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Croatian Sport

441 Views 11 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Hajduk Chicago
Well it was around 10 years ago now that the legendary Drazen Petrovic:proud: led our basketball team to a silver medal in the Barcelona games. The basketball team managed to do well for a few more years and stake their claim as one of the best in Europe. Then it was the handball and waterpolo team's turn to show the world how good they were at the Atlanta Olympics. But now these sports are in crisis. The basketball team is showing a few signs of improvment but we have been dissapointing in all of these sports lately. I know Croatia is a small country and highs and lows are expected but are we again going to see a great Basketball team for example that will challenge for medals again?

I know some of you may not care about these other sports as much but the question is will the soccer team follow these sports? Does Croatia have enough depth to stay relatively strong for years to come. Yes we have very talented youngsters coming through but will they be able to replace the remaining players that took Croatia to glory in France 98 and also to Euro 96 and continue to be succesful.
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I think so.

They've always been good and Croatia is a sporting country and Croats are a sporting people.

There is a tradition there. Germany is having a glitch in football, nothing wrong with us having one in Basketball.

mARZ was right our mentality is the greatest weakness.

Sweden, Hungary, Holland have all made WC Finals and Urguay have won it twice.

Not at all 'powers' but they've been successful.

I reckon that 98 was not a upsurge just a steady increase in the timeline of Croatian football.

There shall be many more WC, EC, and competitions of all sorts for us to succeed in.
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we'll never have a generation like the original vatreni....not in our lifetime anyway. A time like that comes around once every 100 years...if that. We'll always have competitive sides who will do well coz soccer is in the blood along with alcohol :D, but in terms of achievement i doubt they'll ever match up. Just look at what each individual player achieved in their careers. unbelieveable. I'll be telling my kids about this generation while we watch a bunch of hacks playing on tv.

The way the game is going, the players coming thru not just croatians but in general, are just a bunch of fit runners with not a lot of skill. no country will ever have a midfield like our one.... Asanovic - Boban - Prosinecki. I remember an italian friend back at school complain to me that Italy dont have a single playmaker, yet Croatia have 3 :eek: :D and that he'd take any one of the above. :)
Our Vatreni

Guys, let's face it, that super magical run in 98 might just have been "once in a lifetime" but...if it was, well at least we experienced it. I know I'll never forget it. I was especially proud of them here in Canada, when co-workers and friends who are non-Cros from all nationalitiies like Itlaians, Poles, Chinese, Jamaicans, Irish, etc, knew who we were now for soccer (and not just war).

Who knows, later on we may have other great teams. Our youth have done well. It will depend on the professional choices they make. I.e Vrnajes made what looks like a good mov going to Bayer. Whereas Balabana and Biscan might just have destroyed their careers by going to England...Time will tell.

Will we ever produce suck skilled midfielders on the world stage like Boban and Prosinecki again? I severely doubt it. These guys were just amazing to watch. But at least we had them for awhile. And got to enjoy their wizardry...

As for basketball, another Petrovic and Kukoc? Highly unlikely.
Another Ivanisevic, Majoli or Kostelic? Again highly unlikely.

But you know what?. If you told me 10 years ago we would have our Vatreni, our basketball team, our Goran, a Golden Boot winner in Davor, our Janica, our Iva, I would say in your dreams. But it happened!!!

And all in such a short time for such a small (but extemely proud)nation.

Plus, our Cros outside Croatia like Sakic, like Viduka, like I forget his name but he was the World Ulimate Fighting Champ from Iowa dubbed "Croatian Sensation", Grbac, etc have also made it huge.

It has happened and will happen somehow again. We Cros love our sports, have had AMAZING success and therefore it is possible it will occur again.

As for some of our "neighbours"...they have never experienced what we have and likely never will. I know what side I would rather be on!

Bog i hrvati!
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Well, there is some good news as well....last year at the World Junior Championships in Track and Field in South America, I think Peru, we had two young ladies shine. Now I forgot their names, but the high jumper won gold as did the hammer thrower. They also competed in the big show, the World Championships with all the big name stars and fared well...the hammer thrower finished 6th and the high jumper finished a respectable 7th or 8th. Not bad for a group of teenagers.
we will... just dont expect them right away.. its understandable that we didnt have many new great players come out in past few years simply because most young players have been raised throughout the war and with those conditions soccer never prospers.. have faith, we have plenty of young players now coming out of youth schools and croatian teams that might become stars in few years
Many overlook Croatian basketball legend and hall of famer, George Mikan, of the Minneapolis Lakers.

Our youth Basketball team finished with a silver in the World Champs thanks to a lucky shooting streak by the Americans in the last 5 minutes, that stripped us of gold.

Maybe a good sign that our basketball is recovering, and Jug is the European waterpolo champion, Metkovic was in the EHFA final twice in a row, like the handball Champions League.

there's hope for those sports yet ;)
One of my uncles keeps telling me that the "Zlatna Generacija" was good but could not play against the team Croatia could have had in the 60's.

He knows the game and mentions the Dinamo teams from the 60's and the younger ones that would have played from the legendary Hajduk teams from the early 70's and is adamant that they were at least as good.

We'll always have good teams.

The trick is to make the best use out of the great ones.
Yeah Ero, our Handball and waterpolo clubs are very strong and hopefully that can be replicated at NT level. It is also a shame that Goran won't be defending his Wimbeldon title this year.:(

Back to soccer, it is true what plaebo said about players being produced differently now days and gone are the days when we will see 3 playmakers in the squad let alone all starting together. Croatia was very unique in that way. I can see a good future, although it will be tough to repeat France 98. The only negative is alot of young players are leaving Croatia to early which means they are going to big clubs even though they are not ready yet. Then they don't fullfil their potential which damages the NT. Hopefully that situation gets better somehow and maybe that will result in better club results aswell.
Dinamo won the UEFA cup in 67 and was a finalist in 68.
Let us not forget Roger Maris, the son of first generation Croatian Americans, Rudy and Corrine Maras, who held the all time homerun record until a couple of years ago.
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