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Croatian football team’s fantastic 2018 in numbers 

2018 – a year to remember – has ended for the Croatian national team (HNS)

2018 is over for the Croatian national football team. Whilst the year may have ended on a sour note, it will long be remembered in Croatian football history. 

The year started halfway around the world in the United States in March. Croatia started its preparations for the 2018 World Cup with friendlies against Peru at the Hard Rock stadium in Miami and Mexico at AT&T Stadium in Dallas. 

The first match of 2018 (Photo: Seleccion Peruana/Twitter)

The opening match of the year against Peru was also the debut of the black and blue alternative kit which became a huge hit in Russia. 2018 started like it ended, with a loss. The 2-0 loss to Peru was corrected the next match when Ivan Rakitić slotted home a penalty to give Croatia a 1-0 win over Mexico. 

Croatia took on Mexico in Dallas (Photo: Mexico FA/Twitter)

After the USA, the next stops for Croatia would be Liverpool and Osijek with World Cup warm-ups against mighty Brazil and Senegal. With a loss and a win, Zlatko Dalić’s side departed for Russia. 

Luka Madrid against Brazil (HNS)

With six victories in a row against Nigeria, Argentina, Iceland, Denmark, Russia and England, Croatia had created history by making the World Cup final. 

Luka Modric scores against Argentina (FIFA.com)

Luka Modric wins the Golden Ball in Russia (HNS)

Although they went down in the end to France in the final, 550,000 fans welcomed the team back in Zagreb after the tournament to celebrate an amazing achieving for a nation of just 4 million people. 

Homecoming to remember (HNS)

After a draw against Portugal and a heavy to defeat to Spain in the Nations League, there would be one more huge victory in what already had been a memorable year when Tin Jedvaj helped topple Spain in Zagreb with a 93rd-minute winner. 

Tin Jedvaj scores the winner (HNS)

Overall Croatia played 17 matches in 2018, winning 10 of them, losing 5 and drawing 2. 

Croatia scored 24 goals in 17 matches and conceded  26 goals

Goal Scorers in 2018:

Perišić – 5

Kramarić – 4

Mandžukić – 3

Modrić – 2

Rakitić – 2

Vida – 2

Jedvaj – 2

Mitrović – 1

Badelj – 1

Rebić – 1

o.g – 1

Croatia wore the alternative black and blue kit 14 times and the red and white checks only three times – against Brazil, Nigeria and France.

Red and white checkers made three appearances only (HNS)

All Croatia’s matches in 2018: 

18.11 – London – England 2:1 Croatia

15.11 – Zagreb – Croatia 3:2 Spain

15.10 – Rijeka – Croatia 2:1 Jordan

12.10 – Rijeka – Croatia 0:0 England

11.09 – Elche – Spain 6:0 Croatia

06.09 – Faro – Portugal 1:1 Croatia

15.07 – WC Russia – France 4:2 Croatia

11.07 – WC Russia – Croatia 2:1 England

07.07 – WC Russia – Russia 5:6 Croatia

01.07 – WC Russia – Croatia 3:2 Denmark

26.06 – WC Russia – Iceland 1:2 Croatia

21.06 – WC Russia – Argentina 0:3 Croatia

16.06 – WC Russia – Croatia 2:0 Nigeria

08.06 – Osijek – Croatia 2:1 Senegal

03.06 – Liverpool – Brazil 2:0 Croatia

27.03 – Dallas – Mexico 0:1 Croatia

07.07 – Miami – Peru 2:0 Croatia

Croatia also for the first time had a FIFA Player of the Year winner and a coach among the finalists.

Luka Modrić wins FIFA Player of the Year award (HNS)

Some of the great memories from 2018:

(Photos: HNS)

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