Cut back to 1998 when Croatia reached the World Cup finals for only the first time in their history and finished third. With less experience and expectations, they went on to defeat Germany in the quarter-final only to be thwarted in the next round by a certain Liliam Thuram inspired France. This year though is a little bit different. Almost all of their players are established players in big clubs around Europe and have the experience of playing the last World Cup in 2014.
The star players along with their coach, Dalic Zlatko, will desperately want to emulate the success of their 1998 World Cup team by reaching the final for the first time. Dalic Zlatko was born in Bosnia but now has a Croatian passport, while in 1998 they were coached by Miroslav Blazovic who was also born in Bosnia. It is a very interesting theory. In both world cups, Croatia reached the semi-final. However, this time around they will want to go one step further.
What is making this year’s England World Cup team tick? The fact that the team spirit is high and so well oiled gives the team an extra edge. All thanks to their manager, Gareth Southgate, who is quickly becoming a very popular man in their country because of the success he is having with the England football team.
The last time England reached the semi-finals of a World Cup was the 1990 World Cup in Italy, which was a long time ago. And with the history they have with football, Southgate’s men will be desperate to go on and win the final. After the defeat of all the big teams in the previous rounds, the draw opened up wonderfully for both Croatia and England.