Croatia A Small Country With Big Expectations When It Comes To Sports

Croatia’s Location

Croatia is a country located in Southeastern Europe and with a population of only around 4.2 million it has huge expectations when it comes to sports. Croatia has been an independent country since 1991 and in those 27 years it has accomplished a lot when it comes to sports. Basketball, handball, soccer, tennis and water polo are the sports where Croatia mostly excels in; other sports where Croatia has done well in the past include skiing, sailing, rowing and athletics. Basketball was huge back in the 1990’s when Dražen Petrović and Toni Kukoč were leading the team; Croatia faced the original Dream Team in the finals of the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. But basketball in Croatia went a bit downhill after Petrović died in a car crash in Germany in 1993 at the age of 28.  In past few years basketball has regained its former popularity with Bojan Bogdanović and Dario Šaric now leading the team and hope has returned for the sport. On the tennis side Croatia has produced two great players who have each won one grand slam; those two players are Goran Ivanišević and Marin Čilić. The water polo team is constantly up there with the best teams in the world, having won multiple medals throughout the years. But the two sports which get Croatia exited and energized most for are by far handball and soccer. Handball is more of a winter sport in which most of the major tournaments (European Championship and World Championship) are played in January, only the Olympic handball tournament is played during the summer when the Summer Olympic games are held. Croatia has hosted some of these handball events before, hosting the World Championship in 2009 and twice the European Championship in 2000 and most recently in 2018. Croatia have won many medals when it comes to handball, most notably winning the World Championship in 2003 and winning two Olympic golds in 1996 (when the Summer Olympics were hosted in Atlanta) and in 2004. Soccer, the most played and watched sport on planet, has to be Croatia’s number one sport.




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