The selection of the 2018 world Cup: Yes it is “plaid”!

14 June 2012. Poznan. Italy – Croatia – 1:1. 72nd minute. Just Mario MANDZUKIC equalized. Photo: Reuters

On the international stage, the Croatian team came out the same time as ours, on the ruins of the allied powers team. We – the Soviet Union, the Croats – the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Of course, both teams are periodically assembled and before. Ours, for example, to participate in the Games of the peoples of the USSR. And Croatian existed during the second world war. It is clear that the recognition by FIFA couldn’t be out of the question – not least because of the war, this venerable organization has suspended operations.

After the conquest in 1941 by the Nazis Yugoslavia on the part of its territory has been created Independent state of Croatia, which became an ally of Germany. And the Croatian national football team appeared in 1940, playing two games with Switzerland and Hungary.

And it does not interfere with the best parallel for Yugoslavia to speak. For example, Franjo Glaser is undoubtedly the best Balkan goalkeeper of the 1940s.

In the period of 1941-1944, the Croats met the neutral Swiss, and Germany and its allies or satellites – Hungary, Slovakia, Italy, Romania, Bulgaria. Slovaks smashed, the rest worse.


After the second world war on the Croatian national team once again in 1990, when the Federal Yugoslavia is already surely going to collapse. And not just to collapse, and war. Football contributed to. May 13, 1990 on a visit to Dinamo Zagreb have welcomed Belgrade “Crvena Zvezda”. The Serbian team was accompanied by the people 38-year-old Zeljko Raznatovic, “Tigers of arcan”, as they called themselves.

A guests of the capital of Yugoslavia took the knives and iron bars – to better bollos, of course. Owners, too, were interested only in football, because they laid up the stones and a bottle of sulfuric acid, which is going to burn through the metal mesh, enclosing the guest sector.

The chances of football at such a solid preparation was not at all. The more that police who flooded the stadium, was recruited mainly from the Serbs. Slaughter began with the participation of law enforcement officers, and the captain of Dinamo Zagreb Zvonimir Boban kick in the stomach knocked out one of the cops, beaten with a baton by Croatian fans.

The Boban was disqualified for six months due to which he missed the world Cup in Italy. Soon, however, the period of Ineligibility was reduced significantly, and the player was able to play for the youth national team of Yugoslavia in the finals of 1990 in two matches contested the title of best young team in the continent at the age of 21 (then still allows the presence of two older players).

Swan song for one team that another. And what generation they grew up in the USSR and in Yugoslavia! What kind of people were. You just look at the compositions.

YUGOSLAVIA – USSR – 2:4 (1:2).

Goals: K. 9 (0:1). The Suker, 22 (1:1). Chernyshov, 42 (1:2). K. 49 (1:3). Yarni, 61 (2:3). Dobrovolsky, 82 – penalty (2:4).

Yugoslavia: Lekovich, Brnovic, Yarni, J. P., Djukic, Babunski, S. M. (V. M., 6,; Ivic, 75), Savelich, Boksic, Mijatovic, Suker.

Coach: Ivan Cabrinovic.

USSR: Eremin, cast Iron (Kiryakov, 46), Sidelnikov, Shmatovalenko, Pozdnyakov, Chernyshov, Kanchelskis, Shalimov, Kobelev, Dobrovolsky, Kolyvanov.

Coach: Vladimir Radionov.

Punishment: Yarni, Babunski, Kanchelskis, cast Iron, Eremin (warnings).

Judge: Bige (France).

5 Sep 1990. Sarajevo, the stadium “film Grbavica”. 9000 spectators.

USSR – YUGOSLAVIA 3:1 (1:0).

Goals: Dobrovolsky, 12 (1:0). Bridge, 47 (2:0). Kanchelskis, 77 (3:0). Boksic, 81 (3:1).

USSR: Eremin, Bridge, K., Shmatovalenko, Pozdnyakov (Solovyev, 46), Chernyshov, Kanchelskis, Shalimov, Kobelev, Dobrovolsky, Kolyvanov (Yuran, 62).

Coach: Vladimir. Radionov

Yugoslavia: Lekovich, Brnovic, Yarni, Novak Djukic (Ivic, 46), Panatech, Prosinecki, Mijatovic, Babunski, Boban (Jokanovic, 46), Boksic.

Coach: Ivan Cabrinovic.

Punishment: Boban, Brnovic (warnings).

Referee: d’elia (Italy).

17 Oct 1990. Simferopol. The Stadium “Locomotive”. 18 000 spectators.


Their chaos of the early 1990s only the Russians have come out unscathed, posypav other neighboring republics (Andrei Kanchelskis and Sergei Yuran). Before the Croats and Serbs, formed the backbone of the then Yugoslavia national team (and there were Slovene, Srecko katanec, and Bosnian Mehmet Baždarević, and the Macedonian Darko Panchev, and Montenegrin Dejan Savicevic) a matter of choice almost were not.

Well, almost did not stand, because Montenegro has long been a part of Yugoslavia, and one of the biggest talents of the country Robert prosinecki father Croatian, mother Serbian. And he was born actually in Germany, where parents went to work.

Not immediately persuaded Robert to stand under Croatian banners, especially that he had a strained relationship with Miroslav Blazhevich, which even not being the head coach, has had a significant influence on the processes happening in Croatian football. But it turned out.

In fact, the Croats lost only striker Josip Weber, who played for the national team in a friendly match against Australia back in 1992, but then departed. However, he went not to the Serbs (this is not even discussed), and to the Belgians. Weber played in Belgium since 1988 – before the collapse of Yugoslavia, and in 1994 had the chance to participate in the championship, was seduced by the offer of the “red devils”.

Did not wait for the “plaid” will win a ticket to the big tournament. The more that knew where the juice guys like Davor Suker and Alen Boksic, he was destined at best to be first spare.

Bird in the hand is outweighed. No but seriously insufficient patriotism was not charged. As, incidentally, prosinecki. By the way, already having worked as an assistant coach of the Croatia national team, Robert has not refused the offer to head the Belgrade “Crvena Zvezda” club, which made a name for himself.

And the Croats surprised in qualifying for Euro 1996, beating the Italian national team, the recent finalist in the 1994 world Cup, where they lost to Brazil only on penalties. Our in Zagreb exactly 12 years ago – March 25, 1995, and at all crushed – 4:0.

In Kiev, the Ukrainians took revenge – 1:0, but it was secured by just two chances – a stray shot from outside the penalty area Yury Kalitvintsev has da jerk Mr Timerlan Guseinov, was stopped by goalkeeper tonchi Gabriel price of a professional foul. Half our time spent in the most…

In Euro 1996 and the Croats are quite sensationally reached the quarterfinals, where they lost with 1:2 future Champions, the Germans. Many somehow thought that they jumped higher than his head, and, in particular, in our Newspapers before butt matches with Croatia in 1997, you could see headlines like “Heroes of yesterday”, “Last thing “plaid”, and before the world Cup 1998 – “the Choir of the nursing home. Swan song”…


“Nursing home” in France was in fourth place and could be placed higher, if in the semi-finals suddenly broke through the defender French Liliana Tuesday by the coach. Two goals in his 142 appearances for the national team scored a native of Guadeloupe, and both came to this match with Croats.

Lillian equalized and then scored the winning goal. And the blazers in the consolation final took the soul on the Germans, defeating them 3:0 in the match for third place. Davor Suker became the top scorer of the world Cup.

By the way, after a year of rumors that the striker, lost his place in the “real”, asking Dynamo to Dynamo, but no one really can not say how realistic it was.

And before the 1998 world Cup, Croatia beat Ukraine in the play-offs – 2:0 and 1:1. We tend to blame the Norwegian referee rune Pedersen. The case was criticized for the fact that he canceled a clear goal of Vitaliy Kosovo. And those who claim that Andriy Shevchenko scored from an offside position, I suggest just taking another look at the record, using the freeze frame.

But it is not even that. Not Pedersen, and Alen Boksic scored ours in the first half, then had to win with the score 4:1.

I would be more on the Frenchman Alain Sarah noticed. That’s really who freak out before in Zagreb. And still would have blamed the coaching staff of the Ukraine national football team ever lost a Andriy Shevchenko and Yury Kalitvintsev has cards in Yerevan, leave our leaders out of the game before the match with “Maximise”.

But the Croats very afraid. I remember the look of horror on the face of Miroslava Blazhevicha, observed shortly before the game “Dynamo” and “Barcelona” from the press box NSK “Olympic”.


In the future our paths with the Croats crossed again in the 2010 FIFA world Cup qualifying. Croats were considered as unconditional favourites, and still more confirmed in this opinion after the Kharkiv 0:0. But “Maximise” was recorded the score was 2:2 and the team of Oleksiy Mykhailychenko’s already got the advantage in personal meetings.

In the end, the Croats in the only time in its long history failed to qualify for the final tournament of the world championship. And the European championship they have conceded just once – the 2000 tournament in Belgium and Holland. Not passed then from a group with Yugoslavia and Ireland. That is something neighbors mordowali…

But a lot more a great joy they are in 2007 brought the Russians. Those, losing one round to finish the qualifying tournament to Israel (conceded in the second minute of stoppage time), has parted was with dreams of a trip to Austria and Switzerland. But the Croats sensationally (say, a Russian tycoon has promised their players according to the “Mercedes”), for securing first place in the group, just “nothing to do” at the finish line killed at Wembley the British, disabling from a trip to the Benelux and their trailers for evropesma Russian car Guus Hiddink.

Incidentally, the Russians then reached the semi-finals, while the Croats tragically stopped at the turn of the 1/4 finals. The Turks scored in the 119th minute, but rejoiced too early – missed at 120+2 minutes. And a penalty shoot-out lost.


The 2010 world Cup “cellular”, as mentioned above, missed, and the Ukrainian-Polish Euro-2012 has managed to get in a group with future finalists. For the tour to finish on 4 points from Croatia (the ball 4:2) and Spain (5:1) Italy 2 (2:2). Between Croatia and Italy played out a draw. The Italians took the lead against Ireland, but Croatia in their narrow win would be satisfied with draw.

On 88 minutes, scored jesús Navas, and in the 89th – Mario Balotelli. And again, Croatia is irrelevant.

At the world Cup in Brazil just a failure – 1:3 from the hosts and the Mexicans. Between them – nothing decided the defeat of Cameroon 4:0. In the end, absence from the group. Well, for Euro-2016 – first place in the group with rematches against the Turks and the Spaniards, but the first stage of the playoffs – lose in the game with Portugal.

Remember how desperately unlucky domagoj Vida, who had so many chances that any striker will be jealous, and all decided the only goal of Ricardo Quaresma on 117 th minute…

… And again in a way. Without Darijo Srna, without spectators in the first two home matches, but in first place after four rounds. And now, the fateful meeting with Ukraine.

Eugene BELOZEROV, Sport-Express in Ukraine

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