It is a busy day for Croatian football.
While we await the confirmation of Zlatko Dalić as the coach of the national team this afternoon, at the very least through the next round of World Cup qualifications, we find out other comforting news today regarding the Croatian national team.
On Monday, October 16, 2017, after the group stage qualifications for the World Cup came to an end, FIFA has announced their latest rankings.
Germany still leads as the best team in the world, followed by Brazil in second and Portugal in third. Argentina remains in fourth, Belgium in fifth, Poland in the sixth, followed by France who jumped up to seventh place. Spain has made a slightly more significant jump from eleventh to eighth, while Chile follows in ninth and Peru sits at tenth.
Where does Croatia stand this time around?
Croatia, after a shocking draw with Finland at Rujevica on October 6, 2017, was forced to clean their act up, and quickly, for the final group stage match against Ukraine that would determine their fate at the World Cup in Russia next year. Surely enough, with a new coach in tow, Croatia squeezed out a victory after two goals in the second half by hero Andrej Kramarić, securing their 0:2 win in Kiev.
Croatia’s dream of the World Cup is saved, for now, as they await their opponent in the upcoming playoff round. The draw, which will be held tomorrow, can see Croatia match up against Ireland, Northern Ireland, Sweden, or Greece. We will update this space once we know more tomorrow.
Fortunately, after a defunct national team this last month, Croatia has found a way to secure their spot as the 18th best team in the world.
The first playoff matches for the additional qualifiers of the World Cup will be played from November 9 to 11, 2017, while the following matches are scheduled from November 12 to 14, 2017.
When looking at the rankings of Croatia’s possible rivals in the playoff round, Northern Ireland is ranked the best in 23rd place. Next in line is Sweden, ranked 25th, and Ireland follows at 26th, advancing eight spots from last month. The final possible Croatian rival is Greece who falls in 47th place.