Russian Federation has been basking in the spotlight this World Cup, playing to the roaring crowds at home and winning games.
"We are a very close group and that goes a long way in tournament football, when you have to dig in for each other".
Croatia may be blessed with the talents of Luka Modric - arguably the finest midfielder in the world - and Ivan Rakitic, but is there any reason for England to be genuinely fearful? The big teams are home.
"We worked so hard and gave everything we had to get through to the semis".
"I believe that people did not only start trusting us but they are in love with us".
"I regret that some media representatives have interpreted our communication in such a manner", he said. "I'm disappointed, because we were one step away from the semifinal".
Saturday's thriller between hosts Russian Federation and 1998 bronze medalists Croatia was one of them. With players like Harry Kane and Dele Alli, they have the capacity to move on to the final.
Subasic didn't need to win the shootout the same way he did against Denmark, when his three saves were the reason the Croatian team advanced.
But moments later, there was applause.
"This looks like a nation with a newfound sense of footballing confidence - and expectations for the future", said Challands.
What he did against Russian Federation may be viewed back home as a greater accomplishment.
They were terrific in getting a two-goal lead against Brazil and then put in a mature second half display to hold off the fightback from their South American opponents.
"He watched, he was rooting for the team". They are still great guys for us, they are heroes.
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, who travelled to Russia on a chartered flight along with several Croatian football fans, was seated alongside FIFA president Gianni Infantino and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev as the game progressed.
"This was a good game, and a handsome one".
"As soon as I found out there was going to be a reception with the Sbornaya, I dropped everything and drove with my husband to Moscow", said Anastasiya, a fan from Tver who travelled for over three hours to reach the capital.
Russia's Denis Cheryshev scores their first goal against Croatia at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi, Russia on July 7, 2018.
"They dealt with Sweden relatively easily so we know they are going to be a hard opponent and we respect them", he continued.