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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Croatian basketball player Bojan Bogdanović is best known as a small forward for the NBA team Detroit Pistons. Starting his senior career with the Bosnian team Zrinjski Mostar, he later played for Real Madrid and had a successful stint with the Turkish club Fenerbahçe Ülker, winning the Turkish League and Supercup.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.