The Balkan nation reached the last four after dumping Brazil, who were one of the tournament favourites, out of the tournament on penalties. An Luka Modric-inspired performance saw Zlatko Dalic’s men hold the South Americans to a 0-0 draw over the 90 minutes. It appeared their time was up when Neymar scored one of the goals of the tournament only for Bruno Petkovic to score with three minutes of extra-time remaining. Dominik Livakovic was the penalty shoot-out hero.
It is the second World Cup in succession where Croatia have reached the last four. Celtic’s Josip Juranovic and Borna Barisic of Rangers are part of the squad. Despite starting in the last-16 victory over Japan, the latter found himself back on the bench. Juranovic, however, put in an excellent performance against Neymar and Vinicius Jr and was widely praised by the BBC. It was reported prior to the tournament that Celtic may look to cash in on the player should a suitable offer be received.
Through FIFA’s Club Benefit Payments Programme, Celtic and Rangers continue to generate funds with their players remaining at the tournament. The governing body pays out around $10,000 (US) per day a player is at the competition, starting from November 10, which was the beginning of the preparation period, until the day after elimination. A chunk of the fee will go to any team who the player has been contracted to over the past two years as will be the case with Juranvoic who was signed by Celtic in the summer of 2021.
Croatia will face Argentina in the Lusail Stadium on Tuesday which means, should they lose, the duo will have racked up 35 days worth of the Club Benefit Payment. Rangers will be due the full $350,000 amount with Barisic having been signed in 2018, while Celtic will see some of the fee go to Legia Warsaw, the Polish side Juranvoic was signed from. They should still be due around $250,000 which will be added to the money they receive for Aaron Mooy, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Daizen Maeda, all three getting through the group stages with their countries.