Croatia’s Mandzukic says team eager to prove themselves


Mario Mandzukic has said that he and his Croatia teammates won’t let fatigue get in their way when they face England in the semifinals of the 2018 World Cup on Wednesday.

The Balkan side played more than four hours of football in their penalty-shootout victories over Denmark in the round of 16 and Russia in the quarterfinals, reports Efe.

“It’s so special to do something with the national team. We have been waiting for a number of years to do something great with Croatia,” Mandzukic told a press conference.

“Now we are finally near such an achievement and we will leave every drop of sweat on the pitch to achieve our goal,” he added.

At the same time, the Juventus striker rejected the idea that Croatia should be seen as favourites against England.

“I agree Croatia has several more experienced players,” Mandzukic said. “That will help us, but the chances are 50-50, I believe, because everybody deserves to be at the semifinal.”

Croatia has reached the final four on one previous occasion – the 1998 World Cup in France.

“I think for the Croatia team, our biggest pressure was beating Denmark in the last 16. We feel much easier at this point and we are enjoying what is happening,” Mandzukic said.