Croatia's Rakitic promises 'excess energy' for World Cup final

Kieran Trippier

But both Ronaldo and Messi went out in the round of 16, just hours apart, and Kane was knocked out when Croatia beat England to move on to the finals. The 30-year-old defender has to remember the video assistant referees will be watching if he tries any rough treatment to impede 19-year-old France forward Kylian Mbappe.

He said that England had to continue their work in developing as a group.

But Southgate, who has been sensitive to ensuring the England team have a connection with fans in all regions of the country, suggested it wouldn't have been right to have a parade in just one city. Those nine players know.

"All of my players tell me whether they are not 100 percent fit", Dalic said.

"If I'm honest, before the tournament I didn't expect them to do so well but we always want them to progress as far as they can".

World Cup finalists Croatia, who face France at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday, were also fined. "We represent the whole country", he said. We have nothing to practise.

"I hope we will overcome those today and that all my players will be ready to play in the final".

"Congratulations with all my heart, bravo!", Miodrag, a resident of Nis in southern Serbia told the website of Serbian state TV on Wednesday after the semi-final win over England.

"They didn't want to hide anything from us, and that is why that sanction was chosen". This gives us strength and motivation. Our players are players we can be proud of again. "I root for him", Rakitic said.

"Tomorrow is the final".

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A team boasting the talents of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic were struggling even to qualify for the World Cup before his appointment in October a year ago.

"People like Lewis Cook, Jack Wilshere who's going to West Ham, it should get them going because we need that player".

Modric's form at the World Cup has seen him tipped to win the Golden Ball as the tournament's best player and challenge for the Ballon d'Or later this year. "When Croatia called, I never had any doubts".

"I'm happy where I am".

For me, it is not news that Croatia could reach the final of the World Cup!

"There are ups and downs but whatever happens, you have to trust and believe in yourself".

"Throughout my career and life, I have always taken the harder path", he said.

France boss Didier Deschamps has rubbished the suggestion it will be easier to defend against Luka Modric than Lionel Messi or Eden Hazard as the Croatia star is "less mobile".

Italian Massimiliano Irrati will be the first Video Assistant Referee (VAR) to officiate at a World Cup final. "This is something all of us have in us, and it will be in us to the very last moment".

"One of the guys I'm with is friendly with a couple of them and it's been fantastic being able to meet some of the lads", he added.

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