Croatia fans ready for the semis

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Croatian players competed for Yugoslavia between 1945 and 1990 and the modern Croatian FA was not recognised by Federation Internationale de Football Association and UEFA until 1993.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković posted a photo of the team celebrating in the changing room after the game. But we have to kill games earlier. "When you see him sprinting after 115 minutes to retrieve a ball, it shows his desire, which is present in other team-mates, to do something", Dalic told a news conference on Tuesday.

While semi-final excitement reaches fever pitch at home, what is it like to be an Englishman living in Croatia?

"We keep hearing the same question and we give out the same answer", said Croatia's Ivan Perisic last week. "We're not working much now so you can imagine what it will be like if we win".

Russia's indefatigable coach, Stanislav Cherchesov, managed to assemble a team that defied all forecasts and made the home nation proud.

At the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi, Russia's Cinderella run at the championship tumbled by a 4-3 penalty shootout defeat to their European counterparts in the quarterfinals. "We're enjoying it and we believe", he said.

Two years ago they were knocked out of Euro 2016 after conceding a late goal in extra-time against Portugal.

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Fans let off flares in the streets and smoke filled the night sky, as Croatia celebrated the goal which took the national football team to the World Cup final for the first time in the country's history.

"In the second half and in extra time we dominated, we should have finished the job before penalties, but maybe it's written in the stars that we have to go through the extra drama", he added.

Russian Federation is holding its first-ever FIFA World Cup, which kicked off in Moscow with a spectacular opening show at the Luzhniki Stadium on the night of June 14.

Predicting a "difficult and intriguing match for both teams", the Liverpool centre-back dismissed the notion that Croatia are at a disadvantage because they have had to play 120 minutes twice in a week.

While Croatian players, who have been asked constantly about the generation of 1998 and never fail to express their admiration for the likes of Zvonimir Boban and Davor Suker, those comparisons are a weight they feel is unneeded.

The last quarter-final match was played between England and Sweden. "We can not do anything to stop this from happening other than hope that they have read this letter and think twice before acting".

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