"We were together. You were the 12th, 13th, 15th and 16th player", he said and promised that the team would demonstrate better results at the next World Cup in Qatar, although it would be hard without such support. "Hopefully, they can get that one step further and get to the final and bring the Cup home", he said.
Team manager Stanislav Cherchesov, who guided his team into the quarter-finals, expressed his gratitude to Russian supporters and promised to deliver an even better performance at the 2020 World Cup in Qatar.
'We have two matches to play and we are very motivated. Every match at this World Cup is like that. "It's a proud moment for us all when we put on the jersey and I'm going to grab it with both hands, run with it and enjoy it as much as we can".
The 1998 team made a big impression with a third-place finish, featuring the likes of tournament top scorer Suker, Zvonimir Boban, Goran Vlaovic and Slaven Bilic. When Ivan Rakitic's penalty sealed Croatia's spot in the semifinals, the coach broke down into tears. Ten years ago we had a famous generation and now we are close to them because we are in the semi-final after 20 years.
"We took a hard route and we were unlucky, particularly in previous tournaments, especially the Euros". The JOE World Cup Minipod semi-final preview hosted by Dion Fanning and Paddy McKenna is here.
With just over 48 hours to until England's semi-final against Croatia, millions of pounds worth of bets are expected to be placed on the Exchange.
All in all, Croatia are a better-organized team in all departments as compared to England whose players' quest for individual brilliance will be their major undoing. Luka Modric has been the pivot of that team but it is also fair to say the team is built on profound unity and strength that has been the precursor to the enormous successes.
"It could be said that we have the more experience", said Mandzukic at the Luzhniki Training Centre, where Croatia shifted their base from St Petersburg following their quarter-final shootout triumph against hosts Russian Federation.
"I'm glad that I scored goals but the most important thing is to help the team".
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