Croatia to Have a Representative in Champions League Final for 8th Consecutive Year

Daniela Rogulj

No matter how the semifinals end, Croatia will have one representative in the Champions League final on June 1st in Madrid.

For the eighth year in a row, Croatia will have a representative in the Champions League final, thanks to the semifinal draw which placed Barcelona against Liverpool, reports on April 18, 2019. 

Either Ivan Rakitić or Dejan Lovren will play in the final of the strongest and most prestigious club competition in the world. Whichever player prevails will play his second performance in the final – Rakitić played in the final for Barcelona in 2015, while Lovren played in the final with Liverpool last year.

Thus, the series of Croatian footballers in the Champions League final continues, which started in 2012 between Bayern Munich and Chelsea in Munich. In the final, Ivica Olić missed a penalty for Bayern, and Danijel Pranjić watched Bayern lose to Chelsea from the bench. 

A year later, Bayern clinched the title with Mario Mandžukić who scored one of two goals against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley.

Real Madrid’s time came in 2014 in the final against Atletico Madrid in Lisbon, where they won 4:1 in extra time. 

Berlin hosted the 2015 final between Barcelona and Liverpool. The Catalonian side celebrated 3:1, with Ivan Rakitić scoring the first goal. 

From 2016 to 2018, Real Madrid’s reign began. For three consecutive years, they won the Champions League, each time with Modrić in the starting lineup. Mateo Kovačić was not in the line up 2016, while in the 2017 and 2018 final, he remained on the bench. We must add that in the 2017 final played in Cardiff between Real Madrid and Juventus, Mario Mandžukić scored one of the most spectacular goals of the year for the Italian club.

The last time the final went without a Croatian footballer was in 2011 when Barcelona and Manchester United played at Wembley (3:1). A year earlier, Ivica Olić played for Bayern who lost to Mourinho’s Inter at Santiago Bernabeu. No Croats played in the final in 2009 and 2008. 

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