Croatia’s qualification for Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine triggered a tidal wave of euphoria in Wednesday’s newspapers.
“The party can begin, Croatia is back on the big scene,” a headline in the Zagreb daily Jutarnji List said.
“Pack your bags ... after it missed the World Cup, Croatia checked its ticket for Ukraine and Poland next year,” said the 24Casa online edition.
A goalless draw with Turkey following last Friday’s 3—0 win in the first leg in Istanbul proved enough for Croatia.
Vecernji List said beer and blaring music awaited the players in their dressing room after the match in Zagreb, signalling a night of partying.
Croatia emerged as the strongest football force among the former Yugoslav republics after the federation fell apart in 1991.
Since Euro 1996 in England Croatia missed only one European Championship, in 2000, and one World Cup, in 2010. Its best performance was third place at its first World Cup, in France 2008.