Top Goal Scorers For Croatia Football Team All-Time: Croatia is a relatively young country, just 33 years old, but it has made a mark in international football. They have a talented team, and some players have been outstanding in recent years.
The Qatar 2022 World Cup ended the incredible era of Croatia’s national team. This period, known as the golden generation, has put Croatia in the spotlight of international football. However, it also signifies the beginning of a new chapter for Balkan football. Even though the expectations are high, there’s a lot of potential in the young players that will carry the team forward.
Top Goal Scorers For Croatia Football Team All-Time
In this article, we’ll discuss the top goal scorers for the Croatia football team of all time.
1. Davor Šuker
- Career Span: 1990–2002
- Matches: 69
- Goals: 45
Before the new generation of players emerged, Davor Suker was Croatia’s star player. He was a formidable forward, scoring 45 goals in 69 matches for the Croatian national team, averaging 0.65 goals per game.
Suker had a successful career with many achievements, but his standout moment was being the top scorer at the 1998 World Cup in France, where he scored six goals. Despite his impressive performance, he finished second in the race for the 1998 Ballon d’Or, behind Zinedine Zidane, a key player in that World Cup.
On the national team level, Suker, also known as the “Wizard of Osijek,” not only won the Under-20 Championship with Yugoslavia in 1987 but also scored 9 goals for Croatia in major official competitions. This includes 6 goals in the 1998 World Cup and 3 goals in the European Championship of 1996 held in England.
2. Mario Mandžukić
- Career Span: 2007–2018
- Matches: 89
- Goals: 33
Mario Mandžukić is indeed a standout player in Croatia’s football history. As the second-highest goal scorer for the national team, he’s considered one of the best attackers the country has seen in recent years. Mandžukić’s dedication and skill were evident both in World Cup tournaments and in his performances for renowned European clubs such as Bayern Munich, Juventus, and Atlético de Madrid. His contributions have left a lasting impact on Croatian football.
Throughout his career, he played an impressive 565 games and scored 230 goals at the club level. On the international stage, he represented Croatia in two World Cups, in Brazil 2014 and Russia 2018, as well as two European Championships in 2012 and 2016.
What sets him apart is that he is the third player in history to score goals in both a Champions League final and a World Cup final.
3. Ivan Perišić
- Career Span: 2011–
- Matches: 126
- Goals: 33
Ivan Perišić is the third-highest goal scorer for the Croatia Football Team of all time. During the 2012 European Championship, he played in the first two group games against Ireland and Italy and provided an assist.
In the 2016 European Championships in France, Perišić played in all four matches for Croatia. He scored to give his team a 1-0 lead against the Czech Republic. In the game against Spain, his 50th international match, he prepared the equalizing goal and scored the winning goal, helping Croatia secure a 2-1 victory. Croatia reached the round of 16 as group winners but were eliminated by Portugal in extra time.
During the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Perišić scored the winning goal against Iceland in the group stage and played a crucial role in the semi-final against England, scoring the equalizer and assisting the winning goal. Croatia reached their first-ever World Cup final, where Perišić scored to make it 1-1 against France, but Croatia ultimately lost 2-4. He covered the most distance during the World Cup, running 72.5 kilometers. In the 2021 European Championships, Perišić was part of the Croatian squad that was eliminated in the round of 16 against Spain. Unfortunately, he couldn’t play in that game due to an infection with SARS-CoV-2.
4. Eduardo da Silva
- Career Span: 2004–2014
- Matches: 64
- Goals: 29
Eduardo da Silva is the fourth-highest goal scorer for the Croatia Football Team of all time. He became a Croatian citizen in 2002 and debuted for the Croatian U-21 national team two years later. His first game for the senior national team was in a friendly against Ireland in 2004. Despite performing well in the Croatian league, he was not selected for the 2006 World Cup.
Eduardo gained prominence in the senior national team after the 2006 World Cup and played a crucial role in Croatia’s successful qualification for the 2008 European Football Championship. He scored ten goals in twelve games during the European Championship qualification, making him the second-highest goal scorer behind David Healy from Northern Ireland.
After recovering from a serious injury in February 2008, Eduardo returned to the national team’s starting lineup on April 1, 2009, in a 2010 World Cup qualifier against Andorra. He participated in the 2014 World Cup, but he only appeared as a substitute once. Surprisingly, he retired from the Croatian national team at the age of 31, citing discrimination and hostility from people associated with the team as the reasons for his decision.
5. Luka Modrić
- Career Span: 2006–
- Matches: 165
- Goals: 24
Luka Modric is undoubtedly one of the greatest players in Croatia’s history. His journey is a story of hard work and determination. When he joined Real Madrid, he wasn’t as valued as he is today. Over time, he improved significantly, becoming a midfield legend for both Real Madrid and the Croatian National Team, where he serves as the captain.
Modric’s started in 2003, and he quickly earned the nickname “The Cruyff of the Balkans.” Despite being 35 years old, he still directs the midfield brilliantly, although he has fewer goals than the legendary Dutchman Johan Cruyff.
With Real Madrid, Modric has won five UEFA Champions League titles. He was also a runner-up in the 2018 World Cup, the UEFA Nations League in 2023, and achieved third place in the 2022 World Cup. He has participated in four World Cups and three European Championships, aiming for his fourth in Germany in 2024.
Making his debut for Croatia in 2006, Modric has earned 165 international caps and scored 24 goals. Although he performed well at Tottenham, his true breakthrough happened at Real Madrid, where he has won 17 titles. He played a vital role in their four Champions League victories from 2014 to 2018, starting in each decisive match. His exceptional skills have earned him recognition, including a spot in France Football magazine’s Ideal XI of the Decade (2010-2020), where he formed a midfield trio with Barcelona players Andrés Iniesta and Xavi Hernández.