While England eased through the quarterfinals with a 2-0 win over Sweden, Croatia was forced into a penalty shootout against Russian Federation after finishing extra time at 2-2.
They know what the Russian national team is worth.
Zlatko Dalic insists his Croatia team have not run out of steam before their World Cup semi-final against England after advancing through the previous two rounds on penalties.
Croatia had also needed spot-kicks to get past a dogged Denmark in the last 16, but Modric insisted they would not be exhausted for the last-four clash against England at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday.
"To be able to manage the team to this point, having played in a semi-final as well, is really, really special".
They had also needed spot kicks to get past a dogged Denmark in the last 16, but Modric insisted they would not be exhausted for the last-four clash against England.
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Croatia's third place finish in its debut has been equaled only by Portugal in 1966 when the tournament featured just 16 teams. We are facing a huge game in the quarter-finals and it doesn't matter who the opponents are. Numerous Croatia players said arriving in Sochi immediately after the round of 16 win over Denmark was a major benefit, but now are facing a rapid recovery.
"This looks like a nation with a newfound sense of footballing confidence - and expectations for the future", said Challands.
Denis Cheryshev was Russia's biggest star at this year's World Cup with four goals in five games.
The pair left England on June 12 and have been on the road since, taking in World Cup venue cities Volgograd, Nizhny Novgorod, Kaliningrad, Moscow and Samara in support of the England team. "We have succeeded I believe, but it is time to take a step forward". Croatia reached the quarterfinals in its first tournament in 1996 and has advanced that far only once since.
"But of course you get an accumulation of fatigue through a tournament, that's why we took the decision we did against Belgium more than anything. We hope we have turned the situation for the better".
Yet they only led for the first time when Domagoj Vida's header found its way into the net through a crowd of players in the first half of extra time.
"We tried. I think the whole team gave 100 percent. Individual awards are not important for me frankly".