Top three battles in the World Cup Final

Luka Modric Mario Mandzukic

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A win in the final would mark an enormous victory for the country that broke away from Yugoslavia to become an independent state in 1991 - a year after its national soccer team started playing.

Some fans were simply overjoyed England are out, while others were relieved that they can now enjoy a final between France and Croatia.

"I don't think people realize that we did not even have a flag recognized before and our national anthem was not allowed, so hearing it and seeing our flag everywhere is huge for us", said Erica Zlomislic, who works at the Croatian Heritage Association. But that's football. Maybe those things spurred us on but we were already sufficiently motivated to try to make the final and make our people happy. "That will not happen again".

Inevitably, that meant there was a lot of space on the flanks in front of the back five, explaining the high volume of crosses after half-time (with one leading directly to the equaliser).

Jose Mourinho said: "France scored [against Belgium] and then they tried to control the game, which they did, with a fantastic performance by Raphael Varane and a very good performance by Pogba". But they are mentally very strong.

Kane tops the scorers' charts with six goals, two clear of Romelu Lukaku going into their teams' second meeting at the tournament, and three from France's Kylian Mbappé and Antoine Griezmann, who will compete in the final.

"For us, we are not the favourites". So we'll try and get the team that is best able to do the job. "The fans are excited to watch us play and that's how we have to keep progressing", he said.

Jordan Pickford hopes to win the Golden Glove award given to the best goalkeeper and also wants to play. I am one of them'.

"The Croats are not just Modric". They have (Mario) Mandzukic, (Ivan) Rakitic and (Ivan) Perisic.

The captain, who is not carrying an injury, said: 'Everyone will want to play but the manager will make his decision'.

"Nothing was given to me on a plate, unlike some managers in Europe who can be given jobs to manage a big club due to their names as players", Dalic said. "The plan is to win the match".

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