Croatia national football team gets Hero’s welcome on return to home

By Kartikey Sharma @kartikeysharma

The Runners-up of the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia, Croatia, were given a resounding welcome in Zagreb on Monday.

Thousands of fans came out to see their players and congratulate the team on the highest classification the country has attained in an international tournament since the splitting up of Yugoslavia.

Croatia, who were ranked 20th before the start of the World Cup, manifested an amazing underdog story where they made their way into the final of the tournament.

Being clubbed in the same group as Argentina, it was expected that the team would not be able to finish on top of the group.

Not only did Croatia win that group, they absolutely dismantled the South American side.

Captain Luka Modric who practices his craft at Real Madrid led the team with inspired displays. He proved why he should be considered as the best central midfielder in the world right now. He also played the most number of minutes in this tournament, and at the age of 32, that is a big feat in itself. He was compensated for all of his efforts by winning the Golden Ball, that is given to the best player of the tournament.

Compatriots Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic also had useful outings at the World Cup. Both the attackers took on responsibility when the team needed goals in the knockout phases.

Croatia have emerged as a well drilled cohesive unit under the guidance of coach of Zlatko Dalic.

Even though they were the second smallest nation to make it to a final of the FIFA World Cup, the team weren’t fazed by any opposition.

The team went into the extra-time three times in their route to the final and will take a lot of positives from those spectacular performances.

Kartikey Sharma @kartikeysharma