Following a string of bronze medals won at the EHF EURO 2012, the 2012 Olympic Games and the World Championship 2013, Croatia's form has dropped recently with a fourth place finish at the EHF EURO 2014 and sixth place at the World Championship 2015.
Failing to qualify for the semi-final at Qatar 2015 cost head coach Slavko Goluza his job at the helm. After the World Championship Goluza was replaced by Zeljko Babic, who successfully steered Croatia through the qualification and has been given the task of forming a medalcontending team by 2018 - when Croatia host the EHF EURO - at the latest.
The current squad is a mix of young and old, with experienced players like Domagoj Duvnjak, Ivan Cupic and Manuel Strlek alongside promising talents such as Stipe Mandalinic and Filip Ivic.
The versatile centre back is not just the typical playmaker, but he also is a top scorer and excellent defence player.
His international career started at RK Zagreb before he moved to HSV Hamburg in 2009 with whom he won the VELUX EHF Champions League in 2013 - it is also for other reasons that this year marked a peak in Duvnjak's career as he was named Best Player of the German Bundesliga as well as World Handball Player. Since the 2014/15 he plays for German club THW Kiel.
Duvnjak was selected to the senior national team in 2008 and since then he has won three silver medals (EHF EURO events in 2008 and 2010 and the World Championship in 2009) and three times bronze (EHF EURO 2012, Olympic Games 2012 and World Championship 2013).
The Croatian right wing was the second best goal scorer at the London 2012 Olympic Games at which Croatia won bronze.
His star has been on the rise since he was voted into the All-star team and won silver at the 2009 World Championship on home court.
Despite losing one finger in a tragic accident in 2008 he continued his excellent game and won silver at the EHF EURO events in 2008 and 2010, bronze at the EHF EURO 2012 and bronze again at the World Championship 2013.
In 2013 and 2015 he reached the VELUX EHF FINAL4 with Polish side Vive Tauron Kielce, finishing third on both occasions.
Zeljko Babic took over the job as Croatia's national team coach in early 2015 after his predecessor, Slavko Goluza, had resigned when Croatia failed to reach the semi-finals at the World Championship 2015.
However, Babic was no stranger to the position, as he had been Goluza's assistant for many years, being part of the coaching team that led Croatia to bronze medals at EHF EURO 2012, the 2012 Olympic Games and the World Championship 2013.
As a player for RK Zagreb he won the Champions Cup, the predecessor of the EHF Champions League, in 1992 and 1993. For many years he was coaching Croatian clubs; in 2013 he took over VELUX EHF Champions League participants Meshkov Brest which he coached until the end of the 2014/15 season.
Past Performance at EHF EURO Events