Croatian success in football


Croatian success in football

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Decentric
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I don't know a lot about Croatian football , but they have had remarkable  success in football in recent times.

For such a small population of circa 4 million, the may meet all the current criteria of a powerhouse as defined by FFA.

* They seem to quality for World Cups on a regular basis.

* They export many players to top leagues in Europe.

* Do they qualify regularly for underage World Cups too?


I know Croatia is a fairly low standard league, albeit having two powerhouses, Dynamo Zagreb/Croatia Zagreb, and Hadjuk Split. I thought these two clubs play Champ League or Europa league on a regular basis.

I know Serbia has a  tertiary education course to qualify as a football coach. I'm assuming Croatia have similar. Are Croatian coaches well educated like Serbia?

I'd read somewhere they most of the youth development  occurs at Zagreb.

How can they be so good at football with 4 million?


In Australia there is a massive percentage of Socceroos who have Croatian heritage too.
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Last Year by Decentric
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Decentric
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When one looks at Russia having a population of 260 odd million, and given their success in Olympic sports, they have been a massive underachiever in football.

Russia also supposedly has the 6th best league in Europe, whilst Croatia ostensibly has a mediocre domestic league. 
Arthur
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https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-22338370
https://scroll.in/field/886566/as-world-cup-final-beckons-a-look-at-croatia-s-incredible-turnaround-after-a-brutal-war
https://scroll.in/field/886612/the-dinamo-zagreb-model-of-making-a-professional-footballer
https://scroll.in/field/886912/world-cup-2018-how-croatia-gives-great-talent-the-professional-touch
John Doe
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@arthur - great links - thanks.

I think we also forget that Croatians are excellent at a number of sports including Tennis, basketball, Waterpolo, Handball etc. 

I read somewhere Croatians are the second tallest (on average) of the European nations. They are also (as a rule) strong and athletic. 

Croatians (the ones I know anyway) are also highly competitive and like nothing more than to the down a more illustrious opponent. 

Coming from a war torn area probably gives them some kind of edge (in terms of tenacity - taking nothing for granted etc).





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Decentric
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This article is interesting. Thanks for posting it Arthur.

The axiom has been that Croatia only has two good clubs, Hadjuk Split and Dinamo  Zagreb. Outside these two clubs many Aussies think the Croatian league has been little better than the NSL or HAL.

if the Croatians are as inherently talented as a few in the article claim, surely there would be a stronger domestic league in Croatia? Notwithstanding that a few of the best players leave to play in strong competitions overseas.

One point identified with world powerhouses, and Croatia is starting to meet the criteria of being a powerhouse, is they have a uniform, holistic national system.

Height also doesn't equate to success in football.  Various sources differ on where Croatia fits in world height average per nation, but taller nations don't have the same success. 
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This article really makes sense about what is good about Croatian football.

It claims they play a lot of street football - unlike many other countries in Europe. In 2008 when I did a Dutch KNVB Advanced Coaching course under the tutelage of Arie Schans and Ad Derkson, they constantly alluded to the problem that less and less football was played by the current techno zombie generation.

There was also a claim Croatian kids spend more time outside, playing a lot of street football. Croatian TD, and in a different era Dinamo Zagreb TD, Romeo Jozeak also suggests that a lot of street football means players  have to unlearn bad habits.

Other countries of the same size, Denmark and Scotland, aren't producing technicians the same quality as Croatia.

 Croatia also has a national , holistic programme. Facets of technique in football, like being two footed, developing ball mastery, plus having  athleticism,  are supposedly emphasised by professional coaches across the country. Ostensibly they  access children at a young ages of 7-9 to acquire good habits in academies throughout Croatia.

These aspects of the Croatian football milieu are more likely to be producing quality players than nationalistic arguments about sheer innate talent being a factor. 
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This is the second article after the last one,  describing  aspects of Dinamo Zagreb's academy.

They players play 50-65 games a year from age 12 onwards against other Croatian clubs and  nearby countries. Over 12 years they should've played circa 600 games.

In the academy they are always challenging players to improve weaknesses, and play against older players under match pressure
GO


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