Skip to comments.Why is Croatia, with a population of only 4 million, so good at Soccer?
Posted on 07/14/2018 6:37:38 PM PDT by CondoleezzaProtege
How is it that four million Croats could build a team good enough to make it to the World Cup final, beating Argentina (43 million), England (53 million) and hosts Russia (144 million) along the way?
The country famously didnt even exist the last time England made it to a World Cup semi-final in 1990.
The country declared independence in 1991, but was embroiled in the war in the Balkans as Yugoslavia split for several years. Most Croats were living in what is now Croatia, but a large minority existed in what are now Serbia and Bosnia especially. What ensued involved ethnic cleansing and bitter enmity between the nations which speak almost identical languages and had been part of same country for most of a century.
Star player Luka Modric, who was born in 1985, himself lived through some horrifying childhood events. He fled his hometown of Modrici at the age of six in the face of conflict. His father then joined the Croatian army and his grandfather was shot, along with other elderly civilians, by a band of Croatian Serb rebels. His house was burned down.
These were tough times, Modric later recalled. I remember them vividly, but its not something you want to think about. The war made me stronger.
The war affected many of this generation of Croatian players directly. Mario Mandzukic grew up partly in Germany, where he began playing before returning to Croatia at the age of 10, while Ivan Rakitic was born and grew up in Switzerland, where he started his career with Basel. Vedran Corluka was born in Bosnia but fled for Croatia in 1992 amid the war.
The collective memory of a such a recent upheaval may have gone some way to motivate and unify the national team...
(Excerpt) Read more at inews.co.uk ...
They have a lot of balls?
None of them ever dribble, pass, pitch, skate, hit, field, punt, block, or slam dunk.
You have been RED CARDED!
Some suggest it was a soccer match that triggered the war...
1990 Dinamo Zagreb - Red Star Belgrade Riot | The Football War
Pent up aggressions after being under the communist thumb?
My father’s side of the family was Croatian (came over 1890s).
Note: Croatia borders Slovenia home of Melania.
An area of handsome men and beautiful women.
Having known the details of one Croatian Serb’s life story, I’d say this article answers its own question. Their country, geographically, is the crossroad of the world from west to east and east to west. They are the toughest of tough people.
In Troy University’s trophy cases there used to be (probably still is) a photo of the Czech National Basketball Team.
The Coach back the, Coach Archer was still a phys ed instructor, having retired from coaching. I mentioned about Troy playing them. He said they were huge, every one of them were at least 6’8”. Also very athletic.
They are world class misogynists (i.e. sock her).
They don’t choose their teams through affirmative action, or balance them for diversity - they take the best players they can find and train them to the max - compete until the very best are at the top - it’s called meritocracy - we should try it sometime......
I think that are a lot of factors, but one thing that also helps is that when a country is small there are a finite number of options for the national team - thus those people play together more consistently than in a national team in which there are many, many options. It's a team sport, and just choosing who you think are the best players doesn't make it a team. Croatia is not only a great team, but may of the individual players on that team play on great club teams (Modric - Real Madrid, Mandzukic - Juventus, Rakatic - Barcelona, Kovacic - Real Madrid, Pjaca - Juventus, Lovren - Liverpool, Subasic - Monaco, Strinic - Milan, etc. etc.)..
For the same reason Lithuania is good at basketball. Or at least it used to be. I have no idea these days.
Staff in my building say Croatia has been underrated, England overrated. They are all Poles.
Maybe it's because their uniforms give their opponents vertigo? lol.
Lithuanians made up the core of the great Soviet basketball teams.
If Arvydas Sabonis played in the NBA in his prime, he would have probably had a chance a few MVPs, he was that good.
My question , with all due respect, is who cares? Kick ball is a foreign game of little interest to Americans. We play football and baseball etc.No one I know cares about kick ball.
When I see Croatia’s uniform, I’m thinking....”Queen to King’s Bishop 4”
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