Croatia delights in proving doubters wrong

Luka Modric says Croatia proved their detractors wrong by beating England to make it to Saturday’s World Cup final with France.

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Zlatko Dalic’s side came from a goal down to win 2-1 in Moscow with Kieran Trippier opening the scoring on just five minutes through a superbly taken free-kick.

Ivan Perisic then stole in on 68 minutes to send the tie into extra-time with Mario Mandzukic winning the match for Croatia when he struck with 109 minutes on the clock.

The majority of reports in the British press didn’t give Croatia much chance of overcoming England, having come through extra-time and penalties in both of their knockout games, and Modric said he and his teammates used that as motivation.

The Real Madrid midfielder, who gave away the free-kick that allowed Trippier to score, before going on to dominate the match, said his side should have been given more respect.

He told ITV: “We proved everything differently that people were talking. Especially English journalists, pundits from television, 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.’ As I said, they should be more humble, and respect opponents more. That’s it.”

He added: “We showed again that we were not tired, we dominated the game physically, mentally in all aspects. We should have killed the game before extra-time, but this is an amazing achievement for us, a dream come true.

“After such a long time we are in the final, the biggest success in Croatian sporting history. We have to be proud.”