On Friday, Croatia will face 5-time world champions Brazil for a place in the semi-finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
In terms of opponents and spectacle on the big stage, you could not get bigger for Croatia.
The quarterfinal, which will be played at Education City Stadium in Doha, will be the third time the two nations have met at a World Cup.
– Realistically, Brazil is the most powerful and best team in this World Cup. When you look at their selection of players, quality, depth and value, it’s terrifying. We have a big test ahead of us. They will need to prepare very well for that match, but we have nothing to fear. We have to go into the match with a lot of faith and confidence, look for our opportunities and enjoy the football, Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić said yesterday.
Croatia and Brazil have played two friendly matches also. There was also a match between a Croatian selection and a Brazilian Olympic selection in the 1996 which ended 1-1.
Here is a look at how all previous official senior encounters between the two nations ended.
17 August 2005 (Friendly) – Croatia 1-1 Brazil
This friendly match took place in the summer of 2005 in front of 30,000 fans at Poljud Stadium. Niko Kranjčar gave Croatia the lead in the 32nd minute before Ricardinho levelled just before halftime.
Croatia: Butina, R. Kovač, Šimunić, Srna, Tomas, Tudor, Babić, N. Kovač, Krajnčar, Klasnić, Olić
Brazil: Dida, Cafu, Juan, Roberto Carlos, Lucio, Emerson, Kaka, Richardinho, Ze Roberto, Adriano, Ronaldo
13 June 2006 (World Cup) – Brazil 1-0 Croatia
This match was the first competitive match the two nations played and it was in the group stages at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. Croatia put up a good fight but would go down to a solitary goal from Kaka just before half-time.
Croatia: Pletkosa, R. Kovač, Šimunić, Šimić, Srna, Tudor, Babić, N. Kovač, Krajnčar, Klasnić, Pršo
Brazil: Dida, Cafu, Juan, Roberto Carlos, Lucio, Emerson, Kaka, Ronaldinho, Ze Roberto, Adriano, Ronaldo
12 June 2014 (World Cup) – Brazil 3-1 Croatia
This match was the opening game of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and Croatia could not have got off to a better start when Marcelo put the ball in his own net to give Croatia a 1-0 lead. A double from Neymar and a late goal from Oscar gave the hosts the win.
Croatia: Pletkosa, Ćorluka, Lovren, Srna, Vrsaljko, Kovačić, Modrić, Rakitić, Perišić, Jelavić, Olić
Brazil: Cesar, Alves, Gustavo, Silva, Luiz, Marcelo, Oscar, Paulinho, Hulk, Fred, Neymar
03 June 2018 (Friendly) – Brazil 2-0 Croatia
This friendly match was played at Anfield in Liverpool just before Croatia departed for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Goals to Neymar and Roberto Firmino gave Brazil the win on the day.
Croatia: Subašić, Ćorluka, Lovren, Vida, Vrsaljko, Badelj, Modrić, Rakitić, Perišić, Kramarić, Rebić
Brazil: Becker, Danilo, Miranda, Silva, Fernandihno, Marcelo, Casemiro, Paulinho, Willian, Coutinho, Jesus