Croatia captain, Luka Modric, has slammed English pundits and journalists for disrespecting his colleagues.
Croatia beat England 2-1 in extra time on Wednesday, in the second semifinals of the 2018 World Cup to reach their first ever final. Kieran Trippier gave England the lead in the 5th minute, but Ivan Perisic levelled for Croatia and Mario Mandzukic scored the winner in the 109th minute.
The Real Madrid player said the team was motivated by the British press saying they would be tired after their two previous matches went into penalty shootouts.
“We showed again we were not tired,” Modric told ITV after the match. “We dominated the game physically, mentally, in all aspects.”
“English journalists, pundits from television, they underestimated Croatia and that was a huge mistake. “They should be more humble and respect opponents more.
“All these words from them we take, we were reading and we were saying, ‘OK, today we will see who will be tired’.”
Croatia, whose best performance at the World Cup was a third place finish in 1998, will face France in the final on Sunday in Moscow. The match will be a repeat of the semifinals of the 1998 tournament, when the Croats lost to the French 1-0.
Meanwhile, Modric's teammate, Dejan Lovren, has said he deserves to win this year’s FIFA Best Player Award, if they won on Sunday. Lovren described his team-mate as the “best midfield player in the world”.
The Liverpool centre-back also believes he should be considered one of the best defenders in the world. He was criticized for some of his performances last season and reportedly received a death threat after a 4-1 defeat by Tottenham last October.
“I think people should recognise that I am also one of the best defenders in the world and not just talk nonsense,” Lovren told BeIn Sports.