AL KHOR, Qatar (AP) — Croatia has already ended Neymar’s World Cup dream. Now it hopes to do the identical to Lionel Messi.
Croatia, runner-up in 2018, is the subsequent impediment for Argentina to beat on Tuesday within the semifinals as Messi goals to win the one main trophy that has eluded him.
However Croatia, which misplaced to France within the remaining in Russia, is by itself mission to go one step additional this time round.
“I don’t suppose we have to worry anyone. We have to take a look at ourselves to play our greatest sport,” defender Josip Juranovic stated Sunday. “I might say the key of our success is our togetherness, our unity. The truth that we act and play as a household.”
Neymar was left in tears after Croatia beat Brazil 4-2 on penalties following a 1-1 draw by means of further time of their quarterfinal match.
Messi has been in impressed kind throughout Argentina’s run to the semifinals, scoring 4 targets in 5 video games. His help for Nahuel Molina towards the Netherlands within the quarterfinals was a second of magic from the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner.
Messi seems to have taken it on himself to steer his nation to its third World Cup triumph and a primary since 1986.
Argentina final reached the ultimate in 2014 — dropping 1-0 to Germany on the Maracana Stadium in Brazil. That was as shut as Messi has come to lifting soccer’s greatest trophy and he is only one sport away from having one other shot at it.
Croatia seems calm for now forward of the sport at Lusail Stadium.
“We don’t have a particular plan no less than not but for stopping Lionel Messi,” Croatia striker Bruno Petkovic stated. “Normally we don’t focus on simply stopping one participant however the entire crew.
“The best way we method that’s we have to cease them as a crew. Not by man marking or some form of comparable techniques. Argentina isn’t solely Messi.”
Certainly one of Croatia’s most important strengths is a midfield led by Actual Madrid star Luka Modric.
Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić described it as the most effective midfield on the earth after beating Brazil, including that it “paralyzed” Neymar and Brazil.
“I feel Mateo (Kovacic), Luka (Modric) and Marcelo (Brozovic) are the most effective Croatian midfield in historical past,” Juranovic added. “While you cross them the ball it’s safer than having your cash within the financial institution. All the pieces will get actual straightforward whenever you play with them.”
James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson
AP World Cup protection: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports