Mandzukic: Croatia feel no fear

Croatia will be playing without fear says Mario Mandzukic when they take on England in their World Cup semi-final in Moscow on Wednesday.

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Under the guidance of Zlatko Dalic, Vatreni has won all of their games in Russia.

Victories over Nigeria, Argentina and Iceland in the group stages were followed by penalty-shootout wins against Denmark and Russia in the knockout phase.

And ahead of facing England, the Juventus striker explained that the belief amongst the Croatia players is at an all-time high after the nerves they felt in their first shootout with the Danes.

Mandzukic said: “I think for Croatia team, our biggest pressure was beating Denmark in the last 16.

“We feel much easier at this point and we are enjoying what is happening.

“Of course, when the game starts, there is pressure, but we are just enjoying being here in the World Cup semi-finals.

“There is no fear from our side. We respect everybody and most of all we believe in ourselves.”

Croatia’s best ever finish at a World Cup came when they ended third at France ’98 and Mandzukic is hopeful they can go one better and make it to the final this time around.

“It’s so special to do something with the national team. We have been waiting for a number of years to do something great with Croatia.

“Now we are finally near such an achievement and we will leave every drop of sweat on the pitch to achieve our goal.

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