Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Croatian-Canadians look forward to World Cup final with pride

Croatian-Canadians look forward to World Cup final with pride

"Everyone has been talking about it constantly but the only thing that matters now is that Croatia have made it to the final".

"We want third place for ourselves on a personal level, for those who supported us over the last years and for all the work we did in qualifiers".

"We need to study France [Croatia's opponents in Sunday's final] well now, but I think we have a chance".

Milojko Pantic, a well-known sports commentator when Yugoslavia was still a single country, said that Serbs with a sense of brotherliness had supported Croatia in the quarter-finals while those who wanted to see Russian Federation beat Croatia were "bigots and nationalists".

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'I do not know Gareth's team plan but he will be anxious to leave Russian Federation with a victory. "We don't want it to happen again".

Fatigue. Three games going to extra-time and one day less to rest: "We could the only team to win after having played the equivalent of eight games (for the extra 90 minutes Croatia have had to play in total)".

France have been improving throughout the tournament and have beat Argentina, Uruguay and Belgium in the knockout rounds without needing extra time or penalties.

Should France overcome Croatia in Moscow on Sunday, the Academy graduate will join Bobby Charlton, John Connelly and Nobby Stiles - who were part of England's 1966 triumph - in the history books.

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England's last appearance at this stage was in 1990 when they lost in a penalty shootout to West Germany in Turin. Win or lose, both teams will play two more games in the tournament.

That is not a sign of a struggling team, according to Pogba, but one that has a lot of talent.

Croats in Bosnia, where they make up 15 percent of the population, also supported the Croatia team, but Bosnian political analyst Zoran Kresic detected something deeper, saying the support "has unified the region and Bosnia for the first time since the bloody wars". But they are mentally very strong. Blanc missed the final, though France went on to beat Brazil 3-0 for its only World Cup title.

"For us, we are not the favourites". "But we will try to play with as much pride as we can and finish on a high. We are chasing something and will do everything to succeed".

Dalic eventually landed at Al-Hilal, where he won the Saudi Crown Prince Cup, and then reached the Asian Champions League final with Al-Ain. It is unknown territory for Croatia however.

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