Football Euphoria Strikes Again: Croatia’s Vatreni Return on Thursday in Portugal

Daniela Rogulj

Portugal welcomes Croatia in a friendly match on Thursday in Faro at 20:45.

September 5, 2018 – Croatia’s beloved ‘Vatreni’ will return to the pitch on Thursday for the first time since their World Cup success. The World Cup finalists will play in a friendly match against Portugal in Faro as preparation for the new Nations League competition where they will meet Spain next week. 

Croatia has never won or even managed to win in the four matches played against Portugal so far. In 2013, Portugal won 1-0, in 2005 2-0, and in 1996, 3-0. And let’s not forget Croatia’s heartbreaking exit from Euro 2016 thanks to Ronaldo & Co. where Portugal eventually went on to win the tournament. 

Here’s to hoping things will be different this time around, with Dalić’s squad exuding a new confidence after a wonderful run in Russia. And it might just help that Croatia boasts the best player in Europe – Luka Modrić. 

Portugal will play without Ronaldo this time around, though they are still certain they’ll secure a win on Thursday. 

“We have not yet studied Italy, because we are only preparing for the match against Croatia. This meeting is as important to us as Italy,” said Andre Silva. Portugal plays Italy in their first Nations League game on September 10th. 

“We are aware that we are playing against the World Cup finalists, and then against Italy. We want to win the Nations League, we always strive to win, and we will do our best to achieve this goal,” said 24-year-old Manchester City player Bernardo Silva. 

Though Croatia will be without stars Ivan Rakitić, Andrej Kramarić, Ante Rebić, and Dejan Lovren for the friendly, fresh new faces with the desire to break into Dalić’s powerhouse should make an exciting spectacle on Thursday night. 

As expected, the fan euphoria is back. 

“I felt very proud – as a proud fan and as a proud Croat. I think they raised our patriotism, the Croatian spirit in us and that they were celebrated all over the world and that is why we thank them,” said Vladimir from Zagreb on

”If someone asked me in the beginning that we would go so far, I would say no. Now everyone knows where Croatia is,” said Edi from Kutina.

“I’ll be watching the game from home with my friends, of course. It’s private – the atmosphere is better, you can relax more,” said Anamarija from Zaprešić.

“From home, nowhere else. The less you spend, the greater the pleasure!” said Zvonimir from Zagreb.

“Croatia is a very good team. I have not forgiven you yet for kicking us out of the World Cup, but I will watch you,” said Alexei from Russia.

But history teaches us that we need to be careful now, because, as a rule, our Vatreni have disappointed after excellent results in major competitions. After the World Cup bronze in 1998, Croatia did not qualify for the Euro in Belgium and the Netherlands. After a very good Euro in 2008, Slaven Bilić’s team did not make it to the World Cup in South Africa. So, how can we be sure things will be different this time around? 

“There must have been an emotional discharge – coming back to the club’s obligations and then pushing for the national team again is not easy. But I think that with this result and their long rest, the reunion with the team will be painless,” concluded Jerko Leko, an expert commentator of Nova TV.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment