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England - World Cup - 12 July 2018

11 July 2018

"So we should not be surprised that Croatia are in the semi-finals given the quality of the players".

Zlatko Dalic's side go into Wednesday's World Cup semi-final knowing they have to improve after battling through two penalty shoot-outs in the knockout stages in Russian Federation.

Every time a Croatian player appears before the media at this World Cup, he knows a question about Modric is coming, and every time the answer reflects the admiration there is in the squad for their captain.

France took full advantage of an Edinson Cavani-less Uruguay, before tournament favourites Brazil were put to the sword by Belgium's incisive counter-attacking in a thrilling game in Kazan. "Hopefully, they can get that one step further and get to the final and bring the Cup home", he said.

England's loss in 1990 was turned into a documentary film and has become a fabled part of the country's "52 years of pain" since their 1966 World Cup triumph.

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Even in defeat, Russia's lengthy run in the World Cup tournament burst into national pride throughout the country following the quarterfinal defeat to Croatia last Saturday, according to The Guardian.

"We know their set-pieces are unsafe, they have scored seven times from them, but we have no reason to be nervous, we are relieved of any pressure and are here to enjoy ourselves", he said.

"There were questions over Sime Vrsaljko but our right-back trained normally and could be ready", they stated below an image of the player in training.

The Telegraph reports that both FIFA, the global football governing body, and Russia have refused to state the number of drug tests the Russian players completed prior to the World Cup.

Modric has been on the front line in painful past failures for the national team, missing a penalty in a shootout as Croatia lost to Turkey in the quarter-finals of Euro 2008.

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And the singing continued long into the night as players enjoyed a midnight meal together at the hotel with more renditions of Moja Domovina. They are making us all proud.

"He is playing the best football of his life". "But I think it is a football event".

"So, I'm pleased for him that he's in a semi-final of a World Cup, but hopefully that journey for him ends tomorrow".

'But that success, that bronze medal from 1998 is still the best achievement in sports (for Croatia) because football is the No 1 sport. "Why didn't you ask me about when I played well against him?"

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England - World Cup - 12 July 2018