Croatia national under-21 football team

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Croatia Under-21
Nickname(s) Mladi Vatreni ("The Young Blazers")
Association Croatian Football Federation
Head coach Nenad Gračan
Most caps Tomislav Bušić (29)
Top scorer Tomislav Bušić (13)
First colours
Second colours
First international
Croatia Croatia 0–0 Italy Italy
13 February 1993, friendly
Biggest win
Croatia Croatia 6–1 Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina
Osijek, 5 September 1997, qual. EC
Biggest defeat
Spain Spain 6–0 Croatia Croatia
Alicante, 10 September 2012, qual. EC
UEFA U-21 Championship
Appearances 2 (first in 2000)
Best result Group stage (2000, 2004)

The Croatia national under-21 football team, also known as Croatia under-21(s) or Croatia U21(s), is a youth association football national team which represents Croatia at this age level and is a feeder team for the Croatia national football team.

This team is for Croatian players aged 21 or under at the start of a two-year European Under-21 Football Championship campaign, so players can be, and often are, up to 23 years old. Also in existence are teams for Under-20s (for non-UEFA tournaments), Under-19s and Under 17s. As long as they are eligible, players can play at any level, making it possible to play for the U21s, senior side and again for the U21s, as Ivan Rakitić and Nikola Kalinić have done recently. It is also possible to play for one country at youth level and another at senior level (providing the player is eligible). For example, Ivan Rakitić is a former Switzerland U21 player who later became a Croatia international.

The under-21 age category came into existence with the realignment of UEFA's youth competitions in 1976. The Croatia U21 team was formed following Croatia's independence from SFR Yugoslavia in 1991 and is controlled by the Croatian Football Federation (from 1976 to 1990 Croatian players played for Yugoslavia U21). A goalless draw in a friendly against Italy played on 13 February 1992 was Croatia U21s' first result.

Competition history[edit]

As a European U21 team, Croatia compete for the European U21 Championship, with the finals held every odd-numbered year, formerly even-numbered years. There is no U21 World Cup, although there is an U20 World Cup. Since the Croatian Football Federation was recognised by UEFA in June 1993, in the middle of the two-year European Championship cycle, Croatia U21s began their first competitive campaign in 1994, in which they tried to qualify for the 1996 finals. They eventually finished fourth in a six-team group, with five wins out of ten games and four points behind group winners Italy.

They failed to qualify for the next tournament in 1998, but then managed to win their first qualification for the 2000 tournament. However, they finished bottom of a four-team group in the group stage, losing to Netherlands and Czech Republic and drawing with Spain.

In their next five campaigns Croatia U21 managed to qualify for the finals only one more time (for the 2004 finals), but again they failed to progress past the group stage. They came close to qualifying for the 2002 and 2006 tournaments, as they had reached the qualification playoff round, but did not progress further.

UEFA U-21 Championship record[edit]

UEFA U-21 Championship record UEFA U-21 Championship Qualification record Manager
Year Round Pld W D L GF GA GD Pld W D L GF GA GD
Spain 1996 Did not qualify 10 5 2 3 13 12 +1 Martin Novoselac
Romania 1998 8 4 0 4 13 9 +4 Ivo Šušak
Slovakia 2000 Group stage 3 0 1 2 4 6 −2 10 7 2 1 28 9 +19 Ivo Šušak
Switzerland 2002 Did not qualify 8 3 4 1 10 7 +3 Martin Novoselac
Germany 2004 Group stage 3 0 1 2 3 5 −2 8 4 2 2 11 5 +6 Martin Novoselac
Portugal 2006 Did not qualify 12 8 1 3 16 11 +5 Slaven Bilić
Netherlands 2007 2 0 0 2 2 4 −2 Dražen Ladić
Sweden 2009 10 7 1 2 20 12 +8 Dražen Ladić
Denmark 2011 10 5 2 3 18 15 +3 Dražen Ladić
Israel 2013 8 2 1 5 7 16 −9 Ivo Šušak
Czech Republic 2015 10 6 1 3 22 9 +13 Niko Kovač; Nenad Gračan
Poland 2017 10 6 2 2 24 11 +13 Nenad Gračan
Total 2/12 6 0 2 4 7 11 −4 106 57 18 31 184 120 +64

Recent results[edit]

Date Competition Location Opponent Result Scorers
26 March 2015
Friendly
Sesvete, Croatia
 Montenegro
3 – 1
Perica Goal 74', Mišić Goal 85', Krovinović Goal 86'
30 March 2015
Friendly
Athens, Greece
 Greece
2 – 0
Rog Goal 40', Pašalić Goal 69'
3 September 2015
2017 UEFA U-21 qualification
Koprivnica, Croatia
 Georgia
1 – 0
Milić Goal 23'
7 September 2015
2017 UEFA U-21 qualification
Tartu, Estonia
 Estonia
4 – 0
Milić Goal 22', Pašalić Goal 35',Goal 66' (pen.), Radošević Goal 80'
7 October 2015
2017 UEFA U-21 qualification
Serravalle, San Marino
 San Marino
3 – 0
Marić Goal 7',Goal 32', Pašalić Goal 12'
12 October 2015
Friendly
Zaprešić, Croatia
 Russia
3 – 4
Radošević Goal 64' (pen.),Goal 78' (pen.), Dangubić Goal 90'
11 November 2015
2017 UEFA U-21 qualification
Šibenik, Croatia
 San Marino
4 – 0
Battistini Goal 12' (o.g.), Milić Goal 44', Perić Goal 47', Pjaca Goal 51'
17 November 2015
2017 UEFA U-21 qualification
Rijeka, Croatia
 Spain
2 – 3
Pašalić Goal 64', Radošević Goal 81' (pen.)
24 March 2016
2017 UEFA U-21 qualification
Burgos, Spain
 Spain
3 – 0
Ćaleta-Car Goal 36', Perica Goal 42',Goal 48'
28 March 2016
2017 UEFA U-21 qualification
Zaprešić, Croatia
 Estonia
2 – 1
Pavičić Goal 5', Perica Goal 41'
1 September 2016
2017 UEFA U-21 qualification
Koprivnica, Croatia
 Sweden
6 September 2016
2017 UEFA U-21 qualification
TBD, Georgia
 Georgia
10 October 2016
2017 UEFA U-21 qualification
TBD, Sweden
 Sweden

Current squad[edit]

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Dominik Livaković (1995-01-09) 9 January 1995 (age 22) 12 0 Croatia Dinamo Zagreb
1GK Mirko Marić (1996-01-03) 3 January 1996 (age 21) 0 0 Poland Lechia Gdańsk
1GK Josip Posavec (1996-03-10) 10 March 1996 (age 20) 0 0 Italy Palermo

2DF Karlo Bartolec (1995-04-20) 20 April 1995 (age 21) 2 0 Croatia Lokomotiva
2DF Antonio Milić (1994-03-10) 10 March 1994 (age 22) 13 3 Belgium Oostende
2DF Jozo Šimunović (1994-08-04) 4 August 1994 (age 22) 9 1 Scotland Celtic
2DF Tin Jedvaj (1995-11-28) 28 November 1995 (age 21) 5 1 Germany Bayer Leverkusen
2DF Luka Capan (1995-04-06) 6 April 1995 (age 21) 6 0 Croatia Lokomotiva
2DF Duje Ćaleta-Car (1996-09-17) 17 September 1996 (age 20) 7 2 Austria Red Bull Salzburg
2DF Dino Mikanović (1994-05-07) 7 May 1994 (age 22) 1 0 Denmark Aarhus
2DF Dino Perić (1994-07-12) 12 July 1994 (age 22) 4 0 Croatia Lokomotiva

3MF Josip Radošević (1994-04-03) 3 April 1994 (age 22) Italy Napoli
3MF Marko Rog (1995-07-19) 19 July 1995 (age 21) Italy Napoli
3MF Filip Krovinović (1995-08-29) 29 August 1995 (age 21) Portugal Rio Ave
3MF Petar Boćkaj (1996-07-23) 23 July 1996 (age 20) Croatia Inter Zaprešić
3MF Ante Ćorić (1997-04-14) 14 April 1997 (age 19) Croatia Dinamo Zagreb
3MF Petar Brlek (1994-01-24) 24 January 1994 (age 23) Poland Wisła Kraków
3MF Domagoj Pavičić (1994-03-09) 9 March 1994 (age 22) Croatia Dinamo Zagreb
3MF Fran Tudor (1995-09-27) 27 September 1995 (age 21) Croatia Hajduk Split
3MF Ivan Fiolić (1996-04-29) 29 April 1996 (age 20) Croatia Dinamo Zagreb

4FW Stipe Perica (1995-07-07) 7 July 1995 (age 21) Italy Udinese
3MF Marko Kolar (1995-07-31) 31 July 1995 (age 21) Croatia Inter Zaprešić

Recent call-ups[edit]

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Marko Mikulić (1994-01-30) 30 January 1994 (age 23) Croatia Dinamo Zagreb

2DF Denis Kolinger (1994-01-04) 4 January 1994 (age 23) Croatia Zagreb
2DF Filip Benković (1997-06-13) 13 June 1997 (age 19) Croatia Dinamo Zagreb
2DF Frane Ikić (1994-06-19) 19 June 1994 (age 22) Croatia Rijeka
2DF Anton Krešić (1996-01-29) 29 January 1996 (age 21) Italy Atalanta
2DF Ricardo Bagadur (1995-09-16) 16 September 1995 (age 21) Italy Fiorentina

3MF Mario Pašalić (captain) (1995-02-09) 9 February 1995 (age 22) Italy Milan
3MF Nikola Vlašić (1997-10-04) 4 October 1997 (age 19) Croatia Hajduk Split
3MF Andrija Balić (1997-08-11) 11 August 1997 (age 19) Italy Udinese
3MF Mateo Kovačić (1994-05-06) 6 May 1994 (age 22) Spain Real Madrid
3MF Alen Halilović (1996-06-18) 18 June 1996 (age 20) Germany Hamburg
3MF Mirko Marić (1995-05-16) 16 May 1995 (age 21) Croatia Lokomotiva
3MF Josip Mišić (1994-06-28) 28 June 1994 (age 22) Croatia Rijeka
3MF Ante Roguljić (1996-03-11) 11 March 1996 (age 20) Austria Admira Wacker Mödling
3MF Bernardo Matić (1994-05-27) 27 May 1994 (age 22) Croatia Zagreb

4FW Tomislav Kiš (1994-04-04) 4 April 1994 (age 22) Belgium Cercle Brugge
4FW Marko Dugandžić (1994-04-07) 7 April 1994 (age 22) Italy Ternana
4FW Robert Murić (1996-03-12) 12 March 1996 (age 20) Netherlands Ajax
4FW Marko Pjaca (1995-05-06) 6 May 1995 (age 21) Italy Juventus

Past squads[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]