MOSCOW – Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic said on Friday that all 4.5 million of his compatriots will be behind the team when they battle France in the 2018 World Cup final.
“You need only to look at the footage from Croatia to see what’s been going on over the past month – the joy felt by the people there,” he told a press conference at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, the venue for Sunday’s final.
“It doesn’t just concern the 23 players, coaching staff and backroom staff, but the 4.5 million people back home. If there was a stadium big enough for 4.5 million people, it would be full,” the FC Barcelona player said.
Rakitic, 30, acknowledged that defeating France would “be difficult, both in defense and attack, but the most important thing is to concentrate on ourselves.”
“We want to leave the pitch with our heads held high and to say we did everything,” he said.