Croatia's first female president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic's celebratory gestures during her nation's win over Russian Federation in the FIFA World Cup 2018 at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi went viral on social media.
England survived a penalty shootout against Colombia in the last 16 whereas Croatia emerged through extra-time and spot-kicks against Denmark before going through the same ordeal again against Russian Federation in Saturday's quarter-final.
With a team featuring Davor Suker, Zvonimir Boban and Robert Prosinecki wearing blue shirts with a distinctive red and white chequerboard pattern, they beat World Cup giants Germany 3-0 in the quarter-finals in France, sparking delirium at home.
In 1998, Croatia, which had emerged from a bitter independence war only three years earlier, made its debut at a World Cup finals. First, his team needs to get past France on Tuesday to earn a spot in the final for the first time.
They had also needed spot kicks to get past a dogged Denmark in the last 16, but Modric insisted they would not be exhausted for the last-four clash against England.
"I left everything on the field and unfortunately we were unlucky", Russian Federation midfielder Roman Zobnin said. "And they won a place in our hearts", she said. "We have all of the requisites for that - we have a great team, backroom staff, coach, and I hope we will be able to make that extra step to reach the final".
"It wasn't a attractive game, but it was a battle", Dalic said.
"That was a great success for Croatia as a nation, and we are on the right track to repeat that feat".
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That came through a Denis Cheryshev first-half curler from outside the box, his fourth goal of the tournament and one of the finest at this World Cup.
Croatia often looked reluctant to attack and Modric's words after the game hinted at a lack of adventure that will surely cost them sooner or later.
"We have enough time to rest and prepare well", said Modric. Croatia reached the quarterfinals in its first tournament in 1996 and has advanced that far only once since. In four years in Qatar we'll do better, but it will be more hard without you.
"We tried. I think the whole team gave 100 percent".
"No other team in the world has fans like we do". He said Putin and Macron have developed friendly and constructive relations.
"Of course there is some power left for the English - we will not stop, we will try to play our best game then", he said. It will be a battle again but I believe in us.
"I'm glad that I scored goals but the most important thing is to help the team".