Croatia start their World Cup 2022 adventure in Qatar tomorrow morning with the first match against Morocco in the 60,000 capacity Al Bayt Stadium, the second largest stadium built for the World Cup.
Croatia will be looking for a positive start in Group F against Morocco. They will also face Belgium and Canada. And a win tomorrow could well be a sign of a successful campaign. So far in the World Cups that Croatia have played at they have recorded two victories and three defeats in the opening games. And interestingly on the two times that they won their first match they went onto win medals, a bronze in 1998 and silver in 2018. Could a win tomorrow against Morocco also signal a medal in Qatar?
In France 1998 Croatia started the World Cup with a 3:1 win over Jamaica, with Mario Stanić scoring the first ever goal for Croatia at a World Cup. And then in the third-place match Croatia defeated Netherlands 2:1 with goals from Davor Šuker and Robert Prosinečki.
Interestingly Prosinečki holds a World Cup record, as he is the only player to have scored goals for two different countries. He scored for Yugoslavia in 1990 and for Croatia in 1998. And to add another twist he wasn’t actually born in either country, but rather in Germany.
And in 2018 Croatia opened the Russian World Cup with a 2:0 win over Nigeria, before going on to face France in the finals.