Friday, 20 July 2018
Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas - The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times. Born in the UK he has been living and working in Dubrovnik since 1998, yes he is one of the rare “old hands.” A unique insight into both British and Croatian life and culture, Mark is often known as just “Englez” or Englishman. He is a traveller, a current affairs freak and a huge AFC Wimbledon fan.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

The sun may have set on the Croatian World Cup campaign after losing 4 – 2 to France in Moscow but the team has certainly done the nation proud.

Zlatko Dalic and his side will return home to a hero’s welcome, and it is well deserved. They made history. The first time that they have made it to the final of a World Cup and the smallest nation to reach a World Cup final since Uruguay in 1950.

Croatian fans, whilst a little disappointed, are extremely proud of their team’s achievements. Celebrations will continue long into the night; this video was the scene on the tiny Dubrovnik island of Kolocep just after the final whistle.

And so the dream is over. Croatia can be proud of their team, proud of their 2018 World Cup performance and proud that they achieved a historic result for the country. The final in Moscow ended 4 – 2 to the French and “Les Bleus” secured their second World Cup after winning on home soil in 1998.

Croatia have certainly had a World Cup campaign to be proud of. Three victories from three in their group games and after finishing top moved into the later stages as group winners. Victories over Denmark, the hosts Russia and England saw them reach the final for the first time in their history. But it wasn’t to be.

The country will celebrate, will welcome home their heroes in style and will look back at this summer in Russia with pride.

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Thank you for all your messages and photos in support of Croatia...keep them coming 

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The 2018 World Cup Final in Russia has kicked off and Croatia face France in this historic match. The centre of the Old City of Dubrovnik is absolutely packed with fans watching the final of a huge LED screen.

Thousands of fans decked out in red and white filled the square in front of the St. Blaise Church as Dubrovnik cheers on the Croatian heroes.

Check out the photos by Zeljko Tutnjevic and Tonci Plazibat

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Let’s go Croatia. It’s here. The day that the country has been waiting for. The 2018 World Cup Finals against France.

And we have been out on the streets of the Old City of Dubrovnik to see if we needed to drum up support on the eve of the game…we didn’t. The tourists and visitors to Dubrovnik are already in the mood for a great game with many of them wearing the Croatian colours. Great video messages from all over the world.

Check out the video here

A Dubrovnik registered car spun off the main coastal road in Zaton today and landed on its roof on a popular beach. According to information from the scene nobody was injured in the accident that occurred near the Gverovic restaurant.

Fortunately, it appears that neither the driver nor any swimmers or sunbathers on this popular beach were injured. The reason for the accident is still unknown.

Support in all shapes and sizes has been flooding in for the Croatian national football team ahead of the 2018 World Cup Final in Moscow. This time it comes from far away New Zealand with Klapa Samoana.

This famous a cappella vocal choir was formed in 2011 in Auckland and the Kiwi-Samoans sing traditional Croatian songs. Yes, Kiwi-Samoans singing Croatian vocal songs in Croatia, truly impressive and these guys have voices like angels.

Whilst driving and parking their car in Auckland two of the group broke out in song to wish the team good luck before the big game against France.

Check out the video.

Croatia’s best result, until Russia 2018, at a World Cup came in 1998 when they reached the semi-finals only to lose 2 -1 to France in Paris.

The current coach, Zlatko Dalic, watched the 1998 semi-final in France from the stands as a supporter.

Croatia have become the smallest country to reach a World Cup Final since 1950 when Uruguay beat Brazil.

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Croatia started the World Cup at 33/1 outsiders.

No team has ever made it to the World Cup final after going to extra-time in all three prior knockout rounds.

The 2018 World Cup marks only the fifth time that Croatia has competed in the globe's premier soccer tournament.

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Dalic was only appointed as Croatia coach towards the end of their qualifying campaign, leading them to Russia via a play-off win against Greece.

Croatia have never beaten France in five previous meetings, although the last two encounters have ended in a draw.

Croatia qualified for Russia 2018 via the play-offs, after a tough group campaign and were then drawn against Greece in the play-offs. Croatia won comfortably 4-1 on aggregate, and secured their place at Russia 2018.

Only two players in the Croatia 2018 World Cup squad of 23 actually play in the Croatian league.

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