Class of 111: part of Croatian football family

111 years, three medals from world championships, hundreds of thousands of matches and registered players, numerous moments that we will remember forever - all this was made possible by the members of the Croatian football family, and this campaign filmed in the middle of 2022 is a letter of thanks to all of them.

Generation 111 is the common name for 24 people who represent the breadth of the Croatian football family - from coaches and players who won silver and bronze medals at world championships to women on the field and bench; from playing legends who became coaches to sons, daughters and brothers who found football because of the family's love for the sport; from judges to media representatives; from futsal to women's football, all the way to the smallest and at the same time the biggest fans. From all Croatian regions, as well as the diaspora, from a 13-year-old boy from Dubrovnik to an 84-year-old legendary journalist - through Generation 111, we tried to present everyone who made football the national sport of the Republic of Croatia in the past 111 years.

Croatian football family, we wish you a happy 111th anniversary!

Class of 111: part of Croatian football family

Statistics

Crotaian football family during last year

The famous Vatreni are the most visible representatives of Croatian football, but behind their success is a base of numerous clubs, young players and passionate amateurs. The breadth and importance of that base are best shown by the following figures, which faithfully depict the current demographic situation of the most popular sport in Croatia.
  • 101.043

    Registered players (M)

  • 3.952

    Registered players (W)

  • 61.719

    Players Under-18

  • 8.297

    Coaches

  • 20.442

    Officials

  • 1.872

    Clubs

  • 55.716

    Matches in a year

  • 975

    Competitions

Class of 111

  • Zlatko

    Zlatko

    The coach who brought unity to Croatia

    Head coach Zlatko Dalić took over the helm of the Croatian national team at the end of 2017 in extremely difficult circumstances, and since then he has achieved a string of successes that no previous head coach of the Vatreni can boast of - two medals from the world championships, of which the silver in Russia in 2018 is the biggest in sports success in Croatian history, with a silver medal in the UEFA Nations League.

    The secrets of Dalić's success? In his words – humility, togetherness and family.

  • Nevio

    Nevio

    A little fan with a big heart

    Young Nevio Krešić is the only boy in Croatia with Majewski syndrome, and for years he has been among the most ardent fans of the Croatian national team, and his parents describe him as a boy who always has the ball at his feet.

    His greatest role model among Vatreni? A striker icon Mario Mandžukić, with whom he participated in the filming of the Generation 111 campaign.

  • Iva

    Iva

    The first woman on the bench of the Croatian national team

    Croatia's team manager Iva Olivari is among the first and only women to sit on the bench of a men's senior national team as a team manager.

    She is a former junior tennis champion of Yugoslavia. She started working in football in 1992, and by appearing on the bench of the Croatian national team at the European and world championships, she showed girls all over Croatia that there is definitely a place for them in football.

  • Joško

    Joško

    Defender of the new age and generational talent

    Joško Guardiol is a generational talent that all the world's national teams hope for - at the age of only 21, when he moved to Manchester City, he became the most expensive defender of all time, and already in his first appearances for the Vatreni he showed that the future of the Croatian national team is in safe hands.

    At the time of the filming of the Generation 111 campaign, Joško achieved his first national team successes, and since then he played a key role in winning the bronze medal at the World Championship in Qatar and helping Croatia win a place in the final tournament of the League of Nations.

  • David V.

    David V.

    Little football player and son of the „son of the plain“

    Five years ago, then three-year-old David Vida became a real star after the semi-final match against England at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, when he celebrated reaching the final with his father Domagoj barefoot on the field.

    Along with the Slavonian spirit, he also inherited his love for football from his father Domagoj - just as Domagoj inherited it from his father Rudika.

  • Ivana

    Ivana

    A referee who pushes the boundaries

    Ivana Martinčić is the first female football referee at the highest level of Croatian men's club competitions, making Croatia only the fifth European country with a referee in elite men's football. This woman from Koprivnica played soccer in the women's soccer club Podravka in her youth, and she adopted her love for soccer refereeing from her father, a well-known referee from Koprivnica.

    From her historic first HNL match between Gorica and Hrvatski Dragovoljac to today, Ivana has refereed numerous club football matches, as well as qualification matches for the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA U-21 European Championship, as well as the final tournament of the FIFA World Cup for women.

  • Igor

    Igor

    Coach of the new generation

    Champions League winner, former national team member and legend of the Zagreb Blues, Igor Bišćan, after a successful playing career, turned to coaching and soon showed his coaching potential - he won the double crown with the Slovenian Olimpija, won a place in the top tier of club competitions with the then second division club Rudeš, and with the young Vatreni secured two placements in the final tournament of the U-21 European Championship, where he then recorded his first victory, as well as his first passage through the group.

    After the U-21 national team, he took over Dinamo, with whom he won the championship and the Super Cup, and where he stayed until August 2023.

  • Hrvoje

    Hrvoje

    Young centre-back and a twin brother

    The young defender of Eintracht Frankfurt, Hrvoje Smolčić, is one of the twin brothers who participated in the Generation 111 campaign.

    Born in Gospić, twins Hrvoje and Ivan built their football career at the HNK Rijeka football school, and as children, the coaches often recognized them only by their boots.

  • Gabrijela

    Gabrijela

    A young soccer player and the daughter of a Croatian national team player

    Fourteen-year-old Gabrijela Brajković is a young soccer player and the daughter of the prematurely deceased former Croatian national team player Goran Brajković.

    Eight years ago, then six-year-old Gabrijela „set fire“ to social media thanks to a cute video that was spontaneously created as a call for more girls in the club in order to have women's company in the locker room and on the field. Today Gabrijela is a young member of the national team and a member of the women's soccer club, and she can finally play soccer in women's company.

  • Mateo

    Mateo

    Croatian wunderkind and Luka's successor

    The midfielder of the Croatian national team and Manchester City, Mateo Kovačić, was already called a Croatian wunderkind and a talent that had not been seen for years as a thirteen-year-old. He has been playing for Vatreni since his teenage days and won two medals at the FIFA world championships and silver in the League of Nations with the Croatian national team, and he only needs a few more appearances to become the youngest member of the 100 Club.

    He is the winner of four Champions Leagues, and he played for the world's biggest clubs - Real, Chelsea, Inter and the current European champion, Manchester City.

  • David Š.

    David Š.

    Son of a bronze medalist and brother of a young national team player

    Little David Šimić is the youngest son of the bronze medalist Vatreni Dario Šimić and the younger brother of the young national team player Roko.

    As part of the Generation 111 campaign, his father Dario spoke about what David's life looks like with trisomy 21.

  • Josip

    Josip

    Silver minor football player

    Current futsal A national team member Josip Jurlina showed his magnificent talent already in the younger age categories, when he won a silver medal with the Croatian U-19 futsal national team.

    Josip and his peers' achievements at the first edition of the U-19 European Championship in futsal in Riga can serve as the best possible inspiration for young men who will compete in the new edition of this tournament in Poreč.

  • Mario V.

    Mario V.

    The fourth generation of Bili

    A native of Split, defender Mario Vušković is the older of the two Vušković brothers, who can boast of a special „Hajduk“ pedigree - from great-grandfather Marko, who played for Hajduk in the forties of the last century, to his father Danijel, a member of the generation of Mario Carević and Darijo Srna, each the generation of the Vušković family "produced" the players of Hajduk.

    Mario made 42 appearances for the senior team of Hajduk before he moved to the German HSV as a teenager and played for all ages of Croatian junior national teams.

    A few months after the filming of the campaign, the German Football Association (DFB) initiated proceedings against Mario Vušković on suspicion of using illegal substances, and at the beginning of 2023 the player was suspended for two years. Taking into account the fact that the German state prosecutor's office suspended the investigation against Vušković due to the lack of indications that the player knowingly introduced illegal substances and the fact that the proceedings at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne are still ongoing, HNS considers it right to keep Mario in this campaign because with his brother he shares a beautiful family-football story that is worth promoting. The Croatian Football Association supports the efforts of Mario and HSV to use all legal means and possibilities in order to protect the player's career and reputation by proving his innocence, which does not change the clear position of the Association against doping in sports, against which HNS fights with numerous activities.

  • Miro

    Miro

    Legend of Croatian journalism

    The legend of Croatian sports journalism, Miroslav Rede, played for Partizan, Dinamo and Lokomotiva in his youth, and during his rich journalistic career he held the position of editor of the football newsroom of Sportske novosti, editor-in-chief of the weekly SN review, and left a deep mark on the sports newsroom of Večernji list.

    Especially memorable were his interviews with Pele, whom Rede calls „the greatest footballer of all time“ - as he told us, the phenomenon that Pele was in his boyhood days is for him now Luka Modrić, who delights with his performances even in later years.

  • Domagoj

    Domagoj

    Member of the 100 Club and good spirit of the locker room

    The good spirit of the Croatian locker room, two-time FIFA World Cup medalist and Club 100 member, Domagoj Vida, inherited his love for football from his father Rudika.

    The dedication and fighting spirit he showed in his performances for Vatrene earned him the title of one of the favorites of Croatian fans, and he now shares his love for football with his son David.

  • Doris

    Doris

    A goalkeeper and captain who pushes women's football forward

    The current captain of the women's A national team, Doris Bačić, is one of the most successful Croatian soccer players in history.

    In her rich career, this goalkeeper from Neum defended the colors of Arsenal, Juventus and Sporting, among others, and currently plays for Napoli.

  • Dario

    Dario

    The Bronze Vatreni

    Dario Šimić is the first national team player to reach 100 appearances for the Croatian national team. He enriched his rich national team career with bronze at the World Championship in France, and spent a large part of his club career in the Italian giant Milan, with whom he also won the Champions League. After his playing career, he dedicated himself to promoting the rights of football players through the Croatian Football Union, and in 2023 he took on the role of a board member of the Croatian champion Dinamo.

    In this video, he recalls the World Cup in 1998 and shares his advice with us for his son and young national team player Roko, as well as his parenting experiences with little David, who was born with trisomy 21.

  • Mario M.

    Mario M.

    The striker icon of Vatreni

    Trophy striker, favorite of Vatreni fans and current assistant coach of the A national team, Mario Mandžukić made almost 90 appearances for Croatia, won the triple crown and the Champions League with Bayern Munich, and delighted the fans of Dinamo, Atlético and Juventus with his goals.

    He scored twice in the final of the Champions League, and Croatian fans especially remember the winning goal against England in the semi-final of the World Cup. As part of the filming of the Generation 111 campaign, the inimitable Mandžo met again with one of his most loyal fans - the young Nevio Krešić.

  • Luka S.

    Luka S.

    A rising star who chose Croatia

    The young midfielder Luka Sučić was born in Austria and honed his playing talent in the football academy of Salzburg's Red Bull.

    He points out the captain of the A national team, Luka Modrić, as his biggest football role model, and already in his first appearances for the young national team and for Vatreni, he showed how much Croatian football got at that moment when he chose to represent Croatia instead of his native Austria.

  • Josip

    Josip

    Perseverance in action

    Although he was born in Zagreb, defender Josip Juranović led Hajduk as captain, and currently plays for the Croatian A national team and the Union Berlin.

    At the age of nineteen, he fought for the chance to play professional football at the Nike Chance tournament. The prize for winning the tournament was presented to him by Mateo Kovačić, with whom nine years later he won the bronze medal at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Life writes wonderful stories!

  • Luka V.

    Luka V.

    Hajduk's golden boy

    Hajduk's stopper wunderkind Luka Vušković is the fourth generation of Hajduk players, with the junior team he won second place in the UEFA Youth League and is one of the most promising young defenders of his generation

    Younger brother Vušković made his debut for Hajduk with everything sixteen years old and at the beginning of 2023 he became the youngest scorer for Bili in official matches.

  • Roko

    Roko

    The young centre-forward of the future

    The young national team player Roko Šimić is the son of bronze medalist Dario Šimić and Red Bull striker from Salzburg.

    His father Dario spoke about Roko's playing future as part of the Generation 111 campaign and the advice he shares with him.

  • Helenna

    Helenna

    Former national team member, current coach and football employee

    Helenna Hercigonja-Moulton, a former Croatian national team member and current football player and coach, was born in Los Angeles and is of Croatian and Jamaican descent.

    As a young player, she chose to represent Croatia and her football journey brought her to Zagreb, and in this video she shares her experiences in different spheres of women's football.

  • Ivan

    Ivan

    Young centre-back and twin brother

    Rijeka defender Ivan Smolčić is one of the Smolčić twin brothers.

    The Smolčić brothers inherited their love of football from their father, who also played football, and although they currently play for different clubs, they can boast of the fact that they made history in their Rijeka as the first pair of twins to meet in the record of one match.

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