Zlatko Dalic: We are ready for France


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Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic insists his team are ready for their huge showdown with France after they beat England to reach the World Cup final for the first time.

Dalic’s troops fell behind early on in the semi-final on Wednesday when Kieran Trippier’s free-kick sailed into the top corner.

However, Croatia found their way back into the game and Inter winger Ivan Perisic was the man of the moment with a volley at the back post.

Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic secured a 2-1 extra-time win to propel Croatia into the final on Sunday where they will take on France.

Les Bleus beat Croatia back in 1998 to deny them a passage into the final and Dalic insists they will give it everything they have after revealing how they managed to get past England.

He told reporters: “We did not underestimate them. We respected them because we analysed them. We knew what they were doing and where.

“I think this was our best game. We played today better than against Argentina.

“There is no weakness in a team which is in the final. They are a top-drawer team with fantastic players.

“But we are going to discuss France tomorrow. We’re taking it step by step. We’ve entered the final today. We’re going to celebrate, to rest and then we will prepare for France.

“We’re facing another daunting task but it’s going to be a fantastic match. We are ready for it. I am sure everybody will enjoy watching that match. I have huge respect for France.”

France are 1.91 favourites for Sunday’s final, with the draw 3.30, while Croatia are 4.50 outsiders.

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