A Tiny Country of Champions: 10 Straight Years a Croatian Champions League Winner

By 29 May 2022
A Tiny Country of Champions: 10 Straight Years a Croatian Champions League Winner
Luka Modric Instagram

May 29, 2022 - Real Madrid's narrow victory over Liverpool continues a rather impressive Croatian Champions League statistic - a decade of uninterrupted success. 

The tiny country which dared to dream...

One of the most engaging football journeys in history took place in the summer of 2018 in Russia, as the unfancied Croatian national team captured the hearts and minds of half the planet as they battled their way to the World Cup Final before eventually losing in 4-2 in Moscow to France. 

But those who follow Croatian football closely will perhaps not have been as surprised at the success of the Vatreni during that heady summer four years ago. A tiny country Croatia may be (with a population these days of less than 4 million), but a country which has consistently punched above its weight on the world stage in a number of sports (find out just how much in the TC overview of Croatian sports). 

For Croatia truly has some world-class players, a fact that was demonstrated last night in Paris with a rather impressive Croatian Champions League statistic - this tiny country of sporting excellence has produced a Croatian Champions League winner every year for the last ten years in a row. 

The star name on that list was jubilant in Paris last night, as Croatia's best-known footballer of all time, Luka Modric, lifted the coveted trophy for an incredible fifth time, an outstanding achievement. But while some might think Modric is the only star in the Croatian team, Croatian Champions League winners over the last ten years suggest otherwise. During that golden decade, no less than 6 Croatian players have picked up a winner's medal. 

The winning run started back in 2013 when Mario Mandzukic (a name that will haunt English fans) scored in the 2013 final, helping Bayern Munich to overcome Borussia Dortmund. Modric won his first Champions League with Real Madrid the following year. Spain was the location of the 2015 Croatian winner, this time Ivan Rakitic with Barcelona. 2016-18 were golden years for Croatia and Real, with Modric and Mateo Kovacic winning the trophy 3 years in a row, before Dejan Lovren helped Liverpool break the Spanish stranglehold on the trophy. Ivan Perisic won with Bayern Munich in 2020, and Kovacic won his fourth medal last year in Chelsea colours, before Modric brought Europe's most sought-after trophy to Madrid after his heroics last night. 

An incredible record. And who is to bet against another ten years of Croatian Champions League success in the coming decade?

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