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Croatia must not get carried away in pursuit of revenge against France

Croatia are on verge of making history. They are only 90 minutes away from becoming World Champions after eliminating football’s founding father England in semi-final. They must not get carried away in pursuit of revenge against France when they’ll face their old foe at FIFA World Cup 2018 final at Luzhniki Stadium, on July 15. The bitter past memories never help in building future.

Vatreni were on losing end against France in 1998 semi-final. They lose 2-1 to the eventual winner and that gave a very livid memory to the newly independent nation. They were ready to stamp their name on global world after declaring themselves independent from Yugoslavia in 1991, but Davor Suker’s brilliant campaign ended with 2-1 defeat to France.

It would have played a great role in developing country as a superpower in football in such a quick time after getting independence from Yougoslavia, but fate wasn’t on their side. They would have to wait for another twenty years and a golden generation of players to make their dream come true.

The memory of 1998’s defeat to France is very livid in every Croat’s memory. Whether it’s football fans, current generation of players, coach Zlatko Dalic, and their very own hero of 1998 World Cup Davor Suker who is currently the president of Croatia Football Federation.

It was their first taste of football. Most of their current generation of players are nearing their 30, they must have been six, seven, or eight year old, when Croatia ends on a losing end. It’s a time when football players start dreaming, and it must have helped in their mental building to play for Croatia and show the world if they can reach semi-finals, they can also lift the World Cup.

Croatia vs. France, Croatia revenge, FIFA World Cup final 2018

They are very eager to take revenge against France when they’ll meet in final. Croatia’s coach Zlatko Dalic said, “In 1998, I was in the France for the first three games as a supporter. I had to go back [to Hajduk Split] for pre-season for the last games. of course, everybody in Croatia remembers [Lilian] Thuram, the 2-1. This has been the discussion for the last 20 years. Maybe this game has a historic significance. The chance to settle a score.”

Croatia’s most successful player in the tournament Ivan Perisic told FIFA.com, “France stopped us in the semi-finals in 1998. We will have some extra motivation because of that, for sure. But this is totally different story. They are favourites, but we’ll do our best to surprise them. We have three days to prepare ourselves. We are all happy to be staying in Moscow, that was our goal. Our dream is so close now. It’s time to step out of the shadow of the famous 1998 side, and get one over France.”

Some will say, it will help in giving them last push, but I’ll say it will only carry them away. They already have everything to win that match. It’s not only their qualities, but it’s their character and the love of 4.3 million Croats who have helped them to reach that far.

They have played each of their last three matches or to say knockout games in extra-time. It takes great courage and resilience to match that level of energy to stand tall for 120 minutes in a football game. They have shown that character. They got past Denmark on penalties in last 16, said goodbye to host Russia in same fashion in quarter-final, and now sent football’s founding father England home in semi-final with their much hyped slogan “It’s coming home” resulting into nothing.

This is not the time to get carried away, but continue to work with the same team spirit. Croatia’s coach Dalic said as Goal reports, “I said this tournament would be won by teams with character who execute on the pitch as their coach shows them. We were 1-0 down in three games in a row and we overtook all these. We have done that today in the extra-time. On top of all the football qualities, they have shown character. We are a nation of people who are proud, never give in and have character.”

Croatia vs. France, Croatia revenge, FIFA World Cup final 2018

Croatia will be making history after winning the World Cup. A nation which has turned only 25 years old, have a population of only 4.3 million is going to be a world champion. Imagine what kind of impact it will be on their next generations of footballer.

This has to be end on a happier note. They must not get carried away with revenge in their mind. France are favourite, but so are Germany, Argentina, Spain, and Belgium. They have gone home. Croatia can dream big this time…

Croatia’s captain Luka Modric said, “It is incredible what this Croatia team can do. To perform, to fight, to never give up.”

Yes, Croatia must be bonded together with that spirit. They must not lose focus dwelling past into their memories and start thinking about revenge, it will only dilute their character to build on some strong motive. They already have what it will take to win the World Cup… #BudiPonosan

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