Ivan Rakitic Gave A Gracious Interview After Beating Russia In World Cup Quarter Final
For the second World Cup knockout game running, Ivan Rakitic scored the decisive penalty kick to send Croatia into the next round of the showpiece.
The Barcelona midfielder scored the winner from the spot in the tense shoot-out against Denmark after goalkeeper Danijel Subasic saved three penalties, and then kept his cool again last night to send Croatia into the semi-finals and set up a tasty encounter with England.
Incredibly, this fairytale run comes 20 years on from their memorable first World Cup campaign, when Davor Suker, Slaven Bilic and co. finished third at the 1998 tournament in France.
And of course for England, it's their first World Cup semi-final for 28 years after a superb showing from Gareth Southgate's troops over in Russia.
Wednesday's game in the Luzhniki Stadium promises to be a cracker and Rakitic gave a wonderful interview when asked about the match.
Clearly, it means a lot for the former Sevilla man to play on such as stage against England, where football was born.
Rakitić gave a gracious interview on Croatian TV, saying there was something poetic about playing a strong #ENG team representing the country where the beautiful game began. True sportsmanship from the Croatians! :clap: #worldcup #ENGCRO
- Lloyd Evans (@cedarsjwsurvey) July 7, 2018
Ivan Rakitic: there is nothing more inspiring than playing World Cup semifinal against England, the country where football was born
- CroatianFootballNews (@CroatianNews) July 7, 2018
It's been 52 long years of hurt for the Three Lions but there's a new found optimism that the lads can go all the way and bring football back home again.
Croatia, with their dreamy midfield, are of course a very difficult opponent and have been brilliant all tournament.
But with the way England have been playing, coupled with the unity and belief being shown, we really have it in us to do the business.