Rakitic Had a Fever on the Eve of England Semi-Final

Ruben Holloway
July 13, 2018

"Modric is indescribable to me, but my favorite player today is Rebic!"

Croatia's fairytale run to the World Cup final is a footballing "miracle" built on a foundation of teamwork and unity which has seen them outlast sides reliant on brilliant individual talent, coach Zlatko Dalic said on Thursday.

Fans stationed behind the goal roared as a young boy wearing the Peresic name ran a scintillating line from nearly halfway to score in a packed away net.

"They've exceeded all expectations".

We had all got excited and dreamt that it would be us facing France in Sunday's final - but why shouldn't we dream?

"It's been great to get to this stage but we wanted to keep going".

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Another right full-back, 22-year-old French defender, Benjamin Pavard's inclusion in the French squad for the World Cup drew a lot of criticism from fans across the globe.

"This team have taken us to a place we never thought we'd ever imagine we'd get".

Despite their disappointment at failing to reach their first final in 52 years, the manager says he wants his team to end their tournament on a high and beat Belgium in the third-place play-off.

Kieran Tripper gave England the lead in the fourth minute before Ivan Perišić equalised on 68 minutes, which took the game into extra-time.

"The other one is that I know I have played well in the tournament".

The odds are already out for the 2018 World Cup final of France vs. Croatia on Sunday, but don't forget that there is also a game on Saturday.

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Their manager knew it would be hard to say much.

It meant another World Cup semifinal heartbreaker for England, only this time the game was under control before it was lost.

I would go back to what I said at the start of this tournament, which was that if this England team can go home with everyone saying that they could not have given anymore, then that would mean they had a good World Cup. They have done enough, all of them, to earn our respect.

World Cup final: "For a country like Croatia, it's something historic to be in the final of a World Cup".

In-fact, 72% of England's goals have come from set-pieces.

"I'm feeling really confident", said Danny Stroud, 26, who was among supporters watching the game before Croatia scored their equaliser.

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