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11 July 2018, 11:19 | Charlene Valdez
Belgium and France face off in mouth-watering semi-final
"Until last night, when all the pain was removed and when we finally experienced a revival of 1998", the Sportski Novosti newspaper said after that match.
Along with its sporting achievements, the Croatian team has offered other talking points through a number of controversies surrounding players, a coach, and the national football federation.
Croatia's President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic is hopeful that he country's national team will make it through to semifinals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, she told Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Sochi on Saturday before the Russia vs Croatia quarterfinal match.
Russian Federation took the lead through a Denis Cheryshev wonder goal but Croatia equalised through ex-Leicester striker Kramaric and the match went to extra time.
France took full advantage of an Edinson Cavani-less Uruguay, before tournament favourites Brazil were put to the sword by Belgium's incisive counter-attacking in a thrilling game in Kazan. Asked about the status of defender Sime Vrsaljko, who has been dealing with a knee problem, the coach said that the Atletico Madrid stalwart might miss Wednesday's match.
"Once in a lifetime ― Modric's "Fiery Ones" fight for World Cup final!" read the Sportske Novosti daily front page.
"Croatia has great players playing at the greatest clubs, but it is true we have not had good results at major tournament for decades", the coach said on Tuesday. As we regroup, he turns to me and says, "Right that's enough, time to lift the tempo, let's get about them".
It has seen widespread apathy towards the Three Lions replaced by excitement and renewed hope, with previously unheralded players stepping up and better-known names underlining their quality and in some cases changing perceptions.
"I've got the utmost respect for him - he's been banging goals in for Spurs for several seasons - but he's not alone, his team-mates play at top clubs, so it will be hard".
Of the 73 meetings between the teams, Belgium has won 30 and France 24, with 19 draws between them, although if Belgium is to reach their first World Cup final they will have to do so by beating France at the tournament for the first time. "It is going to be hard and interesting for both teams".
Balkan Insight reports on widespread outrage against the Croatian Football Federation for allowing corruption to thrive in the sport. "But I am sure one of us will find a way to surprise him".