Goalkeeper Danijel Subasic says he will play through the pain against England after he needed treatment on a muscle problem against Russian Federation before becoming Croatia's spot-kick hero for the second round running.
"People will say you're playing to be the third best team in the world but I can't get excited about that but the players will be professional on Saturday and they'll be fans that have travelled over to watch them".
Far beyond just a nickname, the collective history and shared narratives of both sets of Lions have taken an eerily similar course over the past 60 years.
"We are in the final".
Grant Davidson said they had "brought the country together" during the run to the semi-finals, the first time England had reached the last four since losing to West Germany in 1990.
"He was carrying something in the second half against Colombia, he wasn't moving around".
Croatia fans are celebrating after England win
He said: "I think Croatia have a better side". "I was in Nice to watch us lose to Iceland, I was in Kiev to lose against Italy". We will see after this practice session", he said. "We are concentrating on what's going on now".
Tottenham have more players still at the World Cup than any other club in the Premier League, which could provide a problem for manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Thanks to Mandzukic's stunning goal 11 minutes from the end of extra time, Croatia will play France in the final on Monday morning (NZT).
"Fair enough they are a young team but they needed to turn up tonight".
"Then they asked me if I was OK".
"We've come an incredibly long way in a short space of time and the experience of the matches with Colombia, Sweden and the whole thing is probably beyond where we thought we might be able to go".
"Sometimes, you have to go through hard times and failures to learn and improve", he said.
England got off to about as good a start as the team could have hoped for against Croatia in the World Cup semifinal.
Eric Amsalem, a 48-year-old Croatian fan with his face painted in the colours of the national flag said: "It's a small country".