A year later, FIFA agreed to recognize Croatia as an independent country with an independent national team.
In 1993, the European Football Association “UEFA” announced its recognition of Croatia, but that decision was too late, after it prevented them from participating in the European qualifiers for the 1994 World Cup.
But in 1996, the Croatian national team participated in Euro 1996 after qualifying for the tournament as the leader of its group in the qualifiers at the expense of the ancient Italian team because of its superiority in direct confrontations.
The Croatian national team stunned everyone, beat the Azzurri in Palermo with two goals to one, and drew with them at home, positively, with a goal for the same.
The group at that time included Lithuania, Ukraine, Slovenia and Estonia.
The Croatian team succeeded in qualifying for its first participation in the Euro, reaching the quarter-finals before losing to the later champion, Germany, with two goals to one.
In the World Cup, the Croats succeeded in winning the third place, after they eliminated Romania and Germany themselves, by winning them 3-0 in the quarter-finals, and the Netherlands, with two goals to one, to determine the third and fourth places.
All this led to the football fans’ attachment to the Croatian national team, which included the icon Davor Suker, and in Egypt in particular, the team’s shirts spread among everyone because of its distinctive design that resembles chessboards.
And we must not forget the fans’ love for playing with the Croatian national team in the “Japanese” game on the “PlayStation 1” platform because of Soccer and Robert Yarni.
What is the secret of the chess patches on the shirt and flag of the Croatian national team?
The legend says that the Croatian King Drislav, while waging a war, was captured and imprisoned, but the King of Venice, Duke Peter II Orseolo, gave him a wonderful offer to get out of his crisis while playing chess.
The offer stated that if the Croatian king wins three times in a row, he will be freed, otherwise he will remain in his dungeon.
Indeed, the Croatian king managed to win all three matches and was released. To celebrate that anniversary, chessboards were added to the Croatian flag.
This is about the secret of the chessboard in the Croatian flag, but what about the strange names? Have you ever wondered why the names of people there end with “ch”, such as Modric and Rakitic?
In the Slavic language, from which the Croatian, Russian, Ukrainian, Czech, Bosnian and Serbian languages are derived, there is great pride in ancestry and genealogy.
There they know the children by their fathers’ names, for example Petrovich means Petar’s youngest son, and Djokovic means Djokos youngest son.
This is in addition to the presence of some names that are derived from professions, such as Kovac, which means mourning, and the former national team player and former Bayern Munich coach, Niko Kovac, meaning his name is Niko, the son of Kova Al-Haddad.
Now, Croatia aspires to achieve a better achievement than it achieved in Euro 1996 by qualifying for the quarter-finals only.
Since being allowed to participate in the Euros as an independent team, the Croatian team has only missed the tournament once, in 2000.
The Croatian national team plays in Group D, along with England, Scotland and the Czech Republic.