Croatian firefighters go viral after missing historic win for emergency

Croatian firefighters go viral after missing historic win for emergency

The Inter Milan winger played a key role in the small Balkan nation reaching a first major final, scoring the equaliser and then setting up Mario Mandzukic for the 2-1 extra-time victor over England in their semi-final.

Croatia was missing three key players at training on Monday ahead of Wednesday's World Cup semi-final showdown with England.

In order to win, England will need to contain Modric, who is involved in nearly every Croatian attack, controlling the pace, and scoring twice, including in the impressive 3-0 win over Lionel Messi's Argentina.

England have progressed to their first World Cup semi-final in 28 years, but Croatia defender Dejan Lovren - who plays his club football in England - says he is not paying attention to the World Cup fever that has swept the country.

France's all-time leading scorer will finish off his World Cup gig with Belgium in the playoff for third place in St. Petersburg on Saturday.

"It's fantastic, we're so excited", said Christopher Tomas, owner of the Croatian Corner deli, of Croatia's win.

"I'm not going to be too humble, either", he said.

"Nobody could be any happier than me to play the final against France", the 29-year-old said. "All the fears that some were trying to put on us with regards to this World Cup, well not only they were not true but it's actually the opposite".

"I think for the Croatia team, our biggest pressure was beating Denmark in the last 16".

"It's football but, thank God, in the end, we're in the semi-final". Martinez hopes to succeed where they failed by employing a two-year process to ensure "this is a team, this is not a group of individuals".

Suker, part of the Croatia team that reached the semifinals of the 1998 tournament, hailed Real Madrid's Modric as an inspiration.

After the game was won on penalties, that woman, Croatia President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, proceeded to make her way into the dressing room and celebrated with the players, still drenched in sweat.

Vida and a team official, both of whom used to play for Ukrainian club Dynamo Kiev, appeared in a pro-Ukraine video posted shortly after Croatia knocked Russian Federation out of the tournament. All 20 previous World Cup-winning coaches were born in the nation they led to the title.

According to Croatian website Vercenji List, however, the player trained with the rest of the squad on Tuesday and could be ready to play against England this week. It brings back a lot of good memories.

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