Italy’s Matteo Darmian (C) celebrates his goal with Eder (L) and Marco Verratti during their Euro 2016 qualifying match against Azerbaijan at the Olympic Stadium in Baku, Azerbaijan Photograph: David Mdzinarishvili/Reuters

Three more nations claimed places at Euro 2016 on Saturday with Italy, Belgium and Wales all ensuring they will be present in France next summer. Ital(...)

Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic celebrates with  team-mate Vedran Corluka after scoring against 
goal during the group A World Cup soccer match between

Mario Mandzukic has been advertising a chocolate bar back home, and there is a certain melt-in-your-mouth goodness to Croatia’s attacking play in B(...)

Manchester City’s Yaya Toure: strugglling to be fit in time for the Ivory Coast’s World Cup opener.  Photo: Phil Noble/Reuters

Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure is struggling to shake off a hamstring injury in time for their World Cup Group C opener against Japan on Sunday, wi(...)

Yuichi Nishimura shows Dejan Lovren of Croatia  a yellow card after awarding the penalty kick to Brazil. Photograph: Elsa/Getty Images

Furious Croatia coach Niko Kovac blamed “out of his depth” referee Yuichi Nishimura and warned the World Cup could turn into a circus after a content(...)

 Fred wins a dubious penalty against Dejan Lovren. Photograph:  Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Brazil 3 Croatia 1: So far, so Brazil. On a fretful, at times sleepy, ultimately rousing night in Sao Paulo Luiz Felipe Scolari’s team came from behin(...)

Croatia’s Ivan Rakitic (centre) takes part in a training session in Bad Tatzmannsdorf  near Vienna. Photograph: Antonio Bronic / Reuters

Manager: Niko Kovac Best finish: Third place (1998) World Cup record: Played 16, Won 7, Drawn 2, Lost 7 History Croatia’s first sho(...)

Croatia have sacked  coach Igor Stimac following the 2-0 defeat to Scotland, replacing him with another former international in Niko Kovac. Photograph: Antonio Bronic/Reuters

Former international midfielder Niko Kovac has replaced Igor Stimac as Croatia’s coach, the country’s Football Association (HNS) president Davor Suke(...)