Suker backs Croatia 'role model' Modric for Ballon d'Or

Croatia goalkeeper Danijel Subasic is crucial to his nation's hopes

AP Croatia goalkeeper Danijel Subasic is crucial to his nation's hopes

"What the touts are doing is getting people coming to the Federation Internationale de Football Association ticket office and saying I'll give you £50 more, knowing they can sell it to an England fan for £150 more", he said.

But there were stunned reactions as Croatia scored the equaliser through Ivan Perisic.

The 51-year-old made it his mission to change that and the results have been spectacular, most notably a 3-0 demolition of Argentina in the group stage, although the side has needed penalties to get past Denmark and hosts Russian Federation in the knockout stages. "We should have killed the game before extra-time, but this is an unbelievable achievement for us, a dream come true".

After once again starring as Real won a fourth Champions League crown in five seasons by beating Liverpool in Kiev in May, Modric will be nearly assured of winning the Ballon d'Or if he can lead Croatia all the way to improbable World Cup glory.

Chris Treloar, 34, said: "I'm absolutely gutted, especially with the way the goal went in".

"We played with our souls and with our hearts, thank you so much".

"He deserves all the accolades he gets from the media and public". It might never come around again for me, so I'm trying to take every opportunity, bringing everything I've learned at [Manchester] City and my career to the table.

They should have turned up, it's the semi-final of a World Cup.

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Reiss Malone, 33, said: "Overall you've got to look at it, and to get to the semis is a massive achievement and it could be our time in four years".

Mamic was sentenced to six and a half years in prison last month, while Modric has been charged with giving false evidence in the case.

Bilic, who is a mentor to several of the present squad including Modric having nurtured their talent as Croatia's Under-21 handler before becoming head coach of the national side, added he is confident this team can go one better than he and his team-mates in 1998 and reach the final. The Croats won in a 4-3 penalty shootout. What then? Four years (and more) of cocky Brits bragging about a crown they were entitled to.

"We took a hard route and we were unlucky, particularly in previous tournaments, especially the Euros".

"We have had events on in camp when some of those guys have been in when the road was named at St George's (Park) after Sir Alf", he said.

"My biggest question before the tournament was about who was going to be the goalkeeper and whether they would be good enough". It's a awful way to go out of the World Cup.

"We did win. Most importantly, they won for us, for the whole country".

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