Croatia star shouts home town's massive Cup bar tab

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"That's what we're here for".

"This makes us extremely proud that after 20 years we've reached the semis of the World Cup", the 32-year-old Modric added.

"We expect a very hard, tight and demanding match against England, like every match at the World Cup", the 32-year-old told reporters.

There is little prospect that they would have come this far without Modric, who as a boy was forced to flee his village home after his grandfather was killed by Serb forces in the Croatian independence war. And quite rightly, this group were considered a dark horse to get their hands on the trophy after years of promise and close calls.

After far exceeding expectations in the early stage of the competition, Russian Federation was knocked out by Croatia on Saturday in the quarter finals, leading many in the host nation to stop following the tournament.

Southgate has used the stories of that triumph as inspiration, and believes the current team can become even bigger heroes.

There were flashes of brilliance - Ante Rebic leading the way in that department - but Croatia lacked the bite to really hurt the hosts, though the post did deny Perisic and the Balkan nation from taking a second-half lead.

Coach Zlatko Dalic certainly showed plenty of bold, attacking intentions against Russian Federation.

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Dalic said he isn't concerned about his Croatia squad running out of steam.

Russian Federation grabbed the lead in the 31st minute through a superb Cheryshev effort.

Croatia drew level eight minutes later as Kramaric got on the scoresheet, connecting with a Mario Mandzukic cross and nodding the ball in from close range.

However, while Croatia needed penalties to beat Denmark in the last round, they have come to Sochi full of confidence.

Unity has been key to Croatia's success at the tournament.

Two years ago they were knocked out of Euro 2016 after conceding a late goal in extra-time against Portugal. "These guys have made history", said Igor Akinfeev, the team's captain and goalkeeper.

Dalic's side breezed through a group featuring Nigeria, Argentina and Iceland and were one of just three nations - along with Uruguay and Belgium - to win all three games. She is fluent in Croatian, English, Spanish and Portuguese while she also has understanding of Italian, German and French. Meticulous preparation - including a trip to the United States to take in an National Basketball Association game - the selection of specific players with strong dead-ball delivery, and the defensive nature of high-pressure tournament soccer has led to a point where set pieces could yet lead England to a second World Cup title. Serious improvement is needed if the present is to outdo the past.