Croatia will have a player in the UEFA Champions League final for the 8th year in a row after Liverpool and Barcelona set up a semi-final fixture.
Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitić or defender Dejan Lovren will be involved in the Champions League final in Madrid on 1 June after Barcelona and Liverpool successfully negotiated their quarter-final ties.
Rakitić’s Barcelona comfortably disposed of Manchester United 4-0 on aggregate, whilst Lovren’s Liverpool were too good for Porto. Their semi-final matchup will take place on 30 April and 7 May and whatever happens a Croatian footballer will be part of the UEFA Champions final.
Croatia does have a connection in the second semi-final with young goalkeeper Dominik Kotarski at the Ajax club. Kotarski is in goal for the second team but trains with the first team and if there were injuries he could be called upon.
2019 will be the 8th year in a row a Croatian has been in the final. Only Brazil, France, Germany and Spain have players in the last seven in a row.
2012 – Ivica Olić
2013 – Mario Mandžukić
2014 – Luka Modrić
2015 – Ivan Rakitić
2016 – Luka Modrić, Mateo Kovačić
2017 – Luka Modrić, Mateo Kovačić, Mario Mandžukić
2018 – Luka Modrić, Mateo Kovačić, Dejan Lovren
2019 – Ivan Rakitić or Dejan Lovren?
A Croatian player has won the title for the last six years in row. Mario Mandžukic scored in the final against Borussia Dortmund to help Bayern Munich secure the title back in 2013.
The following season Luka Modrić won his first Champions League with Real Madrid, followed by Ivan Rakitić with Barcelona the next season. In 2016, 2017, and 2018, Modrić and Kovačić claimed the trophy with Real Madrid.