Kramaric Starts as Croatia Opt for All Out Attack Against Russia

Iliya Pitalev via RT

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic has received praise from all over the world after she personally attended her country's quarter final victory against World Cup hosts Russian Federation.

Zlatko Dalic insists his Croatia team have not run out of steam before their World Cup semi-final against England after advancing through the previous two rounds on penalties.

The two teams will meet in Moscow on Wednesday at 19:00 BST, while Belgium and France will contest the first semi-final on Tuesday in St. Petersburg, also at 19:00.

Belgium held their final training session before the crunch semi-final at their Moscow Country Club base before making the journey to St Peterburg.

"They breezed past Sweden, they scored twice, they were better", Dalic added of England.

"I believe that the keyword is how we leave - it's better to leave when you feel pride", Cherchesov told reporters. The logic here was easy to spot: Russian Federation were one of the oldest sides at their own party, and despite their advancing years they had a raft of players with barely top level experience under their belt.

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. "We have to enjoy the moment and we then have to focus on England".

"Of course there's power left for the English", Dalic said.

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Their one defeat came against Belgium in their final group game, in a match between two essentially reserve sides. Southgate has been just the voice of reason England have needed to prevent anyone from getting too carried away.

In the streets around Red Square, fans from Peru, Mexico and Argentina were a vibrant presence from days before the World Cup started.

After praising his players for their performances in reaching the final, Deschamps was asked about his own contribution.

But this is a player whose reputation took a battering at home before the tournament due to his implication in the multi-million-euro corruption trial of former Dinamo Zagreb chief Zdravko Mamic. We wanted to show our Swiss neighbours how powerful a football nation we are.

"It's all there, it's all apparent and we've just got to prepare them as well as we can for the game". "We're immensely privileged to be in the World Cup final".

"But we've been a real team and we have got some excellent players, no doubt about that, but the collective strength has been massive".

Although there have been some calls to bring forward the planned expansion of the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams, as will happen in 2026, al-Khater said Qatar was planning for a 32-team tournament.

"I'm glad that I scored goals but the most important thing is to help the team".

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