Croatia Respect England Team But Not Afraid of Them - Head Coach Dalic

Croatia's Ivan Rakitic celebrating with goalkeeper Danijel Subasic after scoring the decisive penalty in the shootout

The 32-year-old has been outstanding in his team's run to a semi-final against England in Moscow on Wednesday, picking up the man-of-the-match award in three of Croatia's five matches.

Belgium have impressed against everyone they have played, and even when they did slip, going two down to Japan in the second round, they had the goal power to fight back and triumph.

Having played every game so far, Croatia will have to adjust to life without Vrsaljko and it could be a situation that England takes advantage of in preparations leading up to Wednesday's game.

Previous meetings England won their only previous clash at a major tournament, at Euro 2004, with a 4-2 triumph where Wayne Rooney scored twice. Given the political makeup of the remaining teams, that record will have to improve. "He told me I'd done the other side (of the game) well and it wasn't negative".

For a country like Croatia, with a population of little over four million, to be in the semi-finals of the World Cup is a remarkable achievement.

Fellow-forward Andrej Kramaric, who had a brief stint at surprise 2016 Premier League champions Leicester and is now at Germany's Hoffenheim, said he had a lot of respect for England but also hoped Croatia could make the final as the smallest-ever nation.

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But British Airways, which has seen a 700 percent increase in searches for flights to Russian Federation on its website since England's penalty shootout win over Colombia last week, has now released hundreds more seats on Moscow flights by using bigger planes.

England did not have an overly hard route to the semi-final but they have overcome every obstacle they faced with some solid performances. At the last Euros, we defeated Spain. I think we can do it.

But if Modric can rouse himself to control another match against England, they have every chance.

"This generation has been underrated for a long time because of their poor results, but they have shown their quality when it mattered at this World Cup, and it will go down as a golden generation like that of 1998". "We managed to stop Messi and [Christian] Eriksen so hopefully we can stop Kane".

"But in the end you will never know the possibilities of great success or great moments like we have had in the last few weeks".

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