Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic has received praise from all over the world after she personally attended her country’s quarter final victory against World Cup hosts Russian Federation.
Ahead of their all-important Round of 16 tie against former champions Spain, Putin had not only wished the team well but also came up with words of reassurance, telling them that team would not be judged, regardless of the outcome of the match.
“We trusted ourselves. We could only prove our worth by working hard”, said Cherchesov. “It will be a battle again but I trust us, I have belief in us”.
The team said in a Twitter post that it was leaving the tournament “with tears in our eyes, but with our heads held high”.
“But they [Croatia] have been behind in both knockout games and then they had the setback of missing a penalty in extra-time against Denmark and still found a way on penalties”.
“I know how the Spaniards felt when they won European Championships and the World Cup and now we want the same”, he said.
Russia President Vladimir Putin was understood to have watched the match with a Kremlin report later saying he was “proud” of the team.
In Moscow, the area behind Red Square was the unofficial beating heart of this World Cup.
Croatia players celebrate winning the penalty shootout. He was only recalled to the national side in March, after an 18-month hiatus, and only started three games, but that hasn’t prevented him from filling most of Russia’s highlight reel this tournament.
“This looks like a nation with a newfound sense of footballing confidence – and expectations for the future”, said Challands. Huge “thanks” to the guys for their performances, the emotions and the unforgettable memories. Four goals in a World Cup, all of them from open play, is a lot, particularly for a winger – prompting tweets such as this one.
“He watched. He was rooting for the team”.
“When I say that we are not a footballing nation, I do it so that we can figure out why”, Slutsky, who coached Russian Federation at the Euro 2016, clarified days later in a television programme.
“Since it has been independent, Croatia has always had a good team, but this is still the best, Even with a steady stream of talent coming through, this Croatia team appears blessed with a special blend”.
“This was a good game, and a lovely one”.
Asked how much this “Golden Generation” can accomplish, Martinez said: “It is important for everyone to understand that Belgium has a population of 11 million and that the current generation of players did not happen by accident”.