What’s Next for Croatia After Euro 2024?

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

Photo by Slobodan Kadić

June 26, 2024 – Croatia has been officially eliminated from EURO 2024 after England and Denmark failed to win in their final group stage matches last night.

And that last-second goal against Italy will haunt Croatia for a while. It ended their EURO 2024 dream and knocked them out of the tournament in the group stage, which is something we have not yet seen under coach Zlatko Dalić. Croatia returned to Zagreb today to begin their summer holidays much earlier than planned.

Now, as the tournament continues and the tears of fans begin to dry, we anticipate what’s next for Croatia.

The first action for the Vatreni will be the Nations League, in which Croatia will defend the 2023 silver medal. The first match is the toughest, as Croatia visits Portugal at Luz stadium in Lisbon on September 5. Three days later, on September 8, Croatia will host Poland at Opus Arena in Osijek, which will be Croatia’s first official appearance this year on home soil.

Croatia will welcome Scotland in Zagreb on October 12, visit Poland in Warsaw on October 15, and conclude this Nations League cycle against Scotland in Glasgow on November 15 and Portugal in Split on November 18. In that last game, a surefire spectacle at Poljud Stadium, the team going to the Nations League Finals could be decided, which will be the highlight of the second part of the competitive year.

However, there is another strategically important date for Croatia this year, and it has not yet been determined. Namely, at the beginning of December, the draw for the 2026 World Cup qualification groups will be held, as the tournament is slated for USA, Canada and Mexico in two years. It is crucially important for Croatia to maintain a high FIFA ranking to fall into the strongest group. For the first time, there will be 12 groups in the qualifications. Only the winner will directly qualify for the World Cup and the second-place teams will go to additional qualifications.

But one more question remains – will Croatia have a new coach and captain before gathering again? We will have to wait and see.


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