Modric wins Golden Ball as World Cup's player of the tournament

Luka Modric

Luka Modric

Coach Zlatko Dalic only took over the squad in October. The French defeated Croatia in the semifinals that year, which until now had been the country's best showing at the tournament. Dinamo won 19 of the 27 titles since Croatian independence so far, including 12 of the last 13 seasons.

Modric was charged with perjury in March, and defender Dejan Lovren is under investigation for suspected false statements in support of a former director of Dinamo Zagreb, who also was a vice president of the Croatian soccer federation.

Croatia has also struggled with its historical demons when it comes to soccer.

Modric is metronomic, Mbappe works in bursts. A swastika that appeared on a pitch in Euro 2016 qualifier against Italy led to a fine and forced the team to play two matches behind closed doors.

Ivan Perisic, man of the match against England
In the past, England failed in penalty shootouts because they were let down by their technique, decision-making and composure. He had the chance to slide a pass into Lingard's feet and he would have been one on one with the Croatian goalkeeper.

On his own recipe for success, Modric said: "I've been through a lot in life and I learnt never to surrender". We are proud to make the Croatian people happy, the people have forgotten about all the problems.

More than borders, football defined Croatia as a new nation.

When the final whistle came, England captain Harry Kane was confirmed as the Golden Boot victor, his six goals outpacing the four of Griezmann, who got the Silver Boot and Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku, the Bronze boot victor. "We hope the jury will decide so", said the Barcelona midfielder.

France will be clear favourites to win a second World Cup at the Luzhniki Stadium and Croatia will be relying on the resilience that got them through three lots of extra time and two penalty shoot-outs in their knockout matches.

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