Croatia look to Modric to carry them through against England

Russia scored one of the biggest shocks in recent World Cup history by beating Spain in the last 16

That focus on collective success over individual achievement has been key to England's success this summer, putting them within touching distance of joining the heroes of 1966 as the only team to make a World Cup final. Can we take it?

"He could go on and that was the most important thing", Modric said of his goalkeeper.

Subasic made three saves in the round-of-16 shootout against Denmark, and stopped the first against Russian Federation for a total of four to match Harald Schumacher of West Germany and Sergio Goygochea of Argentina for the most in a single World Cup.

Another contentious point has come from Daily Telegraph revelations that FIFA has been covering up offensive incidents from Croatian supporters, letting the Croatian Football Federation off with a warning for the display of "political/discriminatory banners" after a match with Nigeria, a disciplinary sanction considered too lenient.

"Luka and Rakitic are the best midfield pair in the World Cup", said Bilic.

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.


Modric has scored twice in Russian Federation, including a fabulous goal in the 3-0 win over Argentina in the group stage, and twice netted in nail-biting penalty shootouts against Denmark and Russian Federation. Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic will once again operate in the middle of the pitch with Mario Mandzukic again playing the lone striker role. "That in future we talk about them", said Blazevic, now 83, and known in Croatia as the "coach of all coaches". "But Croatia can also cause England problems they haven't had before".

Two days before the clash with England he sounded more confident.

The former Manchester United star further offered his best wishes to coach Gareth Southgate, who has gained massive popularity among the fans.

That mattered little though for battling coach Stanislav Cherchesov who assembled a team that defied all forecasts and made the home nation proud. Croatia and England will have to step up their game and prove that they deserve to be here.

Their early struggles had "Les Bleus" being written off in some quarters, but all that changed when they faced Argentina in the last 16 in what must be a leading contender for the most exciting match of the tournament. A cracker of a contest awaits in an already cracker of a World Cup.

The game will kick off at the Luzhniki stadium, Moscow, at 11:30pm IST.

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