Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

'Croatia ready to take place among greats' says Dalic

'Croatia ready to take place among greats' says Dalic

For the second straight game, an English player scored his first worldwide goal in a World Cup knockout match, this time Kieran Trippier sending a sweet free kick into Croatia's net.

Dalic was full of praise for the Barcelona midfielder, saying Rakitic was in career-best form heading into a last-four clash with England on Wednesday. I wish him the best, but not so much when he plays against Real Madrid. "Something had to change to get the results", Dalic said.

The 32-year-old has led Croatia to the cusp of World Cup glory after emphatically pulling the strings in each of his nation's games in Russian Federation, ensuring he is one of the favourites to be handed the Golden Ball at the conclusion of the tournament.

He added that he would have retired as professional footballer earlier if not for the World Cup and now plans to become a coach. Croatia won Group D before knocking out Denmark, Russia and England. "He would maybe even be a Ballon d'Or victor", Lovren stated.

"I told the players before the game there was no pressure - we have reached the semi-finals, enjoy your football and this was exactly what we did".

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However, the 32-year-old for now is only bothered about winning the World Cup rather than caring about individual awards.

The Croatian football team, who only formed in 1990, had only gone as far as the semi-finals in the World's biggest competition.

The game: "You have to be proud of the second half and extra-time". We want those who are 100 percent match fit.

Croatia take on England on Wednesday at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia.

"It was a very hard game for us", said man of the match Ivan Perisic, who cancelled out Kieran Trippier's early goal with a fine effort of his own.

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