be an elite tournament where qualifying, itself, is a difficult and major achievement.

    With the new format, approximately half the countries in Europe qualify. And when you consider that this list includes San Marino, Liechtenstein, Vatican City, and Andorra, more than half the countries that have professional leagues will be represented.

  19. Slavonac from Canada says:

    this one for Kico…

    I kad umrem pjevat’ će Slavonija,
    stara mati žita i šuma
    široka ravan pradavna Panonija,
    kad zapjeva i sunce silazi s uma.

    Pjevaj majko ratara i bekrija,
    pjesmu onu što nam život vara
    konje vrane kad osedla šokadija
    vrisne pjesma od plamena i žara.

    Sve nek pjeva gdje mi je Slavonija,
    zrnice klasa i oluja ravni
    pustaro draga, to je pjesma tvoja
    što pjevaju kosci i ratari davni.

  20. ARMADA87 says:

    I can see both sides of the larger team pool debate, specifically for the Euro.

    On one end, its ‘cool’ and a novelty to see some new teams/minnows make it. Some ‘fresh faces’ and chances for them to upset a big team.

    On the other end, who wants to watch a team like Macedonia or Scotland play at a major tournament, outside of their fan bases? Neither play attractive football. Neither has any world class players.

    I think a 16 team tournament made it more special and tougher. I’ve always preferred Euro over the WC in terms of a TV product and I just think its a bit watered down now with the additional teams. With a bigger base of teams, you have sides like Slovakia, Hungary, Iceland, Czech Republic, Poland and Turkey regularly making the the Euros now. I have respect for those sides – but they shouldn’t ALL make it, maybe just 1-2 of those teams per tournament. Give me the big sides, with a sprinkling of a few smaller ones that are in good form (16 team format) and that’s a receipe for a ton of good games.

  21. UBoj says:

    Brozovic out with covid…huge loss for the Sweden match.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Not that it was bad enough him leaking in goals

    Now vida is leaking out the virus to his teammates

  23. BEĆAR says:

    Inter midfielder Marcelo Brozovic has tested positive for COVID-19 while on international duty with Croatia.

    It’s no doubt a bitter pill for the Nerazzurri to swallow, as they were holding their breath after word that Domagoj Vida was revealed to have contracted the virus despite taking the field against Turkey.

  24. Poglavnik says:

    Fuck Brozo is key.
    I like the minnows being there. They’ll pip some points. I bet even Hungary gets a result in their crazy group. Those 3 heavyweights are gonna take them just a little lighter. Even if they dont intend to.

  25. Anonymous says:

    The 3 out 4 group teams advancing to the knockout stage is what’s really terrible. I want the 1st match against England to mean a lot more.

    As I’ve said before, it should be a 20 team field, 4 groups of 5 teams, 2 in each group advance to knockout stage – this equates to almost the same amount of total games in the tournament as a the current 24 team field, with 16 making it to knockout stage.

  26. France says:

    You cannot put your own people in jail for “hate speech” simply b/c their speech offends someone and then complain that Muslims are beheading people who are insulting the prophet the Muhammad. What are you going to say? – “putting people in jail for ‘hate speech’ is not bad as beheading them for hate speech” ?

  27. ElviSS says:

    Good luck to the boys tomorrow. Stick ya meatballs up ya ass!!!

  28. Lovro says:

    The World Cup never has the best 32 teams either.



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