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World Cup runners-up Croatia finally in FIFA 23 after 10-year absence

FIFA 23 Croatia screenshot
EA Sports

World Cup runners-up Croatia are in FIFA 23 after a decade-long absence from the series.

The Croatian football association confirmed the national team will appear in FIFA 23 in a tweet.

“The moment many players around the world have been waiting for” – Marijan Kustić, HNS president

HNS and @EASPORTSFIFA reach an agreement to include #Croatia national team, the current @FIFAWorldCup runners-up, in #FIFA23! 🇭🇷🎮⚽️#Family #Vatreni❤️‍🔥 pic.twitter.com/MHx9cIQQ1d

— HNS (@HNS_CFF) August 23, 2022

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EA also confirmed the news in a tweet.

The Vatreni have their eyes on the prize 🏆 🇭🇷🔥

Take @hns_cff to the 2022 FIFA World Cup and beyond in #FIFA23. Get a guaranteed, untradeable Ones to Watch Special Player Item in #FUT by Pre-Ordering 👉 https://t.co/th0YW48H0q pic.twitter.com/oWuejDwX27


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Croatia was a high-profile absentee from the FIFA series ever since their last appearance in FIFA 12.

A light was shone on Croatias lack of inclusion back in 2018, after Luka Modrić and co finished second in the World Cup (knocking England out in the process).

As Eurogamer has reported, the dispute was about money.

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Heres the FIFA 23 gameplay reveal trailer.

“The reason why Croatia is not in FIFA 19 is because Croatian Football Federation and EA could not come to an agreement that would satisfy both sides,” Tomislav Pacak, spokesperson for the Croatian Football Federation, told Eurogamer at the time.

“Obviously, we value FIFA World Cup silver medallists and worlds best player in 2018 more than EA currently does with its offer, and we will continue protecting the value and image of the Croatian team and our players.

“We understand and share disappointment by the gamers and we hope this matter will be resolved in the future – HNS is more than open to that, and we hope EA will also listen to its consumers and respect their wish to have Croatian team available in the game.”

In short, Croatia werent happy about the amount of money EA had offered their federation to have the team officially-licensed in the game. Newspaper reports from back in 2012 claimed EA offered Croatia a paltry 100,000 euros. Davor Šuker, Croatias all-time leading goalscorer and former boss of the Croatian Football Federation, reportedly scoffed at the offer and refused to play ball.

Obviously, things have changed (Šuker was replaced at the top of Croatian football last year), and a deal has been signed. And its a good thing, too – it would have been embarrassing for EA not to have Croatia in FIFA 23, given the game is set to receive an official World Cup mode as a free update later this year.

For more, check out our FIFA 23 preview.

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