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Croatia not just about Modric | FIFA World Cup | Croatia | France | Modric

14 July, 2018, 05:01 | Author: Lora Ball
  • Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic

On Wednesday, Croatia defeated England 2-1 in a semi-final match and for the first time reached the World Cup final.

Croatia have been forced into extra time in each of their three knockout matches, edging Denmark and hosts Russian Federation on post-match penalties.

In the group stage England had lost 0-1 to Belgium.

The European Championship in two years' time will be staged in 12 different cities across the continent, but the climax will come at Wembley - which won the rights to stage the semi- finals and final, as well as group games and a last-16 tie.

Semi-final against England and presumptuous English media: "We were the better team in the second half and in extra-time".

"We'll want to give a performance of huge pride, there's no question about that", said Southgate.

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"We have to be proud of what we've achieved".

"We feel we owe it as much to ourselves as to our public, and our nation I think now".

He said: "None of us know if this is as good as it gets. And Belgium have beaten us once already so we'd like to address that". "We wanted to make the final and make our fans happy", added Dalic, as his side now prepare to take on France on Sunday.

"It's Coming Home" served as the clarion call at every game as for the first time in a while, the fans actually believed that Gareth Southgate's team may end a long-standing run of disappointments and bring the World Cup back to its original home for the first time since 1966.

France are the bookmakers' favorites to win the clash at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium after they showed impressive defensive discipline under their 1998 World Cup-winning coach, who was himself renowned as a no-nonsense midfielder.

"We will have to play our best match against France, our desire is big and so is theirs".

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"We were motivated irrespective of that".

Pre-tournament preparation was spot on: "We chose to play friendlies against teams who would be at the World Cup and that was a great lesson for us".

Everyone will go their separate ways after flying back to Birmingham Airport, the Football Association having decided against a parade, and the manager acknowledged it represented the last stand for this most unified of squads.

"He has created a team in his own image and I think that's important", Matuidi told a press conference on Friday.

It was with Al-Ain that he first appeared in a major global final, in the 2016 AFC Champions League, where they lost to Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors of South Korea.

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