In the semifinals, the English team will try to take advantage of their greater rest to approach the colossal challenge of dominating the world, while the Croats will have to show that they have gallantry and the extra time has not affected them.
The second semifinal of the World Cup in Russia, between the national teams of Croatia and England, rescues from the memory of football the best moments of two countries that yearn to overcome the test of this Wednesday in the Muscovite stadium of Luzhniki.
The Croatian side celebrated its greatest achievement in a FIFA World Cup twenty years ago in 1998. The generation of Davor Suker and Robert Prosinecki bit the bronze medal in a memorable tournament, with the triumph of the host France.
England must travel even further, until 1966, to find its moment of greatest inspiration, with the coronation of the legendary Bobby Moore, Gordon Banks, Bobby Charlton, and company.
After 28 years of absence among the semifinalists of a World Cup -their previous appearance was in Italy’90-, the ‘Three Lions’ convey conviction, illusion, and firmness.
“We have talked among ourselves about the team that was champion, about how their success is celebrated and how the country still reveres them,” said English coach Gareth Southgate. “Perhaps in this modern era, of social networks, the impact would be greater,” he said.
His progress to the semifinals, in fact, was celebrated in the streets of London, Liverpool or Manchester, in the same way, that Zagreb, Split or Dubrovnik vibrated with the penalty shootout that motivated the goodbye of the Russian team and the progress of the Croatian.
The projects of the two semi-finalists have, in fact, some common bonds and that is that both Gareth Southgate and Zlatko Dalic were required in situations of extreme urgency.
The 47-year-old Watford coach was responsible for the Under-21 squad when Sam Allardyce was removed, barely two months after taking office, after being discovered as an intermediary to circumvent UK market laws. signings, a practice prohibited by the FA.
His forced arrival to the benchmarked a turning point in the selection. He revitalized the team and turned a young team into a group as ambitious as it was daring, with Harry Kane as a differential factor in the attack. England also found the reliable goalkeeper that awaited so much – Jordan Pickford – and a new defensive leader – John Stones – to complete a team with plenty of talent, given the coexistence of Raheem Sterling and Dele Alli.
“Since the defeat against Iceland in the last 16 of the last European Championship we knew that things had to change,” agreed Eric Dier. “Something like that could not happen again,” he added.
In a critical situation also strengthened the whole of Croatia, which also the Viking box denied the direct classification for the World Cup. Via play-off for third place, already with Dalic as a coach, they deserved a place in Russia. Here they arrived knowing “a small country, with big dreams”.
“It’s incredible for us to be in the semifinals, we’re happy and proud, but we do not want to stop here,” said Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic.
He is, along with his Madrid counterpart Luka Modric and Monaco goalkeeper Danijel Subasic, who capitalizes on the flattering present of the Vatreni. The ‘4’ Culé, carrying the ‘7’ when playing for Croatia, scored the final penalties in the rounds that decided in their favor the crosses of the knockout and quarter-final against the combined of Denmark and Russia.
The English side also went through that fate in the first qualifying round, against the Colombian squad, but passed without suffering the quarter-final test against Sweden (2-0).
In the semifinals, the English team will try to take advantage of their greater rest to approach the colossal challenge of dominating the world.
The ‘pross’ are the current champions in the U-17 and U-20 categories. An envy of power to power, before brave Croatia, will bring you closer or take you away from that feat.
Croatia: Danijel Subasic; Domagoj Vida, Vedran Korluka, Dejan Lovren, Ivan Strinic; Ivan Rakitic, Luka Modric; Before Rebic, Andrej Kramaric, Ivan Perisic; and Mario Mandzukic.
Coach: Zlatko Dalic
England: Jordan Pickford; Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire; Kieran Trippier, Jesse Lingard, Jordan Henderson, Dele Alli, Ashley Young; Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane.
Coach: Gareth Southgate
Referee: Cuneyt Cakir (TUR)
Stadium: Luzhnik (Moscow)
Time: 2:00 pm
You may also like
- Belgium VS France: Schedule, Lineup, TV
- England VS Croatia: Schedule, Lineup, TV
- Mbappe Is the Cavani That Uruguay Missed