Croatia continued preparations on Wednesday for their World Cup quarter-final against Russia.
Win that match in Sochi on Saturday against the hosts and they’ll be a step closer to emulating the Croatia team of 1998 that finished in third place in France – not that they want it to end there.
“Hopefully, we can do a little bit better than them. We know our qualities, we believe in ourselves and we are on the right track at the moment,” said midfielder Ivan Perisic.
First though, they must disappoint a nation that’s been thrilled by the unexpected progress of their team to the last eight of the tournament, and Perisic has been impressed by their next opponents.
“What we can see is that it is a really good team. I wouldn’t like to discuss any individual player, but you can tell that they play well as a team,” he said.
“We are going to analyze them well and prepare as well as possible for the game.”