Croatia will be meeting with Nigeria in the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament. The two national football teams will be engaging each other on Saturday 16 June at the Kaliningrad stadium by 8 p.m. Both teams belong to the Group D according to FIFA grouping for the football tournament.
Known as Hrvatskanogometnareprezentacija in the Croatian language, the Croatia national football team is the official soccer team that represents Croatia in international football. The national football team is under the leadership of the Croatian Football Federation which is the governing body of football in the nation.
Under the leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), the Nigeria national football team is also the official football team which represents Nigeria in international association football. Presently known as theSuper Eagles, the image of the national soccer team is said to have undergone significant evolutions in all its history. For instance, the team was formerly called the Red Devils before independence, but after their independence, they were called the Green Eagles because of the nation’s flag and the eagle on its coat of arms.
Known for the unofficial games, it had been playing since the 1930s for other colonies; Nigeria had her first official game played in October 1949 while it was still a colony to the British government. But then, the early major success that Nigeria recorded took place in 1976 and 1978 when they won their first gold medal at the second All-Africa games. The national soccer team finished at the 3rd place in both years’ African Cup of Nations.
Croatia And Nigeria Football Teams in History
Although, playing football games in the 1940s as the Banovina of Croatia and Independent State of Croatia, Croatia was officially formed in 1990 before they got their independence from Yugoslavia. And by the year 1993, the team became a member of FIFA and UEFA.
Then, the first ever soccer competitions of Croatia after being recognized by these two football international governing bodies made them successful in the qualifying campaign for Euro 1996. Consequently, this made them appear for the first time at a major tournament.
Based on their appearance at the FIFA mega event in 1998, Croatia finished in the third place. Their presence also gave birth to the tournament’s top scorer known to beDavorŠuker. Even though they were already eligible to compete in international tournaments, yet they could not qualify for only one World Cup which was in 2000 as well as a European Championship in the same year.
Nigeria known with key players with the likes of SegunOdegbami and Best Ogedegbe in 1980, was able to win the African Cup of Nations for the first time in Lagos. And then, during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, the team equally won the cup after beating Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina during the tournament.
At the football tournament of 2008 Olympics which took place in Beijing, Nigeria emerged as the runners-up after they lost to Argentina. However, the team is recorded to have emerged as the winner of the Africa Cup of Nations for three times which were in 1980, 1994 and 2013. The last cup which they won became possible after they defeated Burkina Faso at the final.
Traditionally nicknamed as Vatreni which means “The Blazers,” Croatia in 1994, was named as FIFA’s “Best Mover of the Year.” Also in 1998, it was the only team, together with Colombia, to win that award more than once.
Although they were able to play their way to the African Cup of Nations final, in 1984 and 1988, Nigeria lost at both events to Cameroon. In fact, it is unarguably said that three titles out the five African titles that Cameroon won were made possible as a result of defeating Nigeria at those three times.
A remarkable thing about Croatia is how they speedily rose up the ranking table of FIFA. It was noticed that immediately after their admission into FIFA in 1993, Croatia was ranked as the 125th team in the world. But as a result of the 1998 World Cup campaign, they immediately rose to the third place in the FIFA World rankings. The effect of this is that the football team became the most volatile team in the history of FIFA Rankings.
So far, since 1994 that they appeared for the first time, Nigeria has appeared in the finals of the FIFA mega event on five different occasions. Although their struggle to participate in the World Cup tournament began in 1962 of which they could not qualify. On their first appearance in 1994, the squad could not go beyond the second round. By their qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, this will make their sixth appearance.
For three consecutive times, Croatia has qualified for and competed in the World Cup finals between 1998 and 2006. The national soccer team could have entered for the 1994 qualification matches following their admission into both FIFA and UEFA in 1992, but the qualification had begun before they were officially recognized. Also, in 2010, they could not qualify for the World Cup in South Africa. This was because they finished in the 3rd place in Group 6 of their Qualification Group.
The best performance of Croatia was recorded when they made their first appearance in FIFA World Cup in 1998, and they finished in the third place. However, for their next two appearances at the World Cup campaigns, they were eliminated because they finished in the third place in their groups.
Nigeria has won many titles including the winners of the Afro-Asian Cup of Nations in 1995 and the Nelson Mandela Challenge in 2013 while emerging as the runners-up in the game of the latter in 2004.
Watch live streaming of Croatia Vs. Nigeria FIFA world cup 2018 Group “D” match. Streaming is also available for Android and IOS users in HD quality. If we talk about the prediction of the match than Croatia is a strong side but Nigeria is a good fighter.