Croatia is emerging as a dark horse to win the Euros after beating Spain to win Group D.
After hooliganism borne from warring Croatian political factions overshadowed Croatia’s game against the Czech Republic,
the spotlight has rightfully returned to the players after their tremendous performance against Spain.
If you weren’t rooting for Croatia after you saw Darijo Srna crying for his dead father during the national anthem against the Czech Republic, you definitely are after they toppled Spain to win Group D.
The Croatian team is everything we love about big international tournaments: exotic, immensely proud, and mostly comprised of players whose names we’ve never heard.
Outside of Ivan Rakitić (Barcelona), Luka Modrić (Real Madrid), and Mario Mandžukić (Juventus), you probably aren’t real familiar with Croatia’s roster.
And that’s OK. The Euro is the underdog’s time to shine.
If Croatia keeps playing well, some of their players will get picked up by big clubs with deep pockets.
Look what happened to James Rodriguez after the World Cup in Brazil. He went from relative unknown to international superstar.
Granted, he was the most exciting player in that tournament, but it’s hard to overstate the magnitude of his come up.
There’s a big difference between Monaco (where he was playing) and Real Madrid (where he plays now).
If Croatia are to make a deep run in the Euros, they’ll have their work cut out for them, as teams like Germany, France, Italy, and Spain will be lurking in the knockout rounds.
Croatia’s win over Spain proved they have what it takes to beat a top side. If they play like that for the rest of the tournament, they’ve got a chance against anybody.
Leicester City’s improbable title run reminded us that dreams do come true. So keep dreaming, Croatia. Go out there and manifest your f*cking destiny. We’re all rooting for you.