Sam Street Profile picture
Jul 15, 2018 29 tweets 12 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Why Croatia winning the World Cup would mark the most glorious banter era in football history. (Thread) #cro
Let's start on a high note. Croatia travel to Wembley with nothing to play for while England need just a draw to qualify for Euro 2008. A Scott Carson howler later and Croatia win 3-2 and knock England out anyway.
After an excellent display at Wembley, Luka Modric joins Tottenham and transfers a percentage of the transfer fee to a Dinamo Zagreb director called Zdravko Mamic. Everything that happens next started here.
Mamic has made a fortune through signing deals with Croatia's best young players, often entitling him to a percentage of their earnings for the rest of their lives. Reportedly, some players' assets will even transfer to the Mamic family after they die.…
In their Euro 2008 quarter-final against Turkey, Croatia score in the 119th minute of extra time. Turkey equalise in the 122nd minute and Croatia go out on penalties.
Slaven Bilic resigns after Croatia are knocked out of Euro 2012, Igor Stimac takes over.
In 2013, former Arsenal star Eduardo wins a court case against Mamic, claiming he was unable to speak Croatian well enough to understand the contract he had signed.
Croatia lose home and away to Scotland and Igor Stimac is sacked with the World Cup qualifying play-off against Iceland still to come. He is replaced by Nico Kovac.
Croatia beat Iceland and qualify for the World Cup but Josip Simunic is banned for ten games for shouting the slogan of the Ustase (World War 2 Nazi collaborators) over the microphone at the stadium. He retires from international football.…
Croatia lose the World Cup opening game to Brazil thanks to one of the most ridiculous penalties you will ever see. It then turns out Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura couldn't even speak English. They go out at the group stage.
In November 2014, Croatia draw 1-1 in Italy despite their own fans launching flares on the pitch and trying to get the game abandoned to humiliate Mamic and the Croatian FA. The return match against Italy is ordered to be played behind closed doors.
A swastika is mowed into the pitch for Croatia's behind closed doors match against Italy, as rogue fans step up their campaign to get #cro banned from international football. They're ordered to play another game behind closed doors.
Croatia lose away at Norway. In what becomes a theme, Niko Kovac is sacked before the final round of qualifiers and replaced by Ante Cacic, manager of Dinamo Zagreb's feeder club Lokomotiva. His career highlights included being Libya assistant manager.
Vedran Corluka suffers a blow to the head against Czech Republic in Euro 2016 and medical staff put him back on the pitch in a water polo cap. He scores, it becomes national dress at football games and water polo manufacturers rejoice.
In the same game, Croatia fans throw flares onto the pitch again and fight each other in the stands. The game is paused and when it restarts, they throw away a 2-0 lead as Czech Republic secure a 2-2 draw with a last minute penalty.
A map of Bordeaux is published on a Croatian football fan page as #cro supporters plan to wreak more havoc at Euro 2016 and get their team kicked out of the tournament in their final group game against Spain.

Despite all this, Croatia go on to win 2-1.…
In June 2017, a Hajduk Split fan punches Mamic into the sea #cro

Later that summer, Mamic survives an assassination attempt after being shot in the leg in Bosnia. #cro…
Croatia draw to Finland and Ante Cacic is sacked with one #WorldCup qualifier left. He is replaced by Zlatko Dalic of Al Ain in Abu Dhabi. In turn, Zdravko Mamic's brother Zoran coincidentally becomes manager of Al Ain.
Croatia do what they always do in times of turmoil and win.

Two goals from Andrej Kramaric see them ease through a tough-looking away match in Ukraine to make the play-offs with a 2-0 win. They then beat Greece 4-1 on aggregate in the play-offs.
In March 2018, Croatia captain Luka Modric is charged with perjury (which could carry a five-year jail term). During Mamic's trial he changed his statement to the police and farcically said he couldn't remember anything about transferring any fees to Mamic.
A week before the World Cup, Zdravko Mamic is sentenced to six and a half years in prison for corruption and flees to Bosnia. #Cro FA executive Damir Vrabanovic is sentenced to three years in prison.
Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren also changed his statement to protect Mamic and is expected to be charged with perjury as well.
Nikola Kalinic refuses to come off the bench for Croatia against Nigeria and is sent home, leaving them with just one recognised centre-forward for the rest of the #WorldCup. He could never have imagined back then that he would miss out on playing for #cro in a World Cup final.
But just when things seem at their worst, Croatia beat Argentina 3-0 in one of their biggest ever wins.

Willy Caballero scuffing the ball straight to Ante Rebic will never be forgotten.

Rebic goes on to say that #arg were so bad he refused to ask for Lionel Messi's shirt.
Despite being sentenced to three years in prison, Croatia FA executive Damir Vrbanovic still goes to Russia and watches the quarter-final with #cro president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic.
Domagoj Vida nearly causes a diplomatic incident by shouting 'Glory to Ukraine' after #cro win against Russia. He is booed by the entire stadium in Croatia's semi-final win over England.

Igor Stimac resurfaces with this Facebook post about the France team on the eve of the World Cup final, proving he is just as good at making jokes as he was at coaching. #fracro
Croatia win the World Cup? #fracro

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