Most of Croatia's players come from families that had to fight hard to survive the conflict in the early 90s. But none of them gave up their dream of becoming football players. Their team is now heading for the World Cup finals.

Croatia's Mario Mandzukic celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates in Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia, July 11, 2018.
Croatia's Mario Mandzukic celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates in Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia, July 11, 2018. (Reuters)

Croatia, with a population of just over four million people, is the smallest nation to reach the World Cup final since Uruguay in 1950, an achievement all the more remarkable as football in the country is plagued by off-field scandals.

But the team's players have been through enough.

Most of the players' parents had to flee the country during the last Balkan war, which torn the region apart when the players were only children.

TRT World's Lachlan Guselli has the story.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies