England vs Croatia preview: A miracle of a semifinal

Soccer: Russia can keep on partying after fine World Cup run

Soccer: Russia can keep on partying after fine World Cup run

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.

Croatia players toasted their World Cup quarter-final victory over Russian Federation on Saturday evening by singing patriotic songs on the team bus home and back at their hotel.

"Luka and Rakitic are the best midfield pair in the World Cup", said Bilic. "But we will be, because there's a great spirit in this side". "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.

Former Croatia coach Slaven Bilic believes a constant theme in their national sides is their ability to raise their game against big sides, hence their low-key performances against Denmark and Russian Federation in the knockout stages, beating both on penalties, should be disregarded.

Despite having talents such as Real Madrid's Luka Modric and Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic to call upon, Croatia's results had not been particularly impressive for several years.

Ahead of that contest against England in Moscow, Croatian Football Federation president Suker - a star of the team that reached the last four in France 20 years ago - says Modric deserves to be recognised for his achievements by breaking the 10-year monopoly Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have had on football's greatest individual prize.


Even in defeat, Russia's lengthy run in the World Cup tournament burst into national pride throughout the country following the quarterfinal defeat to Croatia last Saturday, according to The Guardian.

"They play very direct football, dangerous, fast, and they are really good at setpieces, and dangerous at corner kicks".

"He is playing the best football of his life".

He has, however, noted the set-piece threat posed by Gareth Southgate's men. "We feel much easier at this point and we are enjoying what is happening", Mandzukic said.

But if Modric can rouse himself to control another match against England, they have every chance. The visitors lost 4-1, with Harry Kane scoring twice, but Lovren was substituted after 31 minutes. "But I am sure one of us will find a way to surprise him". You are just nitpicking a bad performance.

To top it off, the most important games are yet to be played.

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