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Will we make it to Euro2004?

  • Yes ! we will win our group

    Votes: 17 77.3%
  • Yes ! but we'll have to go through as second, and beat someone in a 2 leg playoff

    Votes: 1 4.5%
  • No ! we will stumble in the playoff after coming in 2nd

    Votes: 2 9.1%
  • No ! we will fail to finish in the top 2

    Votes: 2 9.1%

  • Total voters
    22
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Discussion Starter #1
We've drawn the Belgians, the Bulgarians, Estonians and minnows Andorra.

Given our history of never having lost to any of them (beat Estonia 7-1) and outplaying Belgium in the two legs in this qualifying campaign, how do you rate our chances of seeing Portugal in 2004?

(similar to nogomet.com's poll)
 

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1st

I think we'll win the group, the belgians know us now and no doubt even fear us somewhat...the bulgarians are unknown but from what I read very young and inexperienced so shouldn't be a factor...the other two, well if we don't beat them then what the hell are we even trying to qualify for Euro for then?;)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I agree, the Belgians were outplayed, I think they had 6 shots at goal in 180 minutes in this campaign.


We have a great chance to qualify as forst, and by 2004, this team would have matured and strengthened, defined their own character. Balaban, Olic, Tudor, Biscan and some other guys will be at their prime, and hopefully the youngsters such as Carevic or Ktanjcar will make debuts. Give guys like Simunic and Petric a try, and we could build a great team come Euro2004
 

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Agreed, we should win the group. Belgium is the strongest opponent and like I've previously said, I believe (like we all do) that we'll be a better team by the time that qualification rolls around.

So if we could top the Belgians last time around, we're almost certain to do it again, unless their development is faster than ours.
 

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I think that during the qualification campaign the team will go through a transition in terms of personel. Maybe a few more old heads will leave (Jarni, Prosinecki) and it will be up to the new generation to show what they have. Hopefully this doesn't cause to many problems. But the group is there for us to win. Couldn't have asked for a better draw really.
 

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I think Croatia will makew Euro 2004, whether it be through winning this group or making it via a play-off, but I think they'll win this group.

Their only real challenge is Belgium, and barring any miraculous performances from Andorra etc. they should win the group.
 

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I am fairly confident that we will win this group :D While some of our more experienced players will possibly not play for us our younger generation that is coming through is more than capable of stepping in and doing a good job and qualifying. Basically though we will have a similar team to the one that beat the Belgians for the WC spot so i would expect us to do it again.

Bulgaria are unpredictable so we will have to come ready to play against them because we could play the good Bulgaria or the miserable Bulgaria that got thumped by the Czechs 6-0.

Estonia and Andorra should pose little trouble and 12 points should be gained from them :D
 

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I agree with IVO (which happens as long as we're not talking about Stimac :tongue: ) that we'll probably be a better team by 2004. I don't think Belgium will be a real problem. Also, unlike Ciro, I don't think Jozic will allow us to play shi++y against the likes of Estonia and Andorra (nightmares of Macedonia and that terrible 2-1 home win against Malta still cause me to lose sleep).

By the time 2004 rolls around players like Pletikosa and Balaban should develop into world class players - Tudor (already is).

R. Kovac, Simic will be the veteran skill and experience of our defence.

Stanic, Vlaovic, Vugrinec, Rapajic, Zivkovic, and Thomas will be other valuable veterans still around.

Seric, Olic, Bjelanovic, Deranja, M. Bilic, Carevic, Srna, Petric, Simunic and Vranjes have the possibility to become stars.

There's also Biscan, S. Maric, Bule, Rukavina and Mornar could also surprise and make a contribution.

I say we're looking good.
 

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I think

we will win the group BUT not to startle any of you guys but i also think we could also stumble BIG time! why? well first of all if we have a good w/c then we will have a major hangover like after the 98 w/c and thus neglect our duties in the early qualifying games for euro 2004 plus look who is the backbone for this present team....Boksic, Prosinecki, Jarni etc... they are all going to retire by then! not to say we dont have great young talent some who have already matured amazingly i.e. Pletikosa, Balaban and Tudor but what we lack is a creative midfielder! who is the next Boban or Prosinecki or even Asanovic going to be? you know not many players play that way anymore and yes we might rely on Rapajic for creativity but he is not really a mid feild general in my opinion like Boban or Prosinecki so i think our biggest problem will be finding that remarkable midfielder that can direct the play like our previous creative mids did! thats why so much pressure is being but on Niko Kranjcar!!!! hopefully he will be able to get to the level everyone expects him to get too along with that Carevic guy! then we would be ok! otherwise i see qualifications for euro 2004 to a transition period for our national team sort of like what we just went through in qualifications for this w/c and trust me its SOO IMPORTANT that we qaulified for this world cup so the younger guys that Jozic takes with him get a taste of what world class soccer is like at the biggest stage! hopefully the young guys can learn from the likes of Prosinecki, Suker and Boksic on what it takes to succeed! so in short yes i do believe we can win the group but also lets not be too surprised if we stumble a bit since it will be probably our first qualification without any members of the original vatreni
 

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Discussion Starter #11
man, just when I thought the Cro board was slowing down, we have 10 replies ans 12 votes in amtter of hours :)

I think we've decided, I'd like to find the annonymous sap that predicted failure :devil:
 

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Ero...

WHat's ans??? And amtter???:D

Just think you have greatness in your future...you are inventing a whole new language!;) :D

I will be your first follower!

But...I voted that we will win the group and advance. I think that this will be a test for the next generation and see how they will fair representing Hrvatska! i think they will carry the torch and make us all proud once again.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
JureM, you just have to hassle your fellow FM here, don't you?
:D ;)


patiently waiting for Jure to make a spelling mistake ;)
 

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Hi, I hope I'm not intruding. I just thought it would be interesting to read what Croatians think about the draw and the chances of each team. I find it hard to predict what's gonna happen, but being Belgian, I hope Belgium will win the group (please don't kill me :D ) I voted for you guys going through in the play off, is that ok? :D

Just a remark about our encounters for the WC. In Brussels, Croatia surely did not outplay us. In fact, that game was boring as hell. The match in Croatia, you guys were obviously the better team and won well deserved. Still the fact remains that the goal to make the 1-0 came when nobody was expecting it anymore and Belgium got very very close to win the group ahead of Croatia. That's typical Belgium, we don't have to be the best team to do well. We like being underdogs, underestimate us at your own peril :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
q007,

you've hit a nerve there, it's our confidence that can see the end of us, but Croatia nullified the game in Bruxelles, and I think we played a great game and pulled off a good result.

The game in Zagreb was a must win for us, and we came just as close to winning 5-0 as Belgium did for pulling out a 0-0 draw, but that's water under the bridge.

That's a good vote, now where's the coward that voted for a 3rd place or worse finish
:mad:

:)
 

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very well said

Q007 your view is very realistic! good observations! but Ero is right as well we could have and by all means possible should have had that one goal much earlier in that game instead of having to wait for the 70+ minute to get it! remember the Vlaovic screw up and also the Prosinecki penalty shot screw up!:eek: those 2 chances were 100% and we didnt take them! thats when i started getting nervous myself and thought oh no whenever one side doesnt capitalize on their chances the other usualy gets one and burries it! but luckily Boksic came along and saved the day! after his goal we again should have had another 2 or 3 but the point is that was when Belgium was going all out offence but the first 2 chances we messed up were golden and because of the fact we really did outplay Belgium in Zagreb and should have won by realisticaly at least 2 or 3-0 but you are correct in Belgium it was quite a stinker of a game played by both sides! but that was when our coach was still Blazevic we have since then turned a new page in our national teams history and Jozic's guidance led us to win that all important game in Zagreb. congrats yto you guys for qualifying for the world cup still! thanks for beating those arrogant Czechs! but what you saw from us in our 2 games against each other definetly wasnt our most attacking or best football! we will amaze more people come w/c time! :cool:
 
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I hope Croatia and Bulgaria will make it for the first 2 places,
so there are another two east teams in the race for Portugal 2004, so good luck Croatia (but also to Bulgaria):)
 

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Two east teams??? Last I looked Croatia was in Central Europe. Don't bother with that stuff please....Croatia should win this group and I'm hoping Belgium comes in second, which it should.
 
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JureM said:
Two east teams??? Last I looked Croatia was in Central Europe. Don't bother with that stuff please....Croatia should win this group and I'm hoping Belgium comes in second, which it should.
Sorry, I did not want to bother you, but to me the attribute "east" is something good, so please do not misunderstand me.

Hungary is also said to be central europe, but I consider it still in the east, which is just some contribution to reality;) :)

However, I hope Croatia win the group and Bulgaria :) (sorry for this) comes in second, they have a quite o.k. team, that might give you 2 interesting games.

P.S.: I did not refer to geographical point of views, but to mentality and so on, if you know what I mean.
I think , any country south and east of Austria might be seen as
a little bit "easty" in one or more ways.

I would like to apologize for my sins:angel:

But still, HAIDE HRVATSKA (did I say it right?):)
 

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JureM said:
Two east teams??? Last I looked Croatia was in Central Europe. Don't bother with that stuff please....Croatia should win this group and I'm hoping Belgium comes in second, which it should.
right ;-)

take it easy bro.. he meant no harm...
 
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