"Someone mentioned it the other day to us", Henderson said with a smile. "It is true we have not made good results at major tournaments for decades, but we should not be surprised Croatia are in the last four of the World Cup given the quality of the players, which has been proven".
Since that Argentina game, Croatia have done just enough to beat Iceland, Denmark and Russian Federation, but Dalic believes that is because they set up to frustrate his side, whereas England's more attacking style could suit them better. But ever since the group stage, when they upset Argentina, Croatia have failed to turn on the style.
Speaking to "ESPN", Suker said: "My captain does a great job in the dressing room - he's a role model on and off the pitch for all kids, not only in Croatia". His players' club list reads like a who's-who of European elite players, with Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic at Real Madrid, Ivan Rakitic at Spanish rivals Barcelona, forward Mario Mandzukic at Italian champions Juventus, and Dejan Lovren at Liverpool among others.
Overall, 42 percent of goals in the World Cup have come from set plays or penalties, beating the previous record of 36 per cent from the 1998 World Cup and smashing the portion of goals from these situations in 2014 (27 per cent), 2010 (24 per cent), 2002 (29 per cent) and 1994 (33 per cent).
"The players have shown their qualities when it matters at this World Cup, and maybe will go down in history as a great generation which has gone close to the third-place finish of the 1998 World Cup". They will have to play much better, " said Reuters ahead of the game.
"We know their set-pieces are unsafe, they have scored seven times from them, but we have no reason to be nervous, we are relieved of any pressure and are here to enjoy ourselves", he said. The goalkeeper, Danijel Subasic, had carried a hamstring problem into the game, which he would feel at the end of normal time only to play on after treatment, while the right-back Sime Vrsaljko was forced off in extra time with a knee injury. "He has this niggle. If I had a vote [in the Ballon d'Or], I would vote for Luka".
"Even though they've not had as much game-time as they would have liked, they are as much of a reason why we are where we are". However, in the five England games he has officiated in, the Three Lions have not lost.
This trend has powered the rise of teams that traditionally do not do well in World Cups. "I don't know if there is a different mentality but it seems that they are more like a team".