Russia's Sergei Ignashevich announces retirement after World Cup exit

Croatian president flies economy class to Russia to cheer World Cup team

Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov reveals Vladimir Putin's reaction to team's World Cup 2018 exit

Like opposite number Martinez, Didier Deschamps has been much-maligned but the France coach is on the brink of taking his side to the World Cup final.

Luka Modric believes Croatia can achieve something big and surpass the achievements of the 1998 team after reaching the World Cup semi-finals on Saturday. "But now we are collecting those debts in this World Cup".

With England looking to continue their assault towards the final and Belgium and France clashing in the other last-four match, the Soccer Saturday pundit has offered his views on how things will unfold.

However, Rakitic ensured that Croatia prevailed in the shoot-out, their second in a row after beating Denmark on penalties in the last round.

Team Russia advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time in its modern history after hammering Saudi Arabia 5-0 and Egypt 3-1 and losing only to Uruguay 0-3 in the championship's group stage.

"We have enough time to rest and prepare well", said Modric. "It will be a battle again but I trust us, I have belief in us".

"I've decided that it's time for me to go".

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia had never managed to go past the group stage.

Dalic's team looked exhausted as they laboured against unfancied hosts Russian Federation for 120 minutes on Saturday night before they advanced via a shoot-out success for the second successive game.

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Croatia have been pushed to the brink twice in penalties, and England may well be fresher due to getting their business done in the 90 minutes against Sweden.

But coach Stanislav Cherchesov - his moustache becoming the unofficial symbol of Russia's Cinderella waltz through the tournament - seemed visibly distraught.

But moments later, there was applause. Fans spilling out of bars chanted "Russia", dancing in the street and singing along as music blared. Majority sang Russian songs in the streets all night, waving Russian flags and sounding the horn.

"We have proved we are a football nation".

The headlines in Russian Federation read, "Moscow did not sleep after the match", "Thanks, guys", "Simply great", and "Fighting until the end".

Russian Federation head coach Stanislav Cherchesov said his team were understandably disappointed with the result.

"He watched, he was rooting for the team".

The 56-year-old, from Bridgnorth, in Shropshire, said: "It was just incredible, just a great feeling. It's good he's controlling games".

"Russia has shown the world what kind of championship we can have - the best in the world", said another fan.

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