MOSCOW – Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic said on Tuesday that he will urge his players to enjoy their 2018 World Cup semifinal against England and to remember that anything is possible.
The Balkan side will face England, champions of the 1966 World Cup, on Wednesday at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.
Seeking to shift the pressure to The Three Lions, Dalic told a press conference on the eve of the game that Croatia has no reason to feel nervous as they contemplate only the second World Cup semifinal in their comparatively short history.
Dalic stressed that the presence of Croatia in the semifinals is deserved and he placed the current generation of players on a par with the Croatian squad that won the bronze medal at the 1998 World Cup in France.
Asked about the status of defender Sime Vrsaljko, who has been dealing with a knee problem, the coach said that the Atletico Madrid stalwart might miss Wednesday’s match.
Dalic had warm words for all his players, but said that he was especially happy to see Croatia get so far in the tournament in what is likely the last World Cup appearance for 32-year-old captain Luka Modric, praising the Real Madrid midfielder for his quality and leadership.