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All you need to know about Croatia's national team

Croatia's UEFA Euro 2016 roster, matches, live stream/TV info

June 3, 2016 By Michelle Bonsu
An ambitious Croatia side will be hoping to make their mark at this summer's Euro tournament, but how far can they go in France?

Despite being one of the smaller nations featuring at this summer's Euro tournament, Croatia are not lacking in ambition. They are also no strangers to international competition and will be hoping to make a splash at what will be their fourth consecutive Euro appearance in France next month.

Croatia's Euro record

Up until 1992, Croatia had competed at the Euro championships, albeit as part of Yugoslavia. They did not make their first appearance as an independent nation until 1996, when the Vatreni made it to the quarter-finals. Since then, Croatia have qualified for every single Euro tournament except for the 2000 edition.

In 2004 and 2012, they failed to clear the group stages, and in 2008, again made it to the quarter-finals. This will be their fifth UEFA Euro appearance - a pretty impressive achievement considering they only made their debut 20 years ago.

Croatia's current form

Croatia have had their share of ups and downs over the past 12 months. Their Euro 2016 qualifiers started off on the right foot, with three wins against Malta, Bulgaria, and Azerbaijan in 2014, followed by a draw against Italy. In 2015, they cruised to a comfortable 5-1 win over Norway and 4-0 friendly victory against Gibraltar before again drawing Italy 1-1.

However, a 0-0 draw with Azerbaijan followed by a 2-0 defeat to Norway in September saw a change on the tactician's bench. There was also the issue of being deducted one point after someone drew a swastika on the pitch prior to the match against Italy at the Stadion Poljud. This then put them in a very uncomfortable position for their final two games in which not only did they need to beat Bulgaria and Malta, but also needed Italy to defeat Norway.

Fortunately for the team and their fans, things turned out in their favor. Croatia ended up finishing second in their group and thus avoided the play-offs. So far in 2016 they have managed to avoid defeat in their two friendlies, with a win against Israel and a draw against Hungary.

In terms of rankings, Croatia are currently 23rd in the world as per FIFA and 16th in UEFA.

The man on the tactician's bench

Following Niko Kovac's sacking, Ante Čačić was appointed as his replacement in September 2015. Although Čačić has never played professionally, the 62-year-old has a degree in Physical Education from the University of Zagreb and has managed a plethora of sides over a managerial career spanning back to 1986.

Čačić's appointment initially raised some eyebrows, but now having qualified, his next task will be to guide Croatia to success at Euro 2016

Under his tenure, Croatia managed to finish second in their qualifying group and secure their spot at this summer's Euro tournament. This will be the first major competition for Čačić and Croatia certainly will be eager to see what he can do with the national team in France this summer.

One notable absentee from his squad, however, will be Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren after the two had a public falling out. Tactically, he opted to go with a 3-5-2 formation against Israel and a 4-1-4-1 against Hungary, and both yielded decent results, but it remains to be seen as to whether he will opt to use a four or three man defense for the upcoming Euro competition.

UEFA Euro 2016 broadcasters in Croatia

Public broadcaster HRT hold the exclusive Euro 2016 rights in Croatia. The government-owned network will air the majority of the matches on its TV channel HRT 2, including group stage games from the Croatian national team.

Go to Croatia's page for the team's full UEFA Euro 2016 fixtures and global online and TV listings.

Croatia's UEFA Euro 2016 roster

Here is Croatia's 23-man roster for Euro 2016:

Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Croatia, Squad, Roster, Euro 2016, UEFA European Championship

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