The Croatian National Football Team will have their fifth journey to World Cup this summer in new home and away kits that honor the country’s heritage.
Croatia, officially the Republic of Croatia is a country at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, on the Adriatic Sea. Its capital Zagreb forms one of the country’s primary subdivisions, along with twenty counties. Croatia has an area of 56,594 square kilometres and a population of 4.28 million, most of whom are Roman Catholics. The country declared independence on 25 June 1991.
Croatia has represented itself as an independent nation since 1993, when the team was officially recognised by both FIFA and UEFA following dissolution from Yugoslavia. The modern-day team has played competitive matches since 1994, starting with a successful qualifying campaign for the 1996 European Championships.
This team is a juvenile on World Cup pitch. In 1998, they competed in their first FIFA World Cup, finishing 3rd and providing the tournament’s top scorer, Davor Šuker. Exactly twenty years later, under their second golden generation, Croatia reached the 2018 World Cup Final, securing second place after losing to France. Captain Luka Modrić was awarded best player of the tournament for his performances, thus making him the first ever Croatian player to win the award.
In 2018, they are still wear their recognizable kit revealed by Nike. Croatia is famous for its iconic shirts covered by red and white checks. The check pattern and the colors derive from the national flag, which has red, white and blue stripes and a shield with red and white checks of Croatia. The check is always a emblem of the Croatian, representing their peace, bravery and strength. This time the designer gift a delicate change to the tradition. New jersey has much bigger checks and the check on this one have blurred edges, which add a modern speed aesthetic to the tradition pattern. The huge pattern encourages the player to be more confident and proud.
Few modern kit would has such a particularity as identified as those checks. “For a football connoisseur, Croatia are one of the most visual and alluring teams playing the beautiful game today,” says Pete Hoppins, Nike Football Apparel Senior Design Director. “Croatians are also deeply proud of their heritage. This comes through in the checkered shirts, which are inspired by the national flag and viewed with envy by fans from other countries.”
Of course, only a shirt or a pattern does not has enough power to earn a worldwide reputation for such a young team on international stage. Croatia’s regular triumph, including that unbelievable third-place when they debut in 98 World Cup, have helped form a strong team identity — one that, regardless of the nation’s small size and modest resources, is both respected and feared by opponents. Davor Šuker, a figurehead of Croatia’s golden generation of the 90s and current president of the Croatian Football Association, sums it up neatly: “The charm of football is that a small nation can beat a major one.”