Croatia captain Luka Modrić says they were inspired towards World Cup semifinal victory by a lack of respect from English journalists and commentators.

Croatia fell behind to a fifth minute goal before claiming an extra time 2-1 victory which put them in Monday morning's final against France.

Modrić, who made his name with London club Tottenham Hotspur, was "scathing" in his opinions of some English media, the Guardian reported.

"People were talking … English journalists, pundits from television," he told ITV.


"They underestimated Croatia tonight and that was a huge mistake. All these words from them we take, we were reading and we were saying: 'OK, today we will see who will be tired.' They should be more humble and respect their opponents more.

"We showed again that we were not tired – we dominated the game mentally and physically.

"We should have killed the game even before extra time. This is an amazing achievement for us - it's a dream come true after such a long time. We are in the final and that is the biggest success in Croatia history. We have to be proud."

Team mate Sime Vrsaljko had a similar view, saying: "The all-round perception was that this is a new-look England who have changed their ways of punting long balls upfield but when we pressed them it turned out that they haven't."

Croatia's coach Zlatko Dalic was of the same mind, saying: "Those experts who thought that England would progress to the final are not experts. If they were, they would have known Croatia are the better team."

Dalic added: "We deserved to reach the final. What the lads played tonight was fantasy, they've made history. God willing, we will be world champions."

Jubilant goalscorer Ivan Perisic described making in the final as a dream come true.

"Twenty years ago I was back at home in my hometown and I rooted for Croatia wearing the Croatia jersey. I could only dream of playing for my country and scoring one of the most important goals to reach the final," he said.