by user Bobo

It's horrifying, really. The first time they entered this competition, they managed to come in third place. And this was in 1998. Of course, this was because they used to be part of the awful Yugoslavian team of years past, from whom they gained their independence on June 25, 1991. But for shaking off these shackles, they are to be commended.

Their star players, among them Davor Šuker, Alen Bokšić and the like are and have been among the best players in the world. I have good memories of Šuker at West Ham United F.C., and his goalscoring record before and since this great point in his career has been exceptional. Real Madrid, and later the great Pele himself came calling.

Their star so far in this tournament, having scored in the qualifying rounds at two of the most crucial moments, is Dario Sřna. The Donetsk striker didn’t come up to the plate often, but on the two occasions where it meant the most, he delivered all he had to deliver, two goals to send them through to the finals.

The Croatian team have a relatively new manager, Kanjcar took over from Otto Barić after Euro 2004, and the most famous name amongst their ranks is definitely Dado Přso, the Rangers F.C. forward.

With odds of 50/1, La Vatreni deserve a decent look, especially in a group which will most likely see them face Italy or the Czech Republic in the next round. Let's look at them with the good eye that brought them the success of years ago.

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