Population: 4.92 M.
FA foundation: 1912 (before Yugoslavia).
Affiliation to FIFA: 1941 (before Yugoslavia) and 1992 after independence.
Affiliation to UEFA: 1993.
Head Coach: Slaven Bilic.
During the Euro 1996 qualification, Croatia emerged as a new power in Europe after inheriting some Yugoslav legacy.
The newcomers enjoyed a talented squad led by deadly striker Davor Suker, Milan playmaker Boban and other well known names in Europe like Prosinecki, Jarni and Bilic.
Croatia won their qualifying group on goal difference ahead of Italy, Ukraine, Lithuania and neighbors Slovenia to reach the finals in England.
A late debut win over Turkey gave the Croats confidence before outclassing title holders Denmark 3-0 to guarantee a spot in the quarterfinals, despite losing to Portugal.
Croatia had to face Germany but lost 1-2 after a controversial match in which Igor Stimac was sent off.
Despite winning bronze medal at the 1998 World Cup, Croatia failed to reach the Euro 2000 finals finishing third behind neighbors Yugoslavia and Republic of Ireland.
In the road to Euro 2004, Croatia finished second behind Bulgaria and had an all-Balkan playoff with Slovenia, drawing 1-1 in Zagreb and winning in Ljubljana by a goal from Dado Prso.
The Croats had a shy start in Portugal drawing 0-0 with Switzerland before an encouraging 2-2 draw with France, but a 2-4 defeat by England meant a first round exit.
Croatia took revenge on England in the Euro 2008 qualifiers winning 3-2 at Wembley to top the group and reach the finals accompanied by runners-up Russia.
Coach Slaven Bilic guided Croatia to an impressive first round in the finals with three consecutive wins including a 2-1 victory over Germany.
The semifinals were only 60 seconds away from Croatia as Klasnic scored in the 119th minute against Turkey, but Semih Senturk had another say pulling the game level in extra time before helping his country win on penalties.
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