Zlatko Dalic says Croatia's World Cup progress is no surprise

Ivan Rakitic

Ivan Rakitic

"At this point we are enjoying what is happening".

"All the celebrations and the songs they're singing back home, it inspires us as players to be able to sort of bring the nation together and put smiles on people's faces".

"I think for the Croatia team, our biggest pressure was beating Denmark in the last 16".

There is no doubt that pride has been restored regardless of the outcome on Wednesday, when Henderson's selection is a good omen.

'Our style was cramped a bit and maybe we did not want to risk with passes, so we had to balance it out in the second half, ' Modric said. Something has to change and, next to me, Claude Makélélé knows it too. "We're not working much now so you can imagine what it will be like if we win". "Until last night, when all the pain was removed and when we finally experienced a revival of 1998", the Sportski Novosti newspaper said after that match.

"The fact that we are not the strongest team in the world is obvious to everyone".

"It's down to us as a team".

"That's what I have a focus on".

Croatia's best ever finish at the tournament was a third place showing at the 1998 World Cup held in France.

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With 39 percent of Russians in the VTsIOM poll saying they would only watch World Cup matches in which their national team was playing, viewing figures are set to decline sharply.

"That is how highly I rate my former Tottenham team-mate Luka Modric. But Croatia can also cause England problems they haven't had before". "But, at the end of the day, Dejan is a fantastic defender".

"Holding the ball up, tirelessly stretching defenses into submission and making intelligent runs either onto throughballs or to open up space for Croatia's craftsmen are all caveats to Mandzukic's game".

"He's suffered a lot of a criticism but he's bounced back so well".

Luka Modric, Domagoj Vida and Andrej Kramaric were among those leading the way as the squad headed back to their Radisson Blu Hotel base in Sochi.

"He shows great potential and I am sure he has a bright future". A great character off the field and in the dressing room.

Croatia have sacked one of their coaching staff, Ognjen Vukojevic after he posted a pro-Ukraine video following the penalty shootout win over Russian Federation in the World Cup quarter-finals.

"Until five or six years ago I was bit vain, and in a way glad that in 1998 we set the bar so high that it was hard to even contemplate, let alone jump over it".

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