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La historia del último Argentina vs Croacia en un Mundial

The story of the last Argentina vs Croatia in a World Cup

Argentina and Croatia meet in a few hours in a vital match for the albiceleste in their continuity in the 2018 World Cup in Russia. On the other hand, the Croatians know that three points would put them in the final phase and with many possibilities of being group leaders . Furthermore, Argentina and Croatia have not met in an official competition for a long time. Specifically since the 98 World Cup in France.

Croatia arrived at that World Cup after a tremendous transformation years ago. It is true that the Croatian federation dates back to 1912. However, the nation joined Yugoslavia in 1946 and it was not until the end of the Cold War that it became an independent country. Such was the change of jacket of this country that on May 16, 1991, against Sweden, Yugoslavia played its last game as a national team with a Croatian majority on the grass and on June 25 of that same year the emancipation of Croatia.

For years there was a lot of sports and administrative management work in Croatia until FIFA recognized them in 1992. In 1994 they played their first qualification for a Eurocup (England 1996) in which they began by beating Estonia 2-0 and finished first in the group , leaving second to a power like Italy and thousands of football fans impressed with the team that Miroslav Blazevic led at that time.

In the 1996 Euro Cup, Croatia put in a good performance, reaching the quarterfinals and being eliminated by a Germany that would become champions in that tournament. Two years later Croatia played its first World Cup in France. A World Cup in which Croatia needed a play-off, in which they eliminated Ukraine 3-1, to be in a championship in which 32 World teams met for the first time after a qualifying phase. Blazevic's men entered group H with Japan, Jamaica and Argentina.

Croatia 1998
Croatian squad at the 1998 World Cup in France

Argentina arrived after sweeping the qualifying phase, achieving thirty points. Daniel Pasarella's men arrived in Paris with the desire to forget their setback in the round of 16 four years earlier in the United States against Romania (3-2); a World Cup where the albiceleste unsuccessfully sought to make up for the final lost to Germany 1-0 in the 1990 World Cup in Italy. However, the positive doping of their star and the god continued to hurt the Argentines of world soccer, Diego Armando Maradona, after finishing the match against Greece in the 1994 World Cup in the United States.

Argentina 1988
Argentina squad in the 1998 World Cup in France

The last game of the group stage of the World Cup in France faced these totally different teams. Argentina put the experience and greatness against the illusion and innovation of Croatia. Both clubs had faced Japan and Jamaica in a group in which Croatia seemed to be "Cinderella", but everyone fell silent on that mistake that World Cup. The team led by Real Madrid striker Davor Suker managed to beat Japan 3-1 and Jamaica 1-0 while Argentina lent a hand to the Jamaicans and won 1-0 against the Japanese.

With mathematics on the table, both teams faced each other knowing that they were in the round of 16 and that they were playing for first place. Parc Lescure in Bordeaux was the venue for a historic match for Croatia. Curiously or due to fate, the match was played on June 26, 1998, seven years and one day after the complete independence of Croatia.
The result was 1-0 for the Argentines thanks to a goal by Pineda after 36 minutes of play. Argentina complied and got into the round of 16 as the first group while Croatia made history by entering the final phase of a world championship for the first time.

Despite the little that was given for Croatia at the time, the fierce sneaked into the semifinals after beating Romania 0-1 with a goal from Suker and taking revenge on Germany by achieving a resounding 0-3. The next stone on the way was the host France, which the Croats faced, taking the lead with another goal from Suker, the top scorer in that tournament, but in the second half a brace from Lillian Thuram threw Blazevic's team out of the World Cup. . However Croatia took the consolation prize beating the Netherlands 1-2 and finishing third in what has been their best performance in a World Cup. It was precisely the Netherlands that eliminated Argentina in the quarterfinals after Passarela's men beat England on penalties and succumbed 2-1 to A Clockwork Orange.


Davor Suker was the top scorer at the 1998 World Cup in France with six goals
A lot of history left the last Argentina vs Croatia. We will see in a few hours how Modric, Rakitic and company face Messi's Argentina, which seems to have not carburized yet.

Written by David Pineros

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