International Media Raves About Croatia Ahead of Quarterfinal Matchup

Zlatko Dalic has guided Croatia to the quarter-finals of the World Cup

Zlatko Dalic has guided Croatia to the quarter-finals of the World Cup

Several hundred fans from Slavonski Brod watched the shootout on big screens in the grounds of Brod Fortress on a bar tab provided by hometown hero - and the team's star striker - Mario Mandzukic.

Speaking to ESPN, Suker said: "My captain does a great job in the dressing room - he's a role model on and off the pitch for all kids, not only in Croatia".

England have entered the semifinal of the World Cup for the first time since 1990 and will have to surpass the Croatian test to make it to the final.

The 32-year-old has been outstanding in his team's run to a semi-final against England in Moscow on Wednesday, picking up the man-of-the-match award in three of Croatia's five matches.

Croatia reached the World Cup semi-finals for just the second time in their history as an independent nation by beating the hosts Russian Federation in Sochi.

Croatia's 3-0 win over Argentina in the group stage was a clear signal that the team led by midfield maestro Luka Modric was a real threat with their clever passing and movement.

Nicknamed "the Fiery Ones", that team has stood as an example to their successors ever since.

Roberto Martinez is determined to end a streak of one kind for World Cup coaches. I asked him and he said he was OK, it did not affect him much.

"But now, I pray and I would give anything in the world that this squad eventually "confines us to history".

The victory boosted France's morale, and they followed it up with a workman-like 2-0 win over Uruguay that was impressive because of how well they managed to control the game against tricky opponents.

The Balkan side played more than four hours of football in their penalty-shootout victories over Denmark in the round of 16 and Russian Federation in the quarterfinals, reports Efe.

"Those emotions are what drive us, that is our petrol and how we have come back to a semi-final after 20 years".

The country of about four million people has been gripped by football fever with squares packed with red-and-white painted fans, stalls selling football jerseys and flares, drivers blaring their horns and people hugging and singing - scenes reminiscent of 1998.

"We are glad that this generation experiences its own 1998, that they can see live what football euphoria looks least we will not have to explain it to them on YouTube any more" Sportske Novosti said.

Vukojevic, a former Croatia worldwide, published the video on social media after the match on Saturday in a move which was criticised by Russian politicians.

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