Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Sports | By Ivan Ross

Exhausted and battered, Croatia reaches its 1st World Cup final

Exhausted and battered, Croatia reaches its 1st World Cup final

"I think they're the toughest competition for us in the World Cup". It's an incredible achievement for us, it's a dream come true after such a long time.

But the spark seems to have gone in knockout stages and instead they have had to rely on more on resilience to get them through against less gifted opponents. "It will be a battle again but I trust us, I have belief in us".

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and several other politicians wore the national team's football shirt to a meeting of the government on Thursday.

Croatia are the smallest nation to reach a World Cup final since Uruguay in 1950, as well as the lowest ranked ever (20th).

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France's Manager, Didier Deschamps, who has held his position since 2012 and who captained his country to the World Cup in 1998, said: "This is exceptional".

"We were a much better team than Russian Federation, especially in the second-half and extra-time, but we can not do without drama, it seems", the Real Madrid midfielder said.

It has been a memorable campaign thus far for Modric, who was influential in helping Real Madrid to a third consecutive Champions League crown. The hosts were oh-so-close to securing a spot in the semifinal match in Moscow, where the final also will take place.

"England are looking strong as a team and have scored a lot of goals from set-pieces".

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"The lads can come away from this tournament and be proud of what they've done, but at the end we did come up a little bit short".

"Luka and Rakitic are the best midfield pair in the World Cup", said Bilic. On a home world Cup, Russia is well established.

"Now we face just emotion talking, we were not able to analyze the game, we are glad to greet you all, we were together, you were our 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th players", Cherchesov said.

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