Dalic aiming to stop Kane

Wednesday, 11 Jul, 2018

Russia, who are the hosts of the 2018 FIFA World Cup have been bundled out of the championship after losing 4-3 on penalties to Croatia on Saturday, July 7, in their quarterfinal game.

After once again starring as Real won a fourth Champions League crown in five seasons by beating Liverpool in Kiev in May, Modric will be nearly assured of winning the Ballon d'Or if he can lead Croatia all the way to improbable World Cup glory.

Classy midfield operator Modric has plenty of experience of English football having played in the Premier League for Spurs between 2008-2012, before moving to Real Madrid where he has won four Champions League titles in the last five seasons.

"We must rest now but I am sure we will have enough energy to face England because there is hardly a greater motivation than a World Cup semi-final".

He ended the tournament with three goals to his name, scoring in the opening game win over the Saudis, the subsequent game against Egypt and a penalty to level the scores against Spain in the shock last 16 win.

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".

They beat Tunisia in their tournament opener thanks to a late Harry Kane goal, brushed aside a poor Panama, edged out Colombia on penalties and easily beat Sweden in the quarter-finals.

They had won just one knockout match at a major tournament in 16 years before coming to Russian Federation, a 1-0 victory against Ecuador at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

"That defeat is completely irrelevant", he said, with a face like thunder.

"We achieved success as a compact team who do not give in, who work for one another and this is maybe one of the best periods for Luka".

Goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev said: 'We played for you. "He's one of the great (England) threats but he is not alone". Mexico lost the penalty shootout in 1986 against West Germany, and since then Italy (1990), France (1998), South Korea (2002), Germany (2006) and Brazil (2014) have all made the semi-finals. "We're not working much now so you can imagine what it will be like if we win".

Croatia often looked reluctant to attack and Modric's words after the game hinted at a lack of adventure that will surely cost them sooner or later.

"He has minor issues but we have a huge game tomorrow".

"We are four million people, four million coaches and four million players".