7/7/2018 9:21:16 AM (GMT+3)

Every game is special when you play for the national team, says Rakitic

Every game is special when you play for the national team, says Rakitic

MOSCOW: Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic said that his team wants to show that they are motivated to go to the next round when they take on Russia in the quarterfinal on Saturday.

“For me, every game is special when you play for the national team. We are very motivated to show the whole world that we are playing great football and we are a good team,” said Rakitic. “I’m already receiving support messages from Switzerland, Spain, Croatia and we are all looking forward to starting the game.”

Both teams came through tough battles in the Round of 16, in matches held only a few hours apart.

Croatia are hoping to match the achievement of their predecessors from the 1998 World Cup, where the team reached the semi-final. During the group stage, they produced some fine football to defeat Nigeria, Argentina and Iceland.

Meanwhile, despite enjoying precious little of the ball against Spain, the Russians fought tooth and nail to protect their goal and eventually prevailed in a penalty shootout.

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