MOSCOW: .Zlatko Dalic, coach of World Cup semi-finalists, is looking forward to the biggest party in the history of his nation.
Croatia only joined the world and European federations in 1993 so the first World Cup for which they challenged was in 1998 in France.
Their own ‘golden generation’ finished third after losing their semi-final 2-0 to hosts France. The current generation – led by midfielders Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic – intends to go at least one further and reach Sunday’s final by defeating England in their semi-final in the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow.
Dalic, who was appointed last year after working in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, said: “We are a country where anything is possible, so there are no surprises. We are four million people, four million coaches and four million players. Everyone has been out on the streets celebrating what we’ve achieved and that is a great source of pride for us.
“Those emotions are what drive us, that is our petrol and how we have come back to a semi-final after 20 years.
“I don’t know what will happen if we win, probably nobody will go to work. We’re not working much now so you can imagine what it will be like if we win.
“This generation has been underrated because of their results but they’ve had the quality and now they are showing it.”