The Croatian Football Union celebrates its 110th birthday

Croatian Football Association turns 110

The Croatian Football Union turns 110

With two World Cup medals in the cabinet and numerous other successes, the Croatian Football Association is celebrating its 110th anniversary today.

Croatia play France in the UEFA Nations League tonight and a first-ever win against France would cap the celebrations.

With the election of Milovan Zoričić as head of the football department of the Croatian Sports Union on June 13, 1912, the rich history of the Croatian Football Union officially began.

Zoričić’s deputy was Zvonimir Klobučar and Ivan Pipinić was the treasurer. Along with Hink Würth, Dragutin Albrecht and Branko Gavella, they have made it their mission to develop and improve football in Croatia, so they can rightfully be considered the first members of the national football organization. HNS said.

Football as it is today was originally played in Croatia as early as 1873 by the English who came to Rijeka to build a factory, and in 1880 local Croatian young men started playing football in Županja. The first edition of the Rules of the Game in Croatian was printed in Zagreb in 1896.

At the beginning of the 20th century, when the first football clubs appeared in Croatia, the desire of football leaders to create a national football association arose.

The desire of Croatians to create their own sports federation grew even more after the first public football match between HAŠK and PNIŠK was played on October 28, 1906 in Zagreb on Marulić Square, where the University Library is now located.

The Croatian national team played their first international international matches on June 23 and 26, 1907 in Prague against Slavia, then one of the best football teams in Europe.

The activities of the Croatian Football Union after World War I had to adapt to the political circumstances, and the establishment of a sovereign, independent and democratic Croatia after the 1990 elections marked the beginning of an incredibly successful era.

Croatian Football Association turns 110

Croatia’s medal for 3rd place in France 1998 (Photo credit: DaKa/CC license)

During that period, the Croatian national team qualified for 11 out of 13 major competitions, missing only the 2000 European Championship and the 2010 World Cup.

The culmination of those performances has long been winning bronze in France in 1998, when Vatreni stunned the world in their first World Cup and the current federation president Davor Šuker was the Golden Boot winner with six goals.

However, that bronze was surpassed by Zlatko Dalić’s men, who won a place in the final, the biggest football game in the world, in Russia in 2018. After victories over Nigeria, Argentina, Iceland, Denmark, Russia and England – including truly dramatic moments – the loss to the French did not dampen the golden glow of the silver medal.

Croatian Football Association turns 110

Croatia lines up ahead of the 2018 World Cup final (Photo: Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/CC License/

The reception of the runners-up in Zagreb remains one of the most memorable days in the entire history of independent Croatia, with half a million people taking to the streets to welcome them home.

A generation of greats like Šuker, Boban, Prosinečki, Bilić and others paved the way for their successors, who made the most of the opportunity and left huge marks at the biggest clubs in the world as they rose to the top of the national team.

Current Croatia captain Luka Modrić has won the Champions League five times with Real Madrid and Mateo Koavačić four times.

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