Croatia Sacks Coach Ahead of Semi Final Clash with England

Paola Ditto
Luglio 11, 2018

Croatia captain Luka Modric put in a man-of-the-match performance to lead his side to a penalty shootout victory over hosts Russian Federation, but he has no interest in personal awards as they chase their World Cup dream in a semifinal against England.

Zlatko Dalic has made one change to Croatia's starting line-up for their historic World Cup semi-final against England.

With only European football (soccer) teams left in the running to win the 2018 FIFA World Cup, France and England are considered front-runners, according to data provided by Russia's Public Opinion Research Center.

"We've seen throughout the games that he is doing really well but we have shown throughout the tournament that all of our players are unsafe", Mandzukic told the Daily Star.

Speaking on the eve of Croatia's meeting with England, Dalic said: "We are a country where anything is possible, so there are no surprises". In 2002, 2006 and 2014 they were eliminated in the group stages, and they failed to qualify for the 2010 tournament.

World Cup glory beckons for Croatian stars such as Luka Modric after several traumatic experiences at major tournaments, says their former coach Slaven Bilic. "Until last night, when all the pain was removed and when we finally experienced a revival of 1998", the Sportski Novosti newspaper said after that match.

"This generation has been underrated due to their results but they've had the quality and now they are showing it".

The path to the final, to history in fact, could not have been easier-no, England cannot be considered a strong side-and this is Croatia's best chance, if they make use of the incredible talent they have in midfield. The Croats stand in England's way of winning the trophy after 52 years, but this game is as much Croatia's to lose.

Croatia secured its place in the semi-finals after a dramatic win over Russian Federation, which lost 4-3 due to penalties. 'To be fair, we've had some good sportsmen like [Goran] Ivanisevic in tennis, he won Wimbledon, basketball is huge and we were good. "It is going to be hard and interesting for both teams". Those players on the pitch must be perfectly fit. Playing in the easiest group in the World Cup, Uruguay broke them and they were lucky that Salah was injured and was not at his best level. We have played five games, but being exhausted can not be an alibi. "But I think it is a football event". "This is what drives, that is our petrol", Dalic said.

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