Luka Modric has said the lack of respect shown to Croatia by English journalists and pundits was a motivating factor for Croatia’s players in their World Cup semi-final victory.
The Real Madrid midfielder said his teammates had used the criticism to motivate them.
Modric starred as Croatia came from behind to win 2-1 in extra time in Moscow and set up a Sunday final against France.
Speaking after the game, he said that the English media, some of whom who had predicted an easy win for Gareth Southgate’s side, had shown a lack of respect.
“People were talking … English journalists, pundits from television,” he said. “They underestimated Croatia tonight and that was a huge mistake.”
“All these words from them we take, we were reading and we were saying: ‘OK, today we will see who will be tired.’ They should be more humble and respect their opponents more.
“We showed again that we were not tired – we dominated the game mentally and physically. We should have killed the game even before extra-time.
“This is an amazing achievement for us – it’s a dream come true after such a long time. We are in the final and that is the biggest success in Croatia history. We have to be proud.”