Players will sacrifice final places if not fit, says Dalic READ MORE

Ruben Hill
July 16, 2018

Croatia midfielder Luka Modric, set to start, will equal Dario Simic's national record of 11 appearances at World Cups.

"We created such a group where they will concede and will say "I have to miss the final".

This is despite the Three Lions defying pre-tournament expectations and reaching the last four of a World Cup for the first time in nearly 30 years.

Quizzed on his future plans and a possible switch to England, Dalic told reporters: "I can't really think about that now because it may give the wrong message to some Croatian people when we are about to try to become the best team in the world".

Defender Dejan Lovren revealed that the secret of Croatia's success in becoming the smallest nation to reach a World Cup final in 68 years is their mentality.

They have had to deal with accusations of uninspired tactics but coach Didier Deschamps has shrugged off the criticism and told his players to be calm, confidence and to concentrate.

He will likely forever be known as the player who sat sulking at home while his teammates wrote history for their country.

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

"He came into the picture at a very hard moment".

"We can only be happy and proud that despite the crisis, Croatians have put aside the problems and the hardship", said Dalic.

'Win or lose tomorrow there will be a seismic event (in Croatia). "We need relaxation and rest to gain freshness for tomorrow", added Dalic. Now we are in the final and people are celebrating on the streets. When Asia called I did not hesitate, I knew I would get to work with great players.

Here, Press Association Sport look back at Croatia's defeat against France 20 years ago, in the semi-finals, until now the furthest they had progressed in the tournament.

"For me, it should never be about you".

"The players know what it means to play in the final", Dalic said.

"There can be no better moment for a player or a coach than tomorrow".

"Frankly, I have this feeling there will be hundreds of millions rooting for us".

On Sunday, he will test his coaching skills against Didier Deschamps, the captain of France's 1998 World Cup-winning side, whose coaching career began at Ligue 1 side Monaco immediately after his retirement as a player.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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