Croatia Captain Modric Says Focused on Team's Success, Not Personal Victories

Croatia star Luka Modric wins World Cup Golden Ball

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The tournament's official song, "Live It Up", has showed up at World Cup stadiums about as often as Putin himself.

Croatia got off to a winning start for the first time at a World Cup since 1998 with a comfortable victory over Nigeria.

We will remind, the French team became the world champion, beating in the final Croatia.

Luka Modric has taken an extraordinary path to the World Cup final - from fleeing his home as a child during Croatia's war of independence to global superstar status.

Modrić has been selected "Man of the Match" three times at the World Cup thus far.

Croatia needed nerves of steal once more to book a first semi-final spot since 1998, as well as boundless energy to counter a Russian Federation side with the support of a nation behind them in Sochi.

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France came into the World Cup with a squad of players who were considered in some quarters to be the best in Russian Federation . But they hit back in the second half through Ivan Perisic before grabbing a victor in extra-time through Mario Mandzukic.

The 32-year-old appeared in all seven of the team's matches, scoring three goals and chipping in with assists.

"Even when you think they're going to lose, or going to crack, they always have the mentality to come back", Mbappe said of the Croatian team.

The Croatian government hopes that the unexpected performance will move the country, heavily dependent on tourism, forward.

Modric scored two goals in the group stage and converted both of his attempts in penalty shootouts to help Croatia reach the final. "What is the most important is never to give up, never to give in to circumstances, to trust yourself".

"Modric is not one of the best, (he is) the best midfield player in the world, and if we win this World Cup, he deserves the Ballon d'Or". The fact that, at 33, Mandzukic was still alert enough to react fastest to the loose ball to score typifies the determination of the Juventus striker, who also ranks fourth in the list of Croatians for tackles won. France will be favored for a lot of other good reasons, but another upset shouldn't surprise anyone who's been watching Croatia or the rest of this upset-filled World Cup.

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