Big Sam blames Harry Kane for Croatia defeat

"Tomorrow there will be 4.5 million of us on the pitch!" read the front page of Novi List quoting Ivan Rakitic, who struck the decisive penalties in the shootouts against Denmark and Russian Federation to reach the semi-finals.

Forward Mario Mandzukic and defender Ivan Strinic had to be taken off injured late in that game.

Croatia have played 90 more minutes and had a day's less rest than the French ahead of the final.

Newspapers were ecstatic, praising the team known in Croatian as "Vatreni" (the Fiery Ones) that beat England in the semi-finals to reach the final in a feat not seen for such a small nation since Uruguay reached football's pinnacle in 1930 and 1950.

"Contextually, this is different in that I feel that team [in 1996] with all its experience, playing at home, were closer to the finished article and knew a lot were not going to have the chance again", Southgate said.

"It was unfortunate for England losing to Croatia".

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Some people even believe Modric should win the Ballon d'Or if he manages to get his hands on the World Cup though the personal trophy has pretty much remained in the hands of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for quite some time.

England were on top for most of the second half but with captain Harry Kane looking exhausted, Belgium's greater sharpness in the final third proved decisive. We have some minor injuries but I hope we will overcome those today and all my players will be ready to play. "We played seven matches here and won six of them".

"In the end we are very proud of what we've done".

The frontman failed to find the net in that time, despite having his moments in front of goal, including being put through by playmaker Kevin de Bruyne, who was perhaps the most influential player on the pitch.

"Tomorrow is the final". He told us there were still good players despite this crisis.

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