England, Croatia ignite Moscow

Three thousand fans in Nottingham will be able to watch the match in Nottingham Castle.

Supporters showed their colours in Red Square just a stones throw from Vladimir Putin's headquarters at the Kremlin ahead of the match against Croatia.

The fans at home would have possibly not expected such a show from their players, who have quickly been embraced as national heroes.

"This looks like a nation with a newfound sense of footballing confidence - and expectations for the future", said Challands.

"They're all young, hard-working lads".

The group is facing one its most hard meetings in years due to US President Donald Trump's criticism of the organisation and his targeting of German leader Angela Merkel.

There is little prospect that they would have come this far without Modric, who as a boy was forced to flee his village home after his grandfather was killed by Serb forces in the Croatian independence war.

Croatia had also needed spot-kicks to get past a dogged Denmark in the last-16, but Modric insisted they would not be exhausted for the last-four clash against England at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday.

"I was concentrated throughout the match but after Rakitic's penalty, it came bursting out of me", he said. Ten years ago we had a famous generation and now we are close to them because we are in the semi-final after 20 years. "We can not do anything to stop this from happening other than hope that they have read this letter and think twice before acting". "We are happy to share this festival with you", he said.

Zlatko Dalic's team take on England in the semi-final at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday, where they will bid to record their country's best performance at the tournament by reaching the showpiece.

Scott Ratcliffe and his 10-year-old son Eliott, who has broken up from school, were in the queue to pick up their Fan IDs, having arrived in Moscow on Tuesday. "We were supporting the team so much", one Russian fan told Al Jazeera after the quarter-final. The 2008 Uefa Champions League final was an all-English affair between Manchester United and Chelsea, which Sir Alex Ferguson's Red Devils won 6-5 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in 120 minutes.

"Vladimir Putin talked to me during the day and he called me right now, and congratulated me on a very good game", Cherchesov said.

  • Julie Sanders