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Dier wary of 'world class' Rakitic and Modric

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Kristopher Love | 12 July, 2018, 07:14

With a population of just over four million, Croatia is the smallest nation to reach the final match of a World Cup since Uruguay lifted the title in 1950.

The victor in Wednesday's semifinal match at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow will return there for a final on Sunday against France, which beat Belgium 1-0 in St. Petersburg on Tuesday.

"Health has to be number one, but to play for the Croatian team, to play in the World Cup semi-final, I do not need to even say that I will be giving it 300% to be fit". "I'm going to a wedding on the weekend, I have to drive to the airport soon to pick up my cousin who's flying in from Toronto, I have to make dinner, and I'm still here watching the game". For me, Dejan Lovren and Domagoj Vida have been fantastic centre backs, among the best in the World Cup.

After finishing second to Argentina in Group H following victories over Jamaica and Japan, World Cup debutants Croatia claimed some impressive scalps on their way to the semi-finals.

"It's the third time I've cried in the last two weeks - Denmark, Russia, now this", he said.

Players seated on the coach belted out Moja Domovina, a patriotic song that translates to "my homeland" as they drummed their hands on the bus windows.

Vukojevic, a former Croatia global, published the video on social media after the match on Saturday in a move which was criticised by Russian politicians. He guided the team to the quarter-finals of the competition in 2014 when they were beaten 1-0 by tournament winners Germany.

England coach Gareth Southgate missed a penalty kick in the semifinals of that tournament in 1996 and said he couldn't listen to the song for 20 years.

"From the start of the second half we played much better, but unfortunately we couldn't finish the game".

"We might have the chance for the revenge in the finals with the French", Plenkovic said. "The over-under on total goals scored in this 2018 World Cup fixture is 2".

Goalkeeper Danijel Subasic had a hamstring injury during extra time against Russian Federation but remained in the match and played his role when the game went to penalties.

Midfielder Modric, perhaps the finest player in this current Croatia team, spent four years in England with Tottenham prior to joining Real Madrid in 2012. 'To be fair, we've had some good sportsmen like [Goran] Ivanisevic in tennis, he won Wimbledon, basketball is huge and we were good.