Croatian

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Croatia is a Roman Catholic country situated at the intersection of Central Europe, Southeast Europe and Mediterranean. Having a history that dates back to 7th century AD, Croatia, much like its European counterparts, faced suppression from the Ottoman Empire and was later merged into the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. It was not until 1991 that Croatia gained complete independence and was adjudged as the Republic of Croatia. Over the years, Croatia’s strategic geographic location influenced the country’s art and culture so much so, giving it shades of both the western and eastern hemispheres. Though Croatian stalwarts dominated Croatia’s politics, economy, military, academics, science, medicine, and arts and entertainment since times immemorial, it was in the 19th century that Croatian culture witnessed unprecedented developments in all the fields, thus giving rise to a number of popular historical figures such as, Franjo Tudman, Tin Ujevic, Vlado Gotovac, Janica, Kostelic, Ivan Supek and so on, The country also boasts of having three Nobel Prize winners including Lavoslav Ružička and Vladimir Prelog in the field of chemistry and Ivo Andrić in the field of literature. Know more about the life and works of popular Croatians in this section.
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 1 
Luka Modrić
(Croatian Professional Football Player Who Plays as a Midfielder)
Luka Modrić
30
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: September 9, 1985
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Zadar, Croatia
Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modrić has won 17 big trophies for his club. He had a difficult childhood, growing up amid the Croatian War of Independence. He has played for Tottenham Hotspur, and in 2018, he led Croatia to their first football World Cup final and won the Golden Ball.
 2 
Mirko Cro Cop
(Former Croatian Mixed Martial Artist, Amateur Boxer, and Kickboxer)
Mirko Cro Cop
8
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: September 10, 1974
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vinkovci, Croatia

Mirko Cro Cop is a Croatian former mixed martial artist, amateur boxer, and kickboxer. He is best known for his association with Pride Fighting Championships. Cro Cop is widely regarded as one of the greatest Heavyweight MMA fighters and kickboxers of all time.

 3 
Goran Ivanisevic
(Former Croatian Tennis Player, Coach and Only Player to Have Won a Wimbledon Singles Title as a Wildcard)
Goran Ivanisevic
6
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: September 13, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Split, Croatia
The first Croat to win a Wimbledon men’s singles, Goran Ivanisevic also remains the only player to win the title on a wild card. His rankings improved dramatically from 125th to 16th after his Wimbledon triumph in 2001. Interestingly, the tennis star is also a skilled football player.
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 4 
Davor Šuker
(Iconic Croatian Former Footballer and Sports Administrator)
Davor Šuker
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: January 1, 1968
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Osijek

Legendary Croatian former footballer Davor Šuker has also headed the Croatian Football Federation as its president. His illustrious career saw him spend successful stints at both Real Madrid and Arsenal. He was also part of the 1998 FIFA World Cup third place-winning Croatian squad and remains Croatia’s all-time top goal-scorer.

 5 
Mario Mandžukić
(Croatian Footballer Who Played as a Striker)
Mario Mandžukić
6
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: May 21, 1986
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Slavonski Brod, Croatia

Mario Mandžukić is a Croatian former footballer who played as a striker for the Croatia national team from 2007 to 2018. In 2018, he helped his team win the silver medal at the World Cup. As a player, he became renowned for his aerial prowess and aggressiveness. In 2012 and 2013, Mario Mandžukić was adjudged Croatian Footballer of the Year.                

 6 
Robert Herjavec
(Investor & Founder of ‘The Herjavec Group’, One of the Largest IT & Computer Security Companies in Canada)
Robert Herjavec
6
Birthdate: September 14, 1962
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Varaždin, Croatia
Investor Robert Herjavec founded the internet security software BRAK Systems, which he later sold to AT&T. He also established the Herjavec Group and turned it into one of Canada’s biggest IT security firms. He has also appeared in Dragons' Den and Shark Tank, and has authored several business books.
 7 
Ivan Perisic
(Croatian Footballer Who Plays as a Midfielder)
Ivan Perisic
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: February 2, 1989
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Split

Ivan Perisic is a Croatian football player who plays as a midfielder for the Croatia national football team and Tottenham Hotspur. Best known for his versatility, Perisic can play as an attacking midfielder, defender, or second striker. Ivan Perišić has represented his nation at important tournaments, such as the UEFA European Football Championships and World Cups.

 8 
Ivan Rakitić
(Football player)
Ivan Rakitić
11
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: March 10, 1988
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Rheinfelden, Switzerland

Popular Croatian central midfielder Ivan Rakitić now represents FC Barcelona. Though born in Switzerland, the talented footballer has never played for the country. Known for his energy on the field, he was instrumental in taking his team to the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

 9 
Mateo Kovačić
(Croatian Footballer Who Plays as a Midfielder)
Mateo Kovačić
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: May 6, 1994
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Linz, Austria

Mateo Kovačić is a Croatian football player who plays as a midfielder for the Croatia national football team and Premier League club Chelsea. He has represented Croatia at the World Cups and the UEFA European Football Championships. A versatile midfielder, Mateo Kovačić has also won several titles for Chelsea.

 10 
Toni Kukoč
(Croatian-American Basketball Player Who Played as a Small Forward or Power Forward)
Toni Kukoč
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: September 18, 1968
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Split, Croatia

Toni Kukoč is a Croatian-American retired basketball player who played in the NBA for teams like Philadelphia 76ers, Chicago Bulls, and Milwaukee Bucks. A three-time NBA champion, Kukoč was made an inductee of the FIBA Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017 and 2021 respectively.

 11 
Dražen Petrović
(Basketball player)
Dražen Petrović
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: October 22, 1964
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Šibenik, Croatia
Died: June 7, 1993
 12 
Marin Čilić
(One of the Best Croatian Tennis Players of All Time)
Marin Čilić
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: September 28, 1988
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Međugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Marin Čilić is a Croatian tennis player best known for winning the 2014 US Open and a silver medal at the 2020 Olympic Games. Regarded as one of the best Croatian professional tennis players of all time, Marin Čilić has won many ATP Tour singles titles in his illustrious career. He also helped his country win the 2018 Davis Cup.

 13 
Stjepan Hauser
2
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: June 15, 1986
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pula, Croatia
 14 
Goran Visnjic
4
Birthdate: September 9, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Šibenik, Socialist Republic of Croatia SR Croatia, SFR Yugoslavia small (now Croatia)
 15 
Niko Kovač
(Former Croatian Footballer and Coach)
Niko Kovač
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: October 15, 1971
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany

Retired Croatian footballer and coach Niko Kovač has headed the Croatian national team as its captain for a long time. He has also had successful stints with Bayern Munich and Red Bull Salzburg as a player. He later tasted success as a manager of Bayern Munich, among other clubs.

 16 
Donna Vekic
(Croatian Tennis Player and Entrepreneur)
Donna Vekic
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: June 28, 1996
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Osijek, Croatia

Croatian tennis player Donna Vekic has been a world number 19 in singles. Known for her aggressive style of play and her big first serve, she, however, lacks in speed. She has major wins, such as the 2017 Nottingham Open, in her kitty. A businesswoman, too, she owns a luxury home fragrance brand.

 17 
Dejan Lovren
(Croatian Professional Football Player Who Plays as a Centre-Back)
Dejan Lovren
7
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: July 5, 1989
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Zenica, Bosnia

Following his 6-year stint with Liverpool, Croatian footballer Dejan Lovren has now moved to Russia to captain Zenit Saint Petersburg. He spent his early childhood in the war-torn Bosnia and Herzegovina and then escaped to Germany and eventually to Croatia. He led Croatia to the 2018 FIFA World Cup final.

 18 
Ivica Zubac
(Croatian Basketball Player Who Plays in the NBA)
Ivica Zubac
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: March 18, 1997
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Croatian basketball player Ivica Zubac is best known for his association with the NBA team Los Angeles Clippers. Starting his senior career with Zrinjevac, he has also later played for the Los Angeles Lakers. He has also been part of the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship silver-winning Croatian team.

 19 
Rade Šerbedžija
(One of the Best Known Croatian Actors of the 1970s and 1980s)
Rade Šerbedžija
11
Birthdate: July 27, 1946
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bunić, Croatia

Rade Šerbedžija is a Croatian actor, musician, and director. One of the best known Croatian actors of the 1970s and 1980s, Šerbedžija has also achieved international fame by appearing in popular films like Mission: Impossible 2, X-Men: First Class, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:Part 1. Rade Šerbedžija is considered one of the finest Croatian actors of his generation.

 20 
Slavica Ecclestone
(Croatian Model and Ex-Wife of Former Formula 1 CEO 'Bernie Ecclestone')
Slavica Ecclestone
4
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: June 2, 1958
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Rijeka, Croatia

Slavica Ecclestone is a Croatian model best known for her association with Armani during her early career. She achieved international recognition after marrying British business magnate Bernie Ecclestone, who is 28 years older than Slavica. They married despite many differences, including a difference in height and language barrier, which attracted the attention of the media all over the world.

 21 
Domagoj Vida
(Croatian Football Defender)
Domagoj Vida
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: April 29, 1989
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Našice, Croatia

Croatian footballer Domagoj Vida is best known as a defender for the Greek club AEK Athens. Starting his senior career with Osijek, he later had successful stints with Dinamo Zagreb, Dynamo Kyiv, and Beşiktaş. He has also been part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup runner-up Croatian squad.

 22 
Matthias Corvinus
(King of Hungary and Croatia (1458 - 1490))
Matthias Corvinus
1
Birthdate: February 23, 1443
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Died: April 6, 1490

The second son of military leader János Hunyadi, Matthias Corvinus ruled as the king of Hungary and Croatia in the 15th century. He introduced several financial and other administrative reforms to reunite Hungary after a long period of anarchy. He also established the Black Army of Hungary and patronized the arts and sciences.

 23 
Mira Furlan
(Actress)
Mira Furlan
1
Birthdate: September 7, 1955
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Zagreb, Croatia
Died: January 20, 2021
 24 
Dario Šarić
(Croatian Basketball Player)
Dario Šarić
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: April 8, 1994
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Šibenik, Croatia

Croatian basketball player Dario Šarić plays for the NBA team Phoenix Suns. Starting his senior career with Zrinjevac, he later had successful stints with many clubs, such as the Turkish club Anadolu Efes. He was also part of the Croatian squads that won the U-16 and U-18 European championships.

 25 
Mario Hezonja
(Croatian Basketball Player Known for His Association with Real Madrid)
Mario Hezonja
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: February 25, 1995
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dubrovnik, Croatia

Croatian basketball player Mario Hezonja is best known for his association with the Spanish club Real Madrid. Known for his exceptional performance in EuroLeague, he has also been part of Croatia’s 2012 U17 World Cup bronze-winning and 2011 U16 European Championship gold-winning squads. In 2011, he received the Sportske Novosti Award for Fair Play.

 26 
Nikolai Volkoff
(Yugoslav Weightlifter-Turned-Wrestler Who Played for WWE)
Nikolai Volkoff
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: October 14, 1947
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Split, Croatia
Died: July 29, 2018

Initially part of the Yugoslavian weightlifting team, Nikolai Volkoff later moved to Canada and then to the US, where he began competing for the wrestling promotion WWWF, now known as WWE. He usually played the Russian villain in his matches and later teamed up with The Iron Sheik to form a tag team.

 27 
Luka Sulic
(Cellist)
Luka Sulic
4
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: August 25, 1987
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Maribor,
 28 
Oja Kodar
(Croatian Actress and Partner of Director Orson Welles)
Oja Kodar
0
Birthdate: 1941 AD
Birthplace: Zagreb, Croatia

Oja Kodar is a Croatian actress, director, and screenwriter. Kodar's professional achievements are often overshadowed by her relationship with legendary American actor and filmmaker, Orson Welles. Kodar's relationship with Welles during the latter's final years was sensationalized by the media as the actor was still married to Paola Mori. Kodar’s early career as an actress mostly revolved around Welles' projects.

 29 
Ivica Olić
(Football player)
Ivica Olić
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: September 14, 1979
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Davor, Croatia
 30 
Darijo Srna
(Former Croatian Football Legend Known for His Association with Shakhtar Donetsk)
Darijo Srna
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: May 1, 1982
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Metković

Retired Croatian footballer Darijo Srna now heads the Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk as its director of football. He has previously represented Shakhtar Donetsk as a player for 15 years, winning the Ukrainian Premier League 10 times with them. During his retirement, he was the most-capped Croatian player in history.

 31 
Mario Pašalić
(Football central midfielder)
Mario Pašalić
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: February 9, 1995
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mainz, Germany
 32 
Siniša Mihajlović
(Retired Serbian Footballer and Coach)
Siniša Mihajlović
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: February 20, 1969
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vukovar, Croatia

Former Serbian footballer Siniša Mihajlović turned to coaching after retirement. The former head coach of the Italian club Bologna was fired mercilessly only months after undergoing treatment for cancer. As a player, he had successful stints with Lazio and Red Star Belgrade. He has also coached the Serbian national team.

 33 
Tamara Ecclestone
2
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: June 28, 1984
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
 34 
Marko Pjaca
(Croatian Football Winger/Midfielder)
Marko Pjaca
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: May 6, 1995
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Zagreb

Croatian footballer Marko Pjaca is best known as a winger/midfielder for the Italian club Empoli. Born to a wrestler father and a judoka mother, he grew up in a sporting environment, before starting his football career with Lokomotiva. He has represented Juventus and was part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup runner-up Croatian squad.

 35 
Zvonimir Boban
(Footballer)
Zvonimir Boban
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: October 8, 1968
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Imotski
 36 
Probus
(Roman Emperor Who Was Killed in a Military Mutiny)
Probus
1
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: August 19, 0232
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sirmium
Died: August 31, 0282

Born to a Balkan military officer, Probus was initially a promising army man and later rose to be the Roman emperor. Though he allowed many tribes from outside his kingdom to settle in his land, his entire reign was spent fighting hostile campaigns by such tribes. He was killed in a military mutiny.

 37 
Franjo Tuđman
(The First President of Croatia and the Founder of the Croatian Democratic Union)
Franjo Tuđman
3
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: May 14, 1922
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Veliko Trgovišće, Croatia
Died: December 10, 1999

The 1st president of Croatia, Franjo Tudjman is known for his efforts in helping his country gain independence from Yugoslavia. He was one of the youngest generals of the Yugoslav army in his early days but later got into trouble for his anti-government activities. He established the Croatian Democratic Union.

 38 
Maximian
(Roman Emperor Who Hanged Himself to Death after His Campaign against Constantine Failed)
Maximian
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 0250 AD
Birthplace: Sirmium, Yugoslavia
Died: July 11, 0310

Roman emperor Maximian, also known as Herculius, initially made a name for himself in the army. He followed Diocletian’s edict that ordered the Scriptures to be burnt and churches to be shut down. After his campaign against Constantine was suppressed, he committed suicide by hanging himself on Constantine’s orders.

 39 
Jakov Kitarović
1
Listed In: Engineers
Birthdate: October 4, 1968
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rijeka, Croatia
 40 
Ivo Andric
(Novelist, Poet & Short Story Writer Who Won the 1961 Nobel Prize in Literature)
Ivo Andric
5
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: October 9, 1892
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dolac, Travnik, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Died: March 13, 1975

Ivo Andric was a Yugoslav short story writer, poet, and novelist. Andric won the 1961 Nobel Prize in Literature after the Nobel Committee chose him over writers like Robert Frost, E. M. Forster, John Steinbeck, and J. R. R. Tolkien. After receiving the award, Andric's works were translated into several languages as they found an international audience.

 41 
Agadmator
(Chess player, YouTuber)
Agadmator
0
Listed In: YouTubers
Birthdate: June 16, 1987
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Križevci, SR Croatia, Yugoslavia
 42 
Borna Ćorić
(Tennis Player)
Borna Ćorić
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: November 14, 1996
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Zagreb, Croatia

Borna Ćorić is a Croatian tennis player who became the lowest-ranked player in the history of the ATP Masters 1000 to be crowned champion when he won the 2022 Cincinnati Masters, where he defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final. Borna Ćorić first achieved popularity in 2018, when he was part of the national team that won the prestigious Davis Cup.

 43 
Luka Šamanić
(Basketball player)
Luka Šamanić
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: January 9, 2000
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Zagreb, Croatia
 44 
Blanka Vlašić
(Former track and field athlete)
Blanka Vlašić
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: November 8, 1983
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Split, Croatia
 45 
Robert Prosinečki
(Retired Croatian Footballer and Manager)
Robert Prosinečki
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: January 12, 1969
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Schwenningen, Germany

Former Croatian footballer Robert Prosinečki played as a midfielder for clubs such as Real Madrid and Red Star Belgrade. He was also part of the Croatian squad that secured the third place at the 1998 FIFA World Cup. Post-retirement, he turned to coaching and has managed teams such as Azerbaijan.

 46 
Niko Kranjčar
(Former Croatian Football Midfielder)
Niko Kranjčar
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: August 13, 1984
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Zagreb, Croatia

Retired Croatian footballer Niko Kranjčar played mainly as an attacking midfielder, but could also function as a winger or second striker. After a successful stint with Dinamo Zagreb, he played for clubs such as Hajduk Split, Portsmouth, and Tottenham Hotspur. He is the son of renowned Croatian footballer and manager Zlatko.

 47 
Dino Rađa
(Basketball player)
Dino Rađa
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: April 24, 1967
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Split, Croatia
 48 
Milan Badelj
(Croatian footballer)
Milan Badelj
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: February 25, 1989
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Zagreb
 49 
Oliver Dragojevic
(Recording artist)
Oliver Dragojevic
0
Birthdate: December 7, 1947
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Split, PR Croatia, FPR Yugoslavia
Died: July 29, 2018
 50 
Petra Martić
(Tennis Player)
Petra Martić
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: January 19, 1991
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Split, Croatia
Petra Martić is a Croatian tennis player who has won two singles WTA Tour titles so far in her career. Over the years, she has been
an important player at the Grand Slam events, reaching the fourth round of the competition on several occasions.