A giant Leo Messi shirt is carried in the air by a helicopter over his hometown of Rosario in Argentina ahead of the World Cup semi-final (Twitter)
The Croatian national team failed to repeat the achievement from the 2018 World Cup, when they lost 3:0 to Argentina in the semifinals in Lusail this evening (Tuesday).
The team with a huge heart, which eliminated Brazil after a great drama in the quarter-finals, no longer has the strength left for another comeback and will settle for the third place match on Saturday.
It will also probably be the last game of the 37-year-old captain Luka Modric, who went down to the applause of the crowd and is expected to retire from the team at the end of the tournament.
The Real Madrid midfielder received hugs from all the Argentina players and also from Sergio Aguero who arrived, but he was also the one who consoled his friends, some of whom had difficulty holding back the tears.
Journalist Fabrizio Romano praised Modric when he tweeted: "Respected by all the players and football fans in the world, reached the final and semi-finals of the World Cup. Quality, leadership, pure class. The symbol of his country, Ballon d'Or winner, art in movement. The last dance in the World Cup, and again as one of the best players in the tournament".
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This time there was no strength for a comeback.
Yoshko Gabbariol and Marco Livaya (Photo: Reuters)
, the successful coach who led Croatia to the final in 2018 and this time to another semi-final against all predictions, congratulated the winner: "Argentina deserves to reach the final, I can't complain to my guys about anything. We were in control for the first half hour, but then We conceded from a penalty and unlike the previous times we didn't know how to come back. We lost and there's nothing to complain about, the result is deserved. We have to prepare for the game that awaits us for third place. We created situations, the preparatory actions were good, but we lacked a real striker."
Regarding Marcelo Brozovic's substitution, he said: "He felt pain in his muscle and we decided to keep him for the next game. If someone had told us before the World Cup that we would reach such a status, we would have bought it immediately. Now we will fight for third place."
When asked about his future, Dalic replied: "My plan is to continue coaching Croatia in Euro 2024 as well."
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Aiming already for the next tournament.
Zlatko Dalic (Photo: Reuters)
said: "It's hard for me to talk right now, standing here in front of the camera. I think the penalty finished us, but we'll leave that for another time. I can't believe we didn't get a corner before, and then suddenly they got a penalty. I never talked about referees, but there were two critical mistakes here. We knew that Argentina would come aggressively and that they had Messi. He was phenomenal, but we conceded two ridiculous goals and we won't be in the final. We wanted to be there today."
also addressed the claims regarding the penalty: "It's unnecessary to complain about such decisions. It seemed to me that there was a corner before the penalty and I don't think there was a foul that warrants a whistle, but what will it do? The penalty killed us, and then the second goal arrived. Argentina is a very high-quality team And it's hard to come back in games like this. We'll do everything to finish in third place and go home satisfied."
Disappointment in Zagreb too.
Croatian female fans watching the game (Photo: Reuters)
concluded: "We were better in the first half hour, but Argentina probably deserved the victory more. I don't understand how we didn't get a corner before the penalty. It's hard to lose a semi-final - you're so close to the cup, but on the other hand so far. Today we will be depressed and tomorrow we will start thinking about the game on Saturday to return to Zagreb happy."
: "We entered the game well, but we lacked the last pass. Small mistakes decide games and that's what happened in the corner that we didn't give. Argentina saw our game against Brazil and prepared well for us. I can't say that there was fatigue, we gave everything. Domagui Vida told us as soon as we entered the dressing room that we have to do everything to get third place. The medal is something you remember."
FIFA World Cup
World Cup 2022
Argentina national team
Croatia national team