26 Years Ago Today: Croatian National Football Team Play First International Match

Daniela Rogulj

On this day 26 years ago, the Croatian national football team played against the United States in an international football friendly for their first international match.

The match took place on the 17th of October, 1990 at Maksimir Stadium in front of about 30,000 spectators. Croatia won with a score of 2:1, with the winning goals hit by Aljoša Asanović and Ivan Cvjetković.


The United States was on a tour of Europe where they were already scheduled to play Poland. Croatian businessman Jure Klarić financed the $90,000 needed for the Americans to travel to Zagreb for the match.


The match on October 17, 1990 took place at the same time as the final of the 1990 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship, in which many young Croatian talents played for Yugoslavia, including Zvonimir Boban, Davor Šuker, and Robert Prosinečki.


The match also marked the debut of the Croatian national team’s checkered jersey, designed by Miroslav Šutej who designed the modern Croatian Flag and the Kuna banknotes.


The coach at that time was Dražan Jerković and on the Croatian National Tean’s roster was Dražen Ladić, Tonči Gabrić, Zoran Vulić, Darko Dražić, Drago Čelić, Vlado Kasalo, Saša Peršon, Grega Židan, Kujtim Shalla, Zlatko Kranjčar, Ivan Cvjetković, Aljoša Asanović, Mladen Mladenović and Marko Mlinarić.






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