Croatia hope to revive past glory, say coach, player

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"We have the highest possible respect for the Danish team...The fact they went 18 games unbeaten speaks volumes about their quality. They are disciplined, solid, well-organized, and they know what to do and how to do it at any moment on the pitch," said Dalic.

"I must be calm, but there's a struggle inside me. If the dear lord allows tomorrow, we will be overjoyed. If not, I'll be proud of the time I spent with these lads," he said.

"Irrespective of what comes next, these are going to be the best days of my career, whatever the result tomorrow," he added.

"This is an important game for us. We've played fantastically in the group stage. We must be proud of that. But for this new game, we must forget all that went before," said Modric.

The 51-year-old coach also said that he is proud of what his team had achieved in the past month and is having the best day of his career.

Croatia, which finished the third place in France in 1998, remained unbeaten in the group phase of the tournament this year. They are facing Denmark in the upcoming knockout match on Sunday, and both Dalic and Modric expect a tough game.

"It is high time that this generation hurdles this obstacle which we haven't hurdled since 1998. I expect us to be capable of doing that ... We are full of self-confidence," said Croatia captain Luka Modric.

NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia, June 200 (Xinhua) -- As one of the only two sides that went through group matches with straight wins, Croatia now look to repeat or even surpass their best World Cup achievements two decades ago.

"Of course, it's down to us how we play. We have to be very cautious, be patient throughout the game and wait for our chances," he added.

"But then I said to myself this is not enough, because without me or with me this team is worth much more. This is not the final destination," he added.

"For the past six months I've been trying to find the solutions to reach the basic objective and emerge from the group. That was a huge deal of pressure I put on myself," said Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic at a press conference here on Saturday.