Now that they're done, eliminated in a penalty shootout by Croatia, will the home fans who have filled most of the seats pick a favorite from the final four or go back to being blase?
Dalic was only appointed as Croatia coach towards the end of their qualifying campaign, leading them to Russian Federation via a play-off win against Greece.
But the spark seems to have gone in knockout stages and instead they have had to rely on more on resilience to get them through against less gifted opponents.
'We were unlucky in previous major tournaments, particularly at Euros, but now we are collecting those debts at the World Cup this year'. "We have been waiting for a number of years to do something great with Croatia", Mandzukic told a press conference. From the first goal they scored at the beginning, we dominated the game completely.
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"We were undermanned in midfield", said Dalic.
Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic attended the semi-final game against England last night in Moscow where Croatia won 2-1 after extra time.
"We are going to play England in the League of Nations (in October) and we don't have a proper stadium to play that game".
In that game, Davor Suker's goal in the 46th minute was cancelled out by a pair of strikes from France defender Lilian Thuram at the Stade de France, but Dalic said his Croatian team won't be thinking about that semifinal loss.
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They try to play the right way and have shown some mental resilience now over the last few weeks. Sweden have made 140 defensive clearances at Russian Federation 2018, more than any other team .
It was a similar story in the round-of-16 against Denmark and, on the back of those two gruelling encounters, they now have just four days to prepare for an England side that beat Sweden in 90 minutes.
"The most important thing for me is that my national team succeeded and that we do something big".
But if Croatia go on to win the World Cup, Modric has a serious case for the award. "I think they're the toughest competition for us in the World Cup".
After a collaborative global effort, all of the team were freed after 18 expert divers entered the cave on Sunday and eleven hours later returned having rescued four of the boys.
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