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 Sport in Croatia

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Number of posts : 391
Registration date : 2010-09-22

PostSubject: Sport in Croatia   Mon Nov 01, 2010 6:18 am

The most popular sports in Croatia are football, handball, basketball, water polo, tennis, and skiing.

The Croatian national football team won a bronze medal in the 1998 FIFA World Cup and Davor Šuker won the Golden Boot as the top goal scorer. The national football team has also played in the quarter-finals of the 1996 European Championships and the 2008 European Championships. The team is currently ranked 10th in the FIFA World Rankings (as of November 2009). The most popular football players are Luka Modrić, Darijo Srna, Ivica Olić and Eduardo.

The Croatia national handball team is a two-time Olympic Champion (1996 and 2004). The team also won a gold medal at the 2003 World Men's Handball Championship, and silver medals in the 1995, 2003 and 2009 World Championships. Croatia won bronze medal in 1994 European Championships and silver in 2008. RK Zagreb was a 1992 and 1993 European champion and 4 times a runner-up (1995, 1997, 1998 and 1999). Croatian players Ivano Balić, Igor Vori and Domagoj Duvnjak are currently among the best handball players in the world.
Janica Kostelić, the best alpine ski racer of all times. Won four Winter Olympic and five FIS Championship gold medals.
Blanka Vlašić, European and World high jump champion and actual European athlete of the year[89]

The Croatian national basketball team won a silver medal at the 1992 Olympic basketball tournament, bronze medal at the 1994 FIBA World Championship and bronze medals at EuroBasket 1993 and EuroBasket 1995. Croatian basketball clubs were Euroleague champions 5 times: KK Split three times (in 1989, 1990 and 1991) and KK Cibona in 1985 and 1986. Croatian basketball players such as Dražen Petrović, Krešimir Ćosić and Toni Kukoč were amongst the first foreign players to succeed in the NBA in the United States.

The Croatia national water polo team won a gold medal at the 2007 FINA World Championships and bronze medal in 2009. The team also won a silver medal at the 1996 Olympic water polo tournament and gold medal at the 2010 European Championship as well as silver medals in the 1999 and 2003 European Championships. Croatian water polo clubs were 13 times LEN Euroleague champions. HAVK Mladost from Zagreb was a seven time European Champion (in 1968, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1990, 1991 and 1996) and was awarded the title Best Club of the 20th Century by the LEN. VK Jug from Dubrovnik and VK Jadran from Split were both three time European champions.

The Croatian Davis Cup team (Ivan Ljubičić, Mario Ančić and Ivo Karlović with coach Nikola Pilić) won the 2005 Davis Cup tournament and reached semifinals in 2009 tournament (Marin Čilić and Ivo Karlović with coach Goran Prpić). Goran Ivanišević is one of the country's most popular sportsmen. Ivanišević won the 2001 Wimbledon Men's singles title and reached number 2 spot in ATP Rankings in July 1994. Ivan Ljubičić reached number 3 spot in ATP Rankings in May 2006. Iva Majoli won the 1997 Roland Garros Women's Singles title. Currently the best Croatian tennis player is Marin Čilić ranked 14th as of November 16, 2009.

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