With the 2022 FIFA World Cup kicking off in one week (!!!), it’s time to explore the 2018 World Cup runners-up – Luka Modrić’s Croatia.
Every day until November 20th, we’ll explore a different team represented in this year’s tournament, from Group A to Group H, including predictions about where they’ll end up.
Earlier today, we looked at Canada and Morocco, the two teams we expect to finish at the bottom of Group F. Now let’s look at our bet for Group F runner-up: Croatia.
Nickname: The Blazers, The Checkered Ones
Colors: White, red, blue
Coach: Zlatko Dalić (Croatia)
Real Madrid superstar midfielder Luka Modrić is a living Croatian legend, leading The Blazers in what will probably be his final World Cup. He’ll be assisted by Chelsea’s Mateo Kovačić, Inter Milan’s Marcelo Brozović, and Tottenham’s Ivan Perišić, among others, as The Checkered Ones try and make another memorable run.
Qatar will be the sixth World Cup appearance for Croatia, whose best result came in 2018 when they Cinderella’d themselves all the way to a 4-2 finals loss to France, beating England in the semis. The Blazers are burning through opponents in 2022 with wins over France, Denmark, and Austria for a 5-2-1 record.
Tournament Prediction: Round of 16 loss to Germany.
Croatia opens against Morocco on November 23 and anything less than a win for Croatia would be considered an upset. The Blazer’s next two matches against Canada and Belgium should be more challenging, but the Croatians have the talent and experience to pick up points from both matches. We think Croatia beats Morocco and Canada while tying Belgium, which should be good enough for five points and second place in Group F. They’ll face off with Group E winner Germany in the round of 16, where we think their Cinderella Story will end in a 3-1 loss.
Featured Image: CroatianFootballFederation/DM