Football
World Cup

Croatia stages huge celebration as World Cup runners-up return home

Share this with
Copy
Share this article

Croatia players salute their fans after returning as heroes to Zagreb

Image credit: Getty Images

ByReuters
16/07/2018 at 18:17 | Updated 16/07/2018 at 18:37

More than 300,000 Croats in red and white chequered shirts and scarves poured onto the streets of the capital Zagreb on Monday to welcome home the national soccer team after their run all the way to the final at the World Cup in Russia.

Despite losing to France in Moscow on Sunday, Croatia achieved their best-ever World Cup result, surpassing the third place won 20 years ago at the World Cup in France. "They lost the final, but won the world," was a headline in the Jutarnji List daily.

The team's success in Russia brought evident joy to the small Balkan nation of four million people, and the celebration was broadcast live on national television from the moment the plane from Moscow neared Zagreb airport.

Premier League

Injured Rashford a doubt for Euro 2020 - Solskjaer

19/02/2020 AT 17:59

In honour of the team, the plane was escorted by two fighter jets after entering Croatian air space. Upon landing, water cannons created an arch of water that the plane taxied through, and a red carpet was rolled out for the players.

Modric thanks the 300,000 Croats in red and white chequered shirts

Image credit: Getty Images

The team rode an open-topped bus towards the city centre through streets swamped with tens of thousands of cheering fans. But after a four-hour ride the bus stopped around a kilometre from the central square as it could not get through the crowds.

More than 100,000 people were waiting for hours in the square, chanting and waving welcome banners and national flags.

"Marry me, Rebic", one of the banners told Croatian forward Ante Rebic.

"We must use this opportunity to build on it, improve our soccer infrastructure and try to be even better," said Robert Prosinecki, a former Croatia midfielder who won the bronze medal in France in 1998, at the celebrations in central Zagreb.

Transfers

Inter sign wing-back Young from United

17/01/2020 AT 19:37
Euro Qualifying

Daniel James was 'acting' during concussion scare, says Giggs

14/10/2019 AT 09:42
Related Topics
FootballWorld CupCroatia
Share this with
Copy
Share this article