Few contemporary football strips are as iconic — dare we say cool — as those featuring Croatia’s immediately recognizable checkerboard pattern.

“For a football connoisseur, Croatia are one of the most visual and alluring teams playing the beautiful game today,” “Croatians are also deeply proud of their heritage. This comes through in the checkered shirts, which are inspired by the national flag and viewed with envy by fans from other countries.”

says Pete Hoppins, Nike Football Apparel Senior Design Director.

Of course, aesthetic appeal alone does not make an icon. Croatia’s regular successes, including a stunning third-place finish in ’98, have helped form a strong team identity — one that, regardless of the nation’s small size and modest resources, is both respected and feared by opponents. Davor Šuker, a figurehead of Croatia’s golden generation of the ’90s and current president of the Croatian Football Association, sums it up neatly: “The charm of football is that a small nation can beat a major one.”

Few contemporary football strips are as iconic — dare we say cool — as those featuring Croatia’s immediately recognizable checkerboard pattern.

Of course, aesthetic appeal alone does not make an icon. Croatia’s regular successes, including a stunning third-place finish in ’98, have helped form a strong team identity — one that, regardless of the nation’s small size and modest resources, is both respected and feared by opponents. Davor Šuker, a figurehead of Croatia’s golden generation of the ’90s and current president of the Croatian Football Association, sums it up neatly:

“The charm of football is that a small nation can beat a major one.”