Croatia plots 'football Brexit' as England World Cup semi looms

Russia scored one of the biggest shocks in recent World Cup history by beating Spain in the last 16

Mario Mandzukic has said that he and his Croatia teammates won't let fatigue get in their way when they face England in the semifinals of the 2018 World Cup on Wednesday.

Bilic, who is a mentor to several of the present squad, including Modric having nurtured their talent as Croatia's Under-21 coach before becoming boss of the national side, added he is confident this team can go one better than he and his teammates in 1998 and reach the final. The 32-year, who recently signed for MLS side DC United, spoke to reporters at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new stadium of the club and said that he believes that the Three Lions will bring the trophy back to the country. In 2002, 2006 and 2014 they were eliminated in the group stages, and they failed to qualify for the 2010 tournament.

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.

"Russia has surpassed all expectations, but against Croatia, they will have to play much better than against Spain if they want a chance for the semi-finals".

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"This is the result of our hard work, and of the quality of players who play at the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan. 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.

The Russians lost only once over 90 or 120 minutes of football and that was in their final group match against Uruguay when they had already qualified for the knockout stage.

Eight of England's 11 goals so far have come via free kicks, corners or penalties, which is four more than any other team and the most since Portugal also scored eight set-piece goals at the World Cup in 1966.

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

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'We dominated in extra-time and were the better team, we should have finished the job before penalties - but maybe it is written in the stars that we had to go through the extra drama'. Those players on the pitch must be perfectly fit.

"We have shown the world we can match any strong team".

"We have nice memories from France, our players did a great job".

"I think he's had his fair share of criticism over the past year or so, but he's done so well over the last six months, really, especially after the start of the season".

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