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Exhausted Croatia must draw on reserves for World Cup final against France

13 Juillet 2018

"[In the 2016 Euros] we thought it was done and that we had won the trophy by beating Germany in the semi-finals".

"It's me that scored", Umtiti said, "but we all delivered a big game". Walker can face Manchester City teammates Vincent Kompany and Kevin de Bruyne, while Tottenham boasts three players for Belgium and five for England. That was just extra motivation for us. We must not let this chance pass. "Maybe it helped a little - not that we really needed it".

With a population of just 4million people - about half the size of London - Croatia are a surprise World Cup finalist.

"We are going to play England in the League of Nations (in October) and we don´t have a proper stadium to play that game".

In Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic they have the midfield engines of both Real Madrid and Barcelona, while the scorer of their victor against the Three Lions, Mario Mandzukic, won the Champions League with Bayern Munich and now plays for Juventus.

"I know that sometimes you are doing good, sometimes you are doing bad, but that's how you grow".

And now the 51-year-old has backed up claims by players like Luka Modric and Dejan Lovren that England took Croatia for granted before the game.

The Les Bleus have a strong chance of winning the World Cup in Russian Federation to conclude what has been one of the better tournaments in recent history.

The group were led out in three batches by a team of 13 worldwide divers flanked by the Thai Navy SEALs, who greeted each successful rescue with a "Hooyah" on their Facebook page. But the tougher things are, the better we seem to perform, we have no fear.

The World Cup in Russian Federation has thrown up some stunning twists, turns and shocks, so it's perhaps fitting that its final game will feature the smallest nation to appear in the last stage of the tournament since 1950. "We like to be the underdogs from day one".

Writing Croatia's name in the history books: "We'll be in the history books for being, along with Uruguay, the smallest country to play in the final".

"This is maybe one of the greatest sporting achievements of any Croatians. I told the players before the game there was no pressure - we have reached the semi-finals, enjoy your football and this was exactly what we did".

Exhausted Croatia must draw on reserves for World Cup final against France