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Croatia managed to beat Turkey in a play-off to book their trip to Ukraine and Poland and will need much of that fighting spirit in order to impress at the finals.
Since the break-up with Yugoslavia, Croatia have featured in four of the last five tournaments - the year of the millennium being their only failure to qualify.
Croatia managed to make it through to the last eight in the 1996 and 2008 events and went out in the group stage in 2004.
Now they are in a group which boasts two of the most successful sides in the world- Spain and Italy - along with the Republic of Ireland.
Slaven Bilićs men will begin their campaign on June 10 against the Irish and will more than likely gladly accept the tag of dark horses in Group C.
Tottenham Hotspurs Niko Kranjcar and Luka Modric as well as Evertons Nikica Jelavic and Bayern Munichs Ivica Olic will be the key stars to watch for Croatia.
|2002 FIFA WORLD CUP KOREA/JAPAN TEAM RECORD|
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