Fortunes favored the Croatians in the previous meetings, with goalkeeping howlers from both Paul Robinson and Scott Carson responsible for a pair of separate defeats in 2006 and 2007 - the latter of which forced former England coach Steve McClaren out of his job.
"We have waited for several years for this with Croatia".
In the lone World Cup 2018 game today, England and Croatia face off in the semifinals in Russian Federation, and a spot in the championship game is on the line.
"We can feel the energy and the support from home and it´s a very special feeling and a privilege for us", Southgate said on Tuesday.
Cüneyt Çakır will be the referee for the semi-final World Cup match between England and Croatia.
Despite a summer heatwave in England, fans have been urged to wear waistcoats in tribute to those sported by Southgate since the tournament began.
He told a news conference: "I don't know what to say in response to this question".
Stevie Staunton on Gareth Southgate: Banter Merchant and France killing all the semi-final craic..
"This team is nowhere near the level they´re going to be capable of, partly because of their age and partly because over the next few years, with us and with their clubs, they´re going to have more and more big-match experiences". Striker Harry Kane was the only standout heading into the tournament.
He could have scored even more goals if he had been given the kind of quality supply he gets from Christian Eriksen and the wide players at Spurs, but Jesse Lingard, Raheem Sterling and Dele Alli have all come up short in my eyes.
France players celebrate Samuel Umtiti's goal.
Cakir has also officiated in a number of high profile European games this season including the Champions league tie between Bayern Munich and PSG, Barcelona vs Chelsea and the semi-final second leg match between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
WORLD CUP HISTORY In England's last semifinal match, Andreas Brehme's 60th-minute shot deflected off an onrushing Paul Parker at the penalty arc and looped over goalkeeper Peter Shilton to put West Germany ahead.
"This is maybe a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity".
While England enjoyed a relatively stress-free 2-0 win over Sweden in the last eight, Croatia had to come through a grueling extra time against hosts Russian Federation and then a penalty shootout. The Three Lions last held the title in 2000 and are second with 73 wins from 144 games.
"Every honor to Kane, he scored six goals, but we managed to stop (Lionel) Messi (of Argentina) and (Christian) Eriksen (of Denmark), and I hope we will also stop Kane as well", Dalic said.
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