A win in the final would mark an huge victory for the country that broke away from Yugoslavia to become an independent state in 1991 - a year after its national soccer team started playing. "I mean, we are proud already because no one thought we would make it this far".
BELGRADE: Croatia´s neighbours in the former Yugoslavia have largely praised the team´s surprise success in reaching the World Cup final in Russian Federation - just don´t expect the Serbian president to support them, at least for now.
"We prepared to get to the final and we want to play it", he said.
France are determined not to make the same mistakes they did two years ago in losing the Euro 2016 final when they take on Croatia for the biggest prize in football, midfielder Paul Pogba said on Thursday. "That will not happen again".
"That is not a sign of a struggling team, but one that has a lot of talent".
Though they needed penalty shootouts to defeat Denmark and Russian Federation, as well as extra time to knock off England, No. 20-ranked Croatia is the only country left to have won every match at this World Cup.
Dalic led Croatia into the World Cup playoffs, where it beat Ukraine over two matches.
"For us, we are not the favourites".
"We are better than England. The fans are excited to watch us play and that's how we have to keep progressing", he said. "We are chasing something and will do everything to succeed".
France stars Zinedine Zidane, Marcel Desailly and Laurent Blanc raise the Fifa World Cup after winning it in Paris in 1998.
Jordan Pickford hopes to win the Golden Glove award given to the best goalkeeper and also wants to play. But with Deschamps at the helm they remain stuck in an old system, one that made sense when Dmitri Payet was the star player but not anymore.
From Real Madrid, Croatian duo Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic will be pitted against teammate Raphael Varane, with the central defender set to feature in the heart of the defence.
"The Croats are not just Modric".
"They have upped their game over the past several games, " Ivan Perisic said.
That nostalgic lament hides the fact that Croatia are doing just fine without Bosnian or Serb players - and Yugoslavia, after all, never reached a World Cup final. "The plan is to win the match".