A look back at their last semi-final run

Tropicana Beach Club

The Inter Milan winger played a key role in the small Balkan nation reaching a first major final, scoring the equaliser and then setting up Mario Mandzukic for the 2-1 extra-time victor over England in their semi-final.

Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic says nobody should be surprised at his side reaching the semi-finals of the World Cup for only the second time in their history.

England and Belgium have already played each other once in this tournament - a lackluster 1-0 Belgium win in a game both coaches stuffed with reserve players since they'd already qualified for the knockout stage.

Croatia now advances to face France in the finals on Sunday.

A Croatian soccer official will be allowed to watch the team's World Cup semifinal match from a VIP section on Wednesday despite being convicted last month in a corruption case linked to the transfer of captain Luka Modric.

However, despite Croatia's Manager admitting his side were exhausted after going to penalties two games in a row, Zlatko Dalic said "there will be no excuses". I can not remember the last time national euphoria over football was so palpable."It is perhaps no wonder that the loudest cheerleader of their World Cup run is their President, who is up for re-election in just over a year".

Zidane is considered one of the best players of all time, winning man of the match in France's only World Cup win and playing an important role in their success in the European Championship two years later. Rakitic added a late third as Croatia secured their place in the last 16.

Croatia become smallest nation to reach World Cup final since 1950
Fans in Castlefield Bowl in Manchester city launched their drinks into the air as they celebrated Kieran Trippier's goal. Paul Sealey, who is visiting the area, said: "The team will do all in their power to win.

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"I'm not thinking about it, only about my national team succeeding", he said.

"You know, we have always shown we can do well against the big nations", said Bilic. Martinez hopes to succeed where they failed by employing a two-year process to ensure "this is a team, this is not a group of individuals".

Corcoran said England started well but Croatia was stronger in the end. It wasn't about having a good tournament, it wasn't about being happy to be in the top four, so it's a really sad dressing room right now because the opportunity of being in the final was the only focus that we had.

Here Press Association Sport looks at five of the best Croatians to have played in England.

Mbappe appeared unsafe throughout, creating six scoring chances for his side, who will wait the winners of Wednesday's other semi between England and Croatia.

He hopes England will be more suited to their style of play, but added that recovering from two extended games will be hard.

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