28 Sep 2020 11:50 AM +00:00

Croatia FIFA 18 World Cup: squad, player ratings, tactics, formation & tips

Regardless of what year it is, you think of Croatia, and you think of a side with some pretty decent players, but you never back them for a deep run at the World Cup.

That could change this year, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic supply a world class midfield, which is aided by Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic and Juventus front man Mario Mandzukic, making a side like Croatia a tricky customer in Russia.

With that much talent, whilst still maintaining an underdog status, Croatia are a superb choice for the World Cup update on FIFA 18. Can you take the Croats back to the World Cup semi-finals for the first time in 20 years. 

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Team rating

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It’s a four and half stars for Croatian on the World Cup update. This is made of an 81 attack, 82 midfield and 78 defence.

Croatia’s potential World Cup fixtures


Group stage




Round of 16



Portugal or Uruguay



Brazil or Belgium


Spain or Germany

By no means an easy group, but Croatia will be backing themselves to at least finish second in Group D. Croatia are the best equipped to deal with the might of Argentina and will be confident of defeating both Nigeria and Iceland, despite finishing behind the Icelanders in their qualifying group.

If a second-place finish is secured, France will be waiting in the Round of 16. Les Bleus would be the hot favourites, but there is a chance for Croatia in that game. They can go toe-to-toe with the French in midfield, and they have the weapons to hurt them on the break, and at set pieces with Mandzukic’s aerial threat. 

A win in the last 16 would open up the draw, and you would be rewarded with a clash against either Portugal or Uruguay. You will have developed some form by the quarter-finals, and should be confident in defeating either side. 

A semi-final tie against Brazil or Belgium is a different prospect, and although it would be your most difficult match of the tournament so far, a victory is not out of the question. Keep things tight at the back and you may require some useful saves from ‘keeper Danijel Subasic but there is no reason why you cannot go through.

The final. Spain or Germany. This is where you feel the legs would come off for Croatia. But anything can happen in a final, so can you make history and win a first title with the nation on FIFA 18?


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Croatia’s default formation is a 4-2-3-1 narrow, and we have expanded this to a 4-2-3-1 wide to spread the play.


Danijel Subasic is very useful in goal (84 GK reflexes) and he has a back four of Sime Vrsaljko, Dejan Lovren, Vedran Corluka and Ivan Strinic in front of him.

Mateo Kovacic and conductor Ivan Rakitic (90 long pass) are in defensive midfield, whilst Luka Modric (92 short pass) makes things happen in the final third from attacking midfield.

Andrej Kramaric and the sharp Ivan Perisic (87 sprint speed) provide the width, while target man Mario Mandzukic (90 heading accuracy) lines up in attack.

On the bench go for Lovre Kalinic, Domagoj Vida, Tin Jedvaj, Milan Badelj, Marcelo Brozovic, Marko Pjaca and Nikola Kalinic. 


With your three central midfield players all playing for either Barcelona or Real Madrid, you must make the most of Mateo Kovacic, Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric. Look to use short, sharp interplay between them and consistently pass and move. Modric (90 vision) can pick out the runners from wide areas, with the deeper lying Rakitic (88 long shots) able to strike from range.

You must balance out the midfield though, and in playing all three of these talented players can leave you vulnerable in defence. You must therefore tell Kovacic to ‘stay back while attacking’ for attacking support on the instructions tab, despite his 87 dribbling stat.

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Of course, with Mario Mandzukic up front you will want to swing plenty of balls into the box. To ensure he will always be available in the final third, change his support runs to ‘stay central’ and attacking runs to ‘target man’. 

Mandzukic will need support in attack, and that should come from Andrej Kramaric, who is accustomed to playing out wide and as a conventional forward. Make sure the Hoffenheim man has ‘stay forward’ selected for defensive support and support on crosses is put to ‘get into box for cross’. 


Time to make the talent count

It’s clear to see how much quality is in this Croatia squad, but you fear if they miss out on a deep run into the tournament this year, it may be some time before they will be able to again. With a kind group, they have to take advantage of it this year, but Croatia will need to beat one of the big boys if they are to go deep in the World Cup in Russia. It’s down to you to make sure that happens on FIFA 18. 

Croatia squad player ratings

Player Age Pos Club OVR
Danijel Subasic33GKMonaco83
Lovre Kalinic28GKGent75
Ivan Vargic31GKLazio69
Dominik Livakovic22GKDinamo Zagreb65
Sime Vrsaljko26RB LBAtletico Madrid80
Vedran Corluka32CBLokomotiv Moscow80
Dejan Lovren28CBLiverpool80
Domagoj Vida29CB RBBesiktas78
Ivan Strinic30LBAC Milan75
Tin Jedvaj24CBBayer Leverkusen71
Duje Caleta-Car21CBRB Salzburg71
Antonio Milic24CB LBAnderlecht71
Marin Leovac29LB LMDinamo Zagreb71
Josip Pivaric29LB LMDynamo Kyiv68
Marko Barisic25LB LMHrvatski Dragovoljac65
Marko Leskovic27CBDinamo Zagreb64
Zoran Nizic28CBHajduk Split63
Luka Modric32CM CDM CAMReal Madrid89
Ivan Rakitic30CM CDMBarcelona86
Mateo Kovacic24CM CDMReal Madrid81
Marcelo Brozovic25CM CDMInter Milan80
Milan Badelj29CDM CMFiorentina78
Marko Pjaca23LM CAMSchalke77
Marko Rog22CAM CMNapoli76
Mario Pasalic23CM CDMAC Milan75
Ante Coric21CAM LMRoma73
Domagoj Antolic27CM CDMLegia Warsaw67
Nikola Vlasic20RM CAM RWEverton67
Filip Bradaric26CDMRijeka64
Mario Mandzukic32ST LMJuventus83
Nikola Kalinic30STAC Milan79
Ivan Santini29STCaen76
Franko Andrijasevic26ST CAMGent76
Duje Cop28STStandard Liege74
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