Convicted Croatia team official keeps World Cup VIP status

Sherman Parsons
July 16, 2018

When Croatia scored the goal that took it into the World Cup final on Wednesday, an AFP photographer unwittingly became part of the celebrations as he was buried under a pile of joyous players.

But Kolinda couldn't make it to the stadium on Tuesday to witness Croatia knocking out England to seal its berth in the final.

"We followed the game over dinner", Grabar-Kitarovic said as she entered the last sessions of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit early Thursday, AP reported.

(Luka) Modric and (Ivan) Rakitic pressed their backline and we had the ball possession.

That was after they lost 2-1 to France in the semi-finals, the same country they will play in the 2018 final should they defeat England. We have two matches to play and we are very motivated. But we showed again that we we not exhausted, we dominated the game physically, mentally, in all aspects.

Croatia defender Dejan Lovren said Modric deserves to win the Ballon d'Or if they win Sunday's final, describing his team-mate as the "best midfield player in the world".

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However, FIFA says the sentence is not final because the former Dinamo Zagreb director general is appealing to a higher court.

"I think it's good the players understand it's good for the country".

When Croatia stormed through the group stage with nine points from three games, they did in indeed look like serious contenders.

All credit goes to prolific goalscorer Mario Mandzukic for scoring the goal in the second period of extra-time. "What the lads played tonight is fantasy, they've made history". He was also a key factor in Madrid's third consecutive Champions League victory in May and has slowly cemented himself as the best midfielder in the world in recent years.

Luka Modric speaking after the game, said that the team used this as a means to motivate themselves to get something from the game.

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