Greatest Sports Legends of Croatia
The country of sports prodigies
Janica Kostelić, Luka Modrić, Dražen Petrović, Ivano Balić, Ratko Rudić, Mirko Filipović, Sandra Perković, Ivica Kostelić, Blanka Vlašić, Davor Šuker, Iva Majoli… the very mention of these people who gained global recognition for their sporting successes evokes excitement in any Croatian. And they represent only a fraction of the medals, awards and recognitions won by Croatian athletes.
Since gaining independence, Croatia has won a total of 44 medals in Winter and Summer Olympics, as well as several thousand medals in various World and European Championships.
Croatia is one of only ten countries in the world that played in the FIFA World Cup final, one of only ten countries that won the Davis Cup in tennis at least twice, and one of only twenty countries in the world with a player who won the Ballon d’Or.
Due to its success, the Jugoplastika club from Split was named the best basketball club of the 20th century; the Croatian national basketball team played the 1992 Olympic finals against the legendary American “Dream Team”; the national water polo team with its 27 medals since the country’s independence represents a global superpower; the masters of handball in checkered jerseys won Olympic tournaments twice; and a Croatian tennis player was the only one to ever win Wimbledon on a wildcard invitation.
Krešimir Ćosić is one of four Croatian players with a place in the Basketball Hall of Fame; Toni Kukoč is the proud owner of three NBA rings and the Sixth Man of the Year title as part of the famous Chicago Bulls generation; brothers Martin and Valent Sinković are one of the most successful rowing teams in the world; and Šime Fantela is one of the best sailors in Olympic classes in the world.
Welcome to the country of world-class athletes.