With four players from Zadar on Croatia’s Dalmatian coast in the squad, it was no surprise that a song from Zadar singer Mladen Grdovic was belted out of the team bus after Sunday’s victory against Denmark.
Four players in the squad in Russia were born abroad, whilst nine of the team originates from the Dalmatian coast. Only six of the 22-man squad were born in the capital.
Four players started playing football also in Zadar, the same amount which started at Dinamo Zagreb and Hajduk Split, Goal writes.
So where do the players originate from?
Danijel Subasic – Zadar
Born in Zadar, Subasic also started playing football in his hometown before transferring to Hajduk Split.
Lovre Kalinic – Solin
Born in Solin near Split. Kalinic started playing for Solin before moving to Hajduk Split.
Dominik Livakovic – Zadar
Reserve keeper Livakovic is another born in Zadar and like Subasic started his career in Zadar. He is now the No.1 at Dinamo Zagreb.
Duje Caleta-Car – Sibenik
Born in Sibenik, Duje started his career there and now plays for Red Bull Salzburg.
Vedran Corluka – Derventa, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Corluka was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina and came through the ranks at Dinamo Zagreb.
Tin Jedvaj – Zagreb
Jedvaj was born in Zagreb in 1995 and started his career in the Croatian capital.
Dejan Lovren – Zenica, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Lovren comes from Zenica originally. As a three-year-old, the family escaped the war and fled to Germany. When he was 10 he moved to Karlovac where he started playing before moving to Dinamo Zagreb.
Josip Pivaric – Zagreb
Pivaric was born in Zagreb and started his career at Dinamo Zagreb.
Ivan Strinic – Split
Strinic is born in Split and he started his career at Hajduk Split.
Domagoj Vida – Donji Miholjac
Vida comes from Donji Miholjac in Slavonia and he started his career there before moving to Osijek.
Sime Vrsaljko – Rijeka
Vrsaljko was born in Rijeka but moved to Zadar at a very young age and started playing there.
Milan Badelj – Zagreb
Badelj is born in Zagreb and was Dinamo Zagreb junior.
Filip Bradaric – Split
Bradaric was born in Split and started his career at Hajduk Split.
Marcelo Brozovic – Zagreb
Brozovic was born in Zagreb and started playing for Hrvatski Dragovoljac.
Mateo Kovacic – Linz, Austria
Kovacic is another of the abroad-born contingent.
Luka Modric – Zadar
Captain Modric was born in Zadar and started his career there.
Ivan Rakitic – Rheinfelden, Switzerland
Rakitic was born in Switzerland but decided to represent the country of his parents.
Andrej Kramaric – Zagreb
Kramaric was born in Zagreb and started at Dinamo Zagreb.
Mario Mandzukic – Slavonski Brod
Mandzukic is the only other player from Slavonia, born in Slavonski Brod in 1986.
Ivan Perisic – Omis
Perisic is from the old pirate-town of Omis and started his career at Hajduk Split.
Marko Pjaca – Zagreb
Pjaca is born in the Croatian capital and came through the system at Dinamo Zagreb.
Ante Rebic – Imotski
Ante comes from Imotski in the Dalmatian Hinterland. He moved to Split where he played in 2013 before moving abroad.