FIFA WC 2022 | Argentina vs Croatia interesting facts

With the stage set for the first semifinal of the FIFA World Cup 2022, Argentina and Croatia will battle it out for a place in the showdown final on Sunday (December 18). 

The two nations have been in superb nick of form this World Cup and will look to close it out in the best possible manner. But before they get it to the final stage, they will cross one another’s path yet again, having met in the 2018 World Cup as well. So here are some of the interesting facts about the first semifinal between Argentina and Croatia.

LM10 vs LM10

The captain of their two respective sides and the legends of the game, Lionel Messi and Luka Modric will go head-to-head in the big battle on Tuesday (December 13). Both have won all the honours at the club level and it is at the international level that they meet one another to decide the path of the final. While Messi has four Champions League titles, Modric has won the prestigious competition on five occasions, including this year. Interestingly, Messi lies way ahead of Modric in Ballon d’Or titles with seven while the Real Madrid star’s only honor came in 2018 when he led Croatia to the final and won the Champions League as well.

Croatia beat Argentina in the last World Cup meeting

In the last World Cup meeting between the sides in 2018, it was the team from Europe that outran the two-time champions. Croatia won the contest 3-0 in Novgorod thanks to the goals from Ante Rebic, Modric, and Ivan Rakitic to seal the deal. While Argentina then had to scramble their way to the Round of 16, Croatia created a history that time as they beat a South American side in the World Cup for the first in Russia.

Croatia is yet to lose in the 2022 FIFA World Cup

Croatia are yet to lose a single match at the 2022 FIFA World Cup as they came unscratched to win the group stage. They first drew blank Morocco (the only other team still unbeaten in the World Cup) and then followed that with a win against Canada and closed the group stage against Belgium with another goalless draw that saw them finish Group F runners-up. Interestingly, Zlatko Dalić’s men have lost just one match in their last 12 World Cup encounters, which was the final of the 2018 World Cup to France.

Penalty Shootout Masters

The clash will see the masters of the penalty shootout go head-to-head as Croatia and Argentina test their resilience. European giants have won all their four penalty shootouts as all of them have come in the current and previous World Cup with two each. Argentina on the flip side also have a rich history in the shootout and have won on five occasions in the lottery event. The two-time champions’ only occasion when they lost a shootout came in 2006 when hosts Germany got the better of them. So, it is hard to separate both of them in this order.

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