Monday, 24 September, 2018

Proud of England’s performance at the World Cup 2018, says Wayne Rooney

Soccer: Russia can keep on partying after fine World Cup run Belgium and France face off in mouth-watering semi-final
Rita Gibson | 11 July, 2018, 23:22

Former Croatia coach Slaven Bilic believes a constant theme in their national sides is their ability to raise their game against big sides, hence their low-key performances against Denmark and Russian Federation in the knockout stages, beating both on penalties, should be disregarded.

"We know what we need to succeed".

"We have shown the world we can match any strong team".

Dalic stressed that the presence of Croatia in the semifinals is deserved and he placed the current generation of players on a par with the Croatian squad that won the bronze medal at the 1998 World Cup in France.

"It's the tighter, uglier games that have been our downfall".

Talisman Modric suggested that it was destiny for the match to be decided by a penalty shootout, their second in two knockout matches after overcoming Denmark on spot-kicks in the round of 16.

It is England's first World Cup semi-final appearance since 1990 when they lost to West Germany on penalties.

"But don't underestimate the rest of the team either".

"Luka and Rakitic are the best midfield pair in the World Cup", said Bilic.

Croatia fear England’s Sterling in World Cup semi-final
He scored quite a few for Manchester City because of the way they play, but that is not what he is going to do (with England ). And this could benefit England if Sterling makes the most of the space presented to him.

Placed 70th in Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings, home team Russia was the lowest-ranked team competing in the tournament.

The victory boosted France's morale, and they followed it up with a workman-like 2-0 win over Uruguay that was impressive because of how well they managed to control the game against tricky opponents.

"For me, he's got everything a centre-half needs: he's aggressive, good in the air, can play out from the back, good on the ball and he's a real leader as well, which is massive as a defender, always talking".

Rooney, who was the leading goalscorer for England before announcing his retirement from the global football in 2017, further added that he is enjoying the attention being given to the country in Russian Federation.

"They really have a lot of pace, like Belgium, and get plenty of numbers forward".

He also said there was no need for him to give his team-mates any tips on England's players, as they were all well aware of who they are up against.

But it was not meant to be as Croatia won 4-3 on penalties to advance to a semi-final against England, leaving numerous 48,0000 fans at Sochi's Fisht Stadium in tears.

While many outsiders view that unexpected Croatian run to the last four as a great success, inside the country many share the view of the team's then manager Miroslav Blazevic that it was a missed opportunity.

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