CPH Post readers at Euro 2016: Goran’s giant-killers

Write Croatia off at your peril! Since their 1998 World Cup demolition of Germany in the quarter-finals, the red, white and blues have been responsible for some of the all-time shock results, but they do tend to buckle against the weaker sides.

At the 2002 World Cup, they beat Italy and then lost to Ecuador. And then at the 2008 Euros, they shocked Germany 2-1 only to bow out to an average Turkey in the quarters.

With pivotal midfielders currently playing for Europe’s top two sides – Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic and Real Madrid’s Luka Modric – it was no surprise they only lost once in qualifying.

But with an ageing squad, how much longer will they be a force? And do they have the firepower to make it happen?

Ivan Perisic scored six goals in qualifying, but his partner Mario Mandzukic has managed just one goal in his last 706 minutes, and alternatives are scarce compared to four years ago when the likes of Ivica Olić, Nikica Jelavić and Eduardo were available.

For Radovan Glamoclija, the owner and chief executive of the investment management group Adiutor, the Euros are the “last-chance saloon” for his country’s golden generation.

“Maybe they can take inspiration from Goran Ivanisevic and win a major tournament with their final gasp?” he mused.

With Spain, the Czech Republic and Turkey facing them in the group stage, the jury’s split on their chances. (BH)