Rakitic had a fever the day before England semi-final

Rakitic had a fever the day before England semi-final

Obviously motivated by the outpouring of love, the Croatian forward vows, "Croatia will use their defeat in the 1998 World Cup semi-finals to France as motivation in Sunday's World Cup final". We have no doubts, we play together, that's our strength.

Southgate does not expect Kieran Trippier, Ashley Young or Jordan Henderson to be fit, the wing-backs having picked up injuries against Croatia and the midfielder having aggravated a hamstring complaint.

Jose Mourinho would certainly be pleased with his contributions and be hoping to see more of the same when he returns to Old Trafford.

Ivan Rakitic revealed he was suffering with a fever in the days leading up to Croatia's 2-1 semi-final win over England at the World Cup.

"In the first half, it was probably nerves for both teams, especially Croatia after the early goal by England".

But the Guardian said the players might struggle to shake off the ordeal of losing the semi-final.

While going to 30 minutes of extra time in all three of their sudden-death matches - not to mention emotional energy-sapping penalty shootouts in two - has proved beyond doubt Croatia's resilience, it has taken its toll.

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But, Luka Modric was chosen for the role and those same people said he was not fit for the role because of his shy nature but at this World Cup he has showed everyone how wrong they were.

With a population of just 4million people - about half the size of London - Croatia are a surprise World Cup finalist.

The World Cup Final takes place on Sunday. But we know that it is an opportunity lost.

"They have upped their game over the past several games", Ivan Perisic said.

"FIFA's priority remains the health of everyone involved in the operation and we will look into finding a new opportunity to invite the boys to a Federation Internationale de Football Association event to share with them a moment of communion and celebration", a Federation Internationale de Football Association spokesman said.

It's tough to call any match at the World Cup "meaningless" - the tournament only happens once every four years, so every game holds a certain value just on how rarely they occur.

"But we will do that and we'll make sure we are ready as a group to go again because the group have huge pride in their performances, in the way that they work". After all, there are some top football players from Croatia.

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