Since Slaven Bilic’s arrival as coach in 2006 Croatia have not ended the year outside the top ten in the FIFA World rankings.
Their European pedigree makes for short reading but by no means dull.
Since their independence the Croats have qualified for the European finals three times – on two of those occasions, in 1996 and 2008, they reached the quarter-finals.
Headlining the Croatian team sheet is the English Premier Leagues most sought after midfielder Luka Modric, who fans will be hoping can carry his domestic league form onto the European stage like he did four years ago.
To get to the last eight again Croatia will have to negotiate Group C which includes reigning European and world champions Spain – four times champions Italy and the Republic of Ireland.