The 2018 World Cup is underway. CBS Sports will have you covered for each game, all the important news and more, as well as profiles of all of the teams.

Croatia entered the 2018 World Cup with high expectations, boasting what is arguably its strongest roster since the 1998 cup. Led by Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, the Croatians delivered a relatively easy win in their first match against Nigeria, then shocked Argentina to lock up the No. 1 seed in Group D. They finished group play with another win against Iceland, making them the second team with nine points (Uruguay) in this World Cup.

Croatia needed penalty kicks to advance past both Denmark and Russia, but advance they did. And an extra-time goal against England sent Croatia to the final to face France.

Find out all you need to know about Croatia at the World Cup below.

Competition history

World Cup appearances: Five
Best finish: Third place, 1998
Last World Cup: 2014

Matches

Saturday, June 16: Croatia 2, Nigeria 0   
Thursday, June 21: Croatia 3, Argentina 0
Tuesday, June 26: Croatia 2, Iceland 1

Sunday, July 1: Croatia 1, Denmark 1 (Croatia wins 3-2 in penalty kicks) in round of 16
Saturday, July 7: Croatia 2, Russia 2 (Croatia wins 4-3 in penalty kicks) in quarterfinals
Wednesday, July 11: Croatia 2, England 1 (in extra time) in semfinals
Sunday, July 15: vs.  France in final at 11 a.m. ET, stream on fuboTV (Try for free) 

Roster

Croatia has a loaded midfield that will be relied on big time.
Getty Images

Goalkeepers: Danijel Subasic (Monaco), Lovre Kalinic (Gent), Dominik Livakovic (Dinamo).

Defenders: Vedran Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow), Domagoj Vida (Besiktas), Ivan Strinic (Sampdoria), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool), Sime Vrsaljko (Atletico Madrid), Josip Pivaric (Dynamo Kiev), Tin Jedvaj (Bayer Leverkusen), Duje Caleta-Car (Red Bull Salzburg).

Midfielders: Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid), Milan Badelj (Fiorentina), Marcelo Brozovic (Inter), Filip Bradaric (Rijeka).

Forwards: Mario Mandzukic (Juventus), Ivan Perisic (Inter), Nikola Kalinic (Milan), Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim), Marko Pjaca (Schalke), Ante Rebic (Eintracht).

Best Player

Midfielder Luka Modric. The Real Madrid star is 32 years old and his prime is almost over, but he is still a player that can make a big impact. He doesn’t rely on speed, just using his body to find space and get the attack going with pinpoint passes. He’s a top midfielder and will be the engine in the middle for the Europeans. 

Player to watch

Domagoj Vida. The 29-year-old defender is one of the more intimidating players at the cup. He is strong, agile and at times reckless. He must be focused, because he’s the top of guy with one silly challenge he gets a red card. He’s a darn good player, but he must be composed. 

Outlook

The second-most talented team in the group behind Argentina, pressure is going to be on to beat Nigeria and Iceland to go through. A slip-up in the first match, even a draw, and they are in trouble. Three points, and they’ll be in a great spot to move on. This team is so strong in the middle and has some veterans in the final third that can make a big impact. At the back, if composed, they are a team that could really make a run to the quarterfinals.


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