Croatia U21
Nickname(s)Mladi Vatreni (The Young Blazers)
AssociationCroatian Football Federation (HNS)
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachDragan Skočić
CaptainBartol Franjić
Most capsLuka Ivanušec (28)
Top scorerTomislav Bušić (13)
FIFA codeCRO
First colours
Second colours
First international
 Croatia 6–1 Hungary 
(Zagreb, Croatia, 14 October 1992)
Biggest win
 Croatia 10–0 San Marino 
(Zagreb, Croatia, 8 October 2020)
Biggest defeat
 Spain 6–0 Croatia 
(Alicante, Spain, 10 September 2012)
UEFA U-21 Championship
Appearances5 (first in 2000)
Best resultQuarter-finals (2021)
Websitehns-cff.hr

The Croatia national under-21 football team represents Croatia in international football matches for players 21 or under. It is governed by the Croatian Football Federation, the governing body for football in Croatia. It is a member of UEFA in Europe and FIFA in global competitions. The team's colours reference two national symbols: the Croatian checkerboard and the country's tricolour. They are colloquially referred to as the Mladi vatreni ('Young Blazers'). So far, the Mladi vatreni qualified for five UEFA European Under-21 Championships, namely in 2000, 2004, 2019, 2021 and 2023. Croatia was unable to pass the group stage until the 2021 Euro when it was eliminated in the quarter-finals, its greatest accomplishment in the European competition so far.

Recent results and fixtures

Main article: Croatia national under-21 football team results (2020–present)

The following is a list of match results in the last 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.

  Win   Draw   Loss   Fixture

2023

23 March 2023 (2023-03-23) Friendly Croatia  0–0  Israel Varaždin, Croatia
18:00 (UTC+02:00) Report
Stadium: Stadion Varteks
Referee: Toni Dadić (Croatia)
28 March 2023 (2023-03-28) Friendly England  1–2  Croatia London, England
19:45 (UTC+01:00)
Stadium: Craven Cottage
21 June 2023 (2023-06-21) 2023 Euro Gr B Ukraine  2–0  Croatia Bucharest, Romania
19:00
Report
Stadium: Superbet Arena
Referee: Mohammed Al-Hakim (SWE)
Assistant referees: Fredrik Klyver (SWE)
Assistant referees: Max Robin Wilde (SWE)
Fourth official: Andrei Chivulete (ROU)
24 June 2023 (2023-06-24) 2023 Euro Gr B Spain  1–0  Croatia Bucharest, Romania
21:45
Report
Stadium: Superbet Arena
Referee: Allard Lindhout (NED)
Assistant referees: Rogier Honig (NED)
Assistant referees: Patrick Inia (NED)
Fourth official: João Pinheiro (POR)
27 June 2023 (2023-06-27) 2023 Euro Gr B Croatia  0–0  Romania Bucharest, Romania
21:45
Report
Stadium: Stadionul Steaua
Referee: João Pinheiro (POR)
Assistant referees: Bruno Jesus (POR)
Assistant referees: Luciano Maia (POR)
Fourth official: Allard Lindhout (NED)
12 September 2023 (2023-09-12) Euro 2025 qualif Gr G Faroe Islands  2–4  Croatia Klaksvík, Faroe Islands
  • Nielsen Yellow card 45'
  • Dahl-Olsen 78', 85'
Report
Stadium: Við Djúpumýrar
Referee: Jérémy Muller (LUX)
Assistant referees: Claude Ries (LUX)
Assistant referees: Rafael Morim (LUX)
Fourth official: Cédric Biever (LUX)
13 October 2023 (2023-10-13) Euro 2025 qualif Gr G Greece  2–2  Croatia Tripoli, Greece
16:00
Report
Stadium: Theodoros Kolokotronis Stadium
Attendance: 1,250
Referee: Tom Owen (WAL)
Assistant referees: Johnathon Bryant (WAL)
Assistant referees: Ian David Bird (WAL)
Fourth official: John Andrew Jones (WAL)
17 October 2023 (2023-10-17) Euro 2025 qualif Gr G Croatia  2–0  Belarus Velika Gorica, Croatia
17:30
Report
  • Barkovski Yellow card 41'
  • Rylach Yellow card 45+5'
  • Baranok Yellow card 60'
Stadium: Stadion Radnik
Referee: Igor Stojchevski (MKD)
Assistant referees: Goce Petreski (MKD)
Assistant referees: Slagjan Markoski (MKD)
Fourth official: Trpchevski Stojancho (MKD)
16 November 2023 (2023-11-16) Friendly Slovakia  2–2  Croatia Nitra, Slovakia
Report Stadium: Štadión pod Zoborom
Referee: Ferenc Karakó (HUN)
20 November 2023 (2023-11-20) Euro 2025 qualif Gr G Belarus  0–1  Croatia Armavir, Armenia[note 1]
11:00
  • Maskalenchyk Red card 20'
  • Makarenko Yellow card 45'
  • Kovalevich Yellow card 90+4'
Report
Stadium: Armavir City Stadium
Attendance: 0[note 1]
Referee: Peter Kralović (SVK)
Assistant referees: Milan Štrbo (SVK)
Assistant referees: Matej Zemko (SVK)
Fourth official: Peter Ziemba (SVK)

2024

21 March 2024 (2024-03-21) Euro 2025 qualif Gr G Andorra  v  Croatia
26 March 2024 (2024-03-26) Euro 2025 qualif Gr G Portugal  v  Croatia
5 September 2024 (2024-09-05) Euro 2025 qualif Gr G Croatia  v  Faroe Islands
10 September 2024 (2024-09-10) Euro 2025 qualif Gr G Croatia  v  Portugal
11 October 2024 (2024-10-11) Euro 2025 qualif Gr G Croatia  v  Andorra
15 October 2024 (2024-10-15) Euro 2025 qualif Gr G Croatia  v  Greece

Coaching staff

Current coaching staff

Position Name[2]
Head coach Croatia Dragan Skočić
Assistant coaches Croatia Ante Tomić
Croatia Renato Pilipović
Goalkeeping coach Croatia Darko Staneković
Fitness coaches Croatia Vedran Naglić
Croatia Aris Naglić
Analyst Croatia Nikola Buzadžić
Doctors Croatia Mislav Rakić
Croatia Boban Dangubić
Croatia Nino Brajković
Physiotherapists Croatia Tomislav Buljan
Technical secretary Croatia Josip Tomaško
Kit men Croatia Milan Vincek
Croatia Luka Karlo

Players

Current squad

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Toni Silić (2004-05-07) 7 May 2004 (age 19) 0 0 Moldova Sheriff Tiraspol
23 1GK Nikola Čavlina (2002-06-02) 2 June 2002 (age 21) 5 0 Croatia Lokomotiva Zagreb
1GK Mislav Zadro (2003-04-22) 22 April 2003 (age 20) 0 0 Cyprus Aris Limassol

2DF Maro Katinić (2004-04-13) 13 April 2004 (age 19) 4 0 United Arab Emirates Sharjah
2 2DF Dino Grozdanić (2002-12-27) 27 December 2002 (age 21) 3 0 Greece Asteras Tripolis
18 2DF Moreno Živković (2004-05-22) 22 May 2004 (age 19) 0 0 Croatia Dinamo Zagreb
8 2DF Niko Sigur (2003-09-09) 9 September 2003 (age 20) 6 0 Croatia Hajduk Split
13 2DF Dominik Prpić (2004-05-19) 19 May 2004 (age 19) 0 0 Croatia Hajduk Split
4 2DF Mauro Perković (2003-03-22) 22 March 2003 (age 21) 8 0 Croatia Dinamo Zagreb
3 2DF Luka Škaričić (2002-01-28) 28 January 2002 (age 22) 0 0 Croatia Varaždin
2 2DF Moris Valinčić (2002-11-17) 17 November 2002 (age 21) 1 0 Croatia Istra 1961

22 3MF Marin Šotiček (2004-09-18) 18 September 2004 (age 19) 0 0 Croatia Lokomotiva Zagreb
3MF Fabijan Krivak (2005-02-24) 24 February 2005 (age 19) 0 0 Croatia Lokomotiva Zagreb
3MF Karlo Lusavec (2003-10-30) 30 October 2003 (age 20) 0 0 Croatia Varaždin
19 3MF Leon Belcar (2002-01-04) 4 January 2002 (age 22) 0 0 Croatia Varaždin
11 3MF Domagoj Bukvić (2004-02-22) 22 February 2004 (age 20) 4 0 Croatia Osijek
6 3MF Veldin Hodža (2002-10-15) 15 October 2002 (age 21) 12 2 Croatia Rijeka
10 3MF Gabriel Vidović (2003-12-01) 1 December 2003 (age 20) 12 2 Croatia Dinamo Zagreb
20 3MF Lovro Zvonarek (2005-05-08) 8 May 2005 (age 18) 0 0 Germany Bayern Munich
3MF Antonio Maurić (2003-11-04) 4 November 2003 (age 20) 1 0 Croatia Istra 1961

21 4FW Igor Matanović (2003-03-31) 31 March 2003 (age 21) 2 1 Germany Karlsruher SC
17 4FW Matija Frigan (2003-02-11) 11 February 2003 (age 21) 7 0 Belgium Westerlo
16 4FW Ante Crnac (2003-12-17) 17 December 2003 (age 20) 1 0 Poland Raków Częstochowa
9 4FW Marin Ljubičić (2002-02-28) 28 February 2002 (age 22) 10 5 Austria LASK
7 4FW Stipe Biuk (2002-12-26) 26 December 2002 (age 21) 14 2 Spain Real Valladolid

Recent call-ups

The following players have also been called up to the squad in the last 12 months and are still eligible for selection.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Tin Sajko (2004-03-07) 7 March 2004 (age 20) 0 0 Croatia Vukovar 1991 v.  Belarus, 17 October 2023
GK Franko Kolić (2003-02-07) 7 February 2003 (age 21) 0 0 Croatia Osijek v.  Belarus, 20 November 2023

DF Mateo Lisica (2003-07-09) 9 July 2003 (age 20) 3 0 Croatia Istra 1961 v.  Belarus, 20 November 2023
DF Antonio Tikvić (2004-04-21) 21 April 2004 (age 19) 3 0 Italy Udinese v.  Belarus, 20 November 2023
DF Juraj Badelj (2003-08-24) 24 August 2003 (age 20) 0 0 Romania Universitatea Craiova v.  Slovakia, 16 November 2023 WD

MF Niko Rak (2003-07-26) 26 July 2003 (age 20) 1 0 Turkey Konyaspor v.  Belarus, 20 November 2023
MF Marko Soldo (2003-11-22) 22 November 2003 (age 20) 1 0 Croatia Gorica v.  Belarus, 20 November 2023
MF Martin Baturina SEN (2003-02-16) 16 February 2003 (age 21) 14 2 Croatia Dinamo Zagreb v.  Slovakia, 16 November 2023 PRE
MF Luka Sučić SEN (2002-09-08) 8 September 2002 (age 21) 11 6 Austria Red Bull Salzburg v.  Belarus, 17 October 2023
MF Marko Capan (2004-02-24) 24 February 2004 (age 20) 0 0 Bosnia and Herzegovina Široki Brijeg v.  Faroe Islands, 11 September 2023
MF Luka Stojković INJ (2003-10-28) 28 October 2003 (age 20) 5 0 Croatia Dinamo Zagreb v.  Faroe Islands, 11 September 2023 WD
MF Lukas Kačavenda INJ (2003-03-02) 2 March 2003 (age 21) 12 1 Croatia Dinamo Zagreb v.  Faroe Islands, 11 September 2023 WD

FW Dion Drena Beljo (2002-03-01) 1 March 2002 (age 22) 11 2 Germany FC Augsburg v.  Greece, 13 October 2023 PRE
FW Franjo Ivanović (2003-10-01) 1 October 2003 (age 20) 4 0 Croatia Rijeka v.  Belarus, 20 November 2023
FW Roko Šimić (2003-09-10) 10 September 2003 (age 20) 19 8 Austria Red Bull Salzburg v.  Slovakia, 16 November 2023 WD

  • INJ = Injured or ill.
  • WD = Withdrew.
  • SUS = Suspended from participating.
  • RET = Retired after latest call-up.
  • SEN = Joined the Croatia senior team instead.
  • PRE = Preliminary squad.

Competitive record

  Champions  
  Runners-up  
  Third place  
  Fourth place  
  Tournament played fully or partially on home soil  

UEFA European Under-21 Championship

UEFA European Under-21 Championship record Qualifications record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad Position Pld W D L GF GA Manager
1978 Part of  Yugoslavia
1980
1982
1984
1986
1988
1990
1992 Not a UEFA member
France 1994 Not a UEFA member during qualifiers
Spain 1996 Did not qualify 4/6 10 5 2 3 13 12 Martin Novoselac
Romania 1998 3/5 8 4 0 4 13 9 Ivo Šušak
Slovakia 2000 Group stage 7/8 3 0 1 2 4 6 Squad 1/5 10 7 2 1 28 9 Ivo Šušak
Switzerland 2002 Did not qualify 2/4OFF 8 3 4 1 10 7 Martin Novoselac
Germany 2004 Group stage 7/8 3 0 1 2 3 5 Squad 1/4 8 4 2 2 11 5 Martin Novoselac
Portugal 2006 Did not qualify 1/6OFF 12 8 1 3 16 11 Slaven Bilić
Netherlands 2007 3/3 2 0 0 2 2 4 Dražen Ladić
Sweden 2009 2/6 10 7 1 2 20 12 Dražen Ladić
Denmark 2011 1/5OFF 10 5 2 3 18 15 Dražen Ladić
Israel 2013 4/5 8 2 1 5 7 16 Ivo Šušak
Czech Republic 2015 1/5OFF 10 6 1 3 22 9 Niko Kovač / Nenad Gračan
Poland 2017 3/6 10 6 2 2 24 11 Nenad Gračan
Italy 2019 Group stage 10/12 3 0 1 2 4 8 Squad 1/6 10 8 1 1 31 5 Nenad Gračan
Hungary Slovenia 2021 Quarter-finals 7/16 4 1 0 3 5 7 Squad 1 / Squad 2 2/6 10 6 2 2 37 7 Nenad Gračan/Igor Bišćan
Romania Georgia (country) 2023 Group stage 14/16 3 0 1 2 0 3 Squad 1/6 8 6 1 1 19 7 Igor Bišćan/Dragan Skočić
Slovakia 2025 To be determined 3/6 4 3 1 0 9 4 Dragan Skočić
Total Quarter-finals 5/24 16 1 4 11 16 29 137 79 23 35 276 141

Draws include knockout matches decided via penalty shoot-out; correct as of 20 November 2023 after the match against  Belarus.

Matches
First match  Croatia 1–2 Netherlands 
(Trnava, Slovakia; 27 May 2000)
Biggest win  Croatia 3–2 Switzerland 
(Koper, Slovenia; 28 March 2021)
Biggest defeat  Romania 4–1 Croatia 
(Serravalle, San Marino; 18 June 2019)
Notes

Statistics

Managers

The following table provides a summary of the complete record of each manager including their results regarding European Under-21 Championship.

Key: Pld–games played, W–games won, D–games drawn; L–games lost, %–win percentage
Bilić is one of two former U21 managers who later coached Croatia's senior team
Manager Tenure Pld W D L Win % Tournaments
Croatia Martin Novoselac 1994–1996
2000–2004
54 19 20 15 035.2 1996 European Championship – Failed to qualify
2002 European Championship – Failed to qualify
2004 European Championship – Group stage
Croatia Ivo Šušak 1997–2000
2011–2013
38 18 6 14 047.4 1998 European Championship – Failed to qualify
2000 European Championship – Group stage
2013 European Championship – Failed to qualify
Croatia Slaven Bilić 2004–2006 20 11 3 6 055.0 2006 European Championship – Play-offs
Croatia Aljoša Asanović (c) 2005 1 0 0 1 000.0 2006 European Championship – Failed to qualify[4]
Croatia Ivica Grnja (c) 2005 1 0 0 1 000.0 2006 European Championship – Failed to qualify[5]
Croatia Marijan Brnčić (c)[6] 2005 1 0 1 0 000.0
Croatia Dražen Ladić 2006–2011 32 20 6 6 062.50 2007 European Championship – Failed to qualify
2009 European Championship – Failed to qualify
2011 European Championship – Failed to qualify
Croatia Niko Kovač 2013 7 5 0 2 071.4
Croatia Nenad Gračan 2013–2019 41 21 9 11 051.2 2015 European Championship – Failed to qualify
2017 European Championship – Failed to qualify
2019 European Championship – Group stage
Croatia Igor Bišćan 2019–2023 30 18 5 7 060.0 2021 European Championship – Quarter-finals
Croatia Dragan Skočić 2023– 8 3 3 2 037.5 2023 European Championship – Group stage

Last updated: Croatia vs Belarus, 20 November 2023. Statistics include official FIFA-recognised matches only.

Most capped players

Players in bold are still active with Croatia.
With 28 caps, Ivanušec is the most capped player of the U21 team
Before joining the senior team Lovren played 19 matches for the U21 team
# Name Career Caps Goals
1 Luka Ivanušec 2017–2021 28 10
2 Tomislav Vranjić 2002–2005 26 0
3 Tomislav Bušić 2005–2008 25 12
4 Nikola Moro 2017–2021 24 6
5 Josip Tadić 2005–2008 22 5
6 Ivan Leko 1994–2000 21 5
Mato Jajalo 2007–2010 4
8 Tomo Šokota 1997–2000 19 10
Roko Šimić 2021– 8
Nikola Vlašić 2015–2019 7
Lovro Majer 2017–2021 5
Davor Vugrinec 1994–1997 3
Dejan Lovren 2007–2010 3
Mario Lučić 2002–2004 2
Domagoj Vida 2007–2010 2
Dario Smoje 1997–2000 1
Boško Šutalo 2019–2022 1
Mario Carević 2001–2004 0
Luka Vučko 2004–2006 0
Borna Sosa 2017–2020 0

Last updated: Belarus vs Croatia, 20 November 2023

Source: Croatian Football Federation

Top goalscorers

Players in bold are still active with Croatia.
Brozović scored 7 goals for the U21 team before he was promoted to the senior team
# Name Goals Caps Ratio Career
1 Tomislav Bušić 12 29 0.41 2005–2008
2 Tomo Šokota 10 19 0.53 1997–2000
Luka Ivanušec 28 0.36 2017–2021
4 Josip Brekalo 9 17 0.53 2016–2019
5 Eduardo da Silva 8 12 0.67 2004–2005
Stipe Perica 12 0.67 2013–2016
Roko Šimić 19 0.42 2021–
8 Marcelo Brozović 7 13 0.54 2011–2014
Nikola Vlašić 19 0.37 2015–2019
10 Ante Rukavina 6 9 0.67 2007–2008
Marin Ljubičić 11 0.55 2021–
Mario Pašalić 14 0.43 2014–2016
Mihael Mikić 15 0.4 1999–2001
Sandro Kulenović 15 0.4 2019–2021
Nikola Moro 24 0.25 2017–2021

Last updated: Belarus vs Croatia, 20 November 2023

Source: Croatian Football Federation

Record per opponent

  More wins than losses
  As many wins as losses
  Fewer wins than losses

Correct as of 20 November 2023, after the match against  Belarus.

Opponent Pld W D L GF GA GD Win %
 Albania 2 1 0 1 4 1 +3 050.00
 Australia U23 1 0 0 1 0 3 −3 000.00
 Austria 4 1 3 0 5 3 +2 025.00
 Azerbaijan 4 4 0 0 11 3 +8 100.00
 Belarus 5 4 1 0 11 1 +10 080.00
 Belgium 4 2 1 1 5 3 +2 050.00
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 9 4 3 2 19 14 +5 044.44
 Bulgaria 6 2 1 3 6 6 +0 033.33
 Chile U23 1 0 0 1 0 1 −1 000.00
 Czech Republic 7 1 3 3 11 10 +1 014.29
 Cyprus 2 1 0 1 2 3 −1 050.00
 Denmark 6 4 0 2 8 5 +3 066.67
 England 7 3 1 3 12 10 +2 042.86
 Estonia 10 9 1 0 23 3 +20 090.00
 Faroe Islands 3 3 0 0 8 3 +5 100.00
 Finland 2 1 0 1 4 3 +1 050.00
 France 5 0 1 4 3 8 −5 000.00
 Georgia 4 1 2 1 4 4 +0 025.00
 Germany 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2 100.00
 Greece 11 6 3 2 22 13 +9 054.55
 Hungary 12 7 4 1 30 14 +16 058.33
 Iceland 2 2 0 0 4 2 +2 100.00
 Republic of Ireland 2 1 1 0 7 3 +4 050.00
 Israel 5 0 2 3 0 5 −5 000.00
 Italy 8 1 4 3 7 10 −3 012.50
 Italy B 2 0 2 0 1 1 +0 000.00
 Latvia 4 3 1 0 9 4 +5 075.00
 Liechtenstein 2 2 0 0 9 0 +9 100.00
 Lithuania 4 4 0 0 13 1 +12 100.00
 FYR Macedonia 4 3 1 0 8 1 +7 075.00
 Malta 4 4 0 0 6 0 +6 100.00
 Mexico 1 0 0 1 0 1 −1 000.00
 Moldova 2 2 0 0 7 0 +7 100.00
 Montenegro 3 1 2 0 4 2 +2 033.33
 Morocco U20 1 0 0 1 0 4 −4 000.00
 Netherlands 2 1 0 1 4 4 +0 050.00
 Norway 5 4 0 1 15 7 +8 080.00
 Poland 3 1 2 0 4 2 +2 033.33
 Portugal 4 1 0 3 3 5 −2 025.00
 Romania 2 0 1 1 1 4 −3 000.00
 Russia 1 0 0 1 3 4 −1 000.00
 San Marino 6 6 0 0 33 0 +33 100.00
 Scotland 6 2 2 2 9 7 +2 033.33
 Serbia 2 1 1 0 5 3 +2 050.00
 Serbia and Montenegro 5 1 1 3 12 12 +0 020.00
 Slovakia 8 3 3 2 14 11 +3 037.50
 Slovenia 11 6 1 4 20 13 +7 054.55
 Spain 9 1 1 7 7 19 −12 011.11
 Sweden 6 3 1 2 9 7 +2 050.00
  Switzerland 5 2 0 3 6 10 −4 040.00
 Togo U23 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100.00
 Turkey 1 0 1 0 0 0 +0 000.00
 Ukraine 7 2 2 3 7 8 −1 028.57
 United Arab Emirates U23 1 1 0 0 3 0 +3 100.00
Total: 54 teams played 235 114 53 68 421 261 +160 048.51

Source: Croatian Football Federation

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b Due to the country's involvement in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Belarusian teams were required to play their home matches at neutral venues and behind closed doors until further notice.[1]

References

  1. ^ "Belarus teams to play on neutral ground in UEFA competitions". UEFA. Basel. 3 March 2022. Retrieved 5 October 2023.
  2. ^ "Croatia U-21". Croatian Football Federation. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  3. ^ "Dragan Skočić objavio popis igrača za Andoru i Portugal" (in Croatian). Hrvatski nogometni savez. 21 March 2024. Retrieved 20 March 2024.
  4. ^ He coached the U21 team during the first play-off to 2006 European Championship lost 1:3 to Serbia HNS: Serbia-Croatia 3:1, 2005
  5. ^ He coached the U21 team during the second play-off to 2006 European Championship lost 1:2 to Serbia HNS: Croatia-Serbia 1:2, 2005
  6. ^ As a temporary manager he coached the U21 team during the friendly 1:1 draw against Italy HNS: Croatia-Italy 1:1, 2005