Croatian prime minister Andrej Plenkovic and his ministers on Thursday held a session dressed in red and white checkered jerseys to celebrate the nations’s victory over England in the World Cup semi-final.
Croatia reached their first final of a World Cup after a come-from-behind 2-1 win over England. They will face France in the final on Sunday.
“What happened yesterday in Moscow is the best possible promotion for the country on a global level. This is success for a small country with huge heart,” Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said at the beginning of the cabinet session.
The World Cup fever has gripped the whole of Croatia. Earlier, the country’s president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic attended the quarter-finals match against Russia by wearing the team’s jersey while in the VIP box supporting Croatia.
She even celebrated the victory with the players in the locker room.
Croatia have a population of of 4.3 million and they are smallest nation in population terms to reach a World Cup final since Uruguay’s win in 1950.
Until now, Croatia’s greatest moment on the football pitch was reaching the World Cup semi-finals in 1998, the country’s first tournament after becoming independent.
In 1998, Croatia lost to France in the semi-finals and the Sunday match will be an opportunity to settle the score.
“Maybe that game has historical significance, maybe the dear Lord is giving us the chance to settle a score,” Dalic said.
“We reached the final, we want to play the final, France had one extra day to recover but there will be no excuses.
“Today nobody wanted to be substituted. Nobody wanted to say I am not ready. In extra time nobody wanted to be taken off.”
The French beat Belgium 1-0 on Tuesday to book their spot in the final, giving them one more day of rest ahead of Sunday’s showcase match at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.
“We haven’t said our last word, there is still one more game to go. God willing, we will be world champions.
“This tournament will be won by a team with character. We were a goal down in three games in a row. We have shown character. We will now celebrate, rest and then prepare for France. It is another daunting task but we are ready for it,” Dalic added.
News credit : Indiatoday