Croatia earned their shot at England after beating hosts Russian Federation 4-3 on penalties after the match was tied 2-2 after extra-time as Denis Cheryshev and Mario Fernandes traded goals with Andrej Kramaric and Domagoj Vida.
Croatia can equal what that 1998 team did if it beats Russian Federation on Saturday in the quarterfinals and perhaps finally rid itself of that 20-year shadow.
"We worked so hard and gave everything we had to get through to the semis".
"At certain times we lacked power but we played two times 120 minutes of football in six days", Modric said.
"It's an adventure", said McNulty. I'm sure we will prepare well. Finishing 1-1 after 90 minutes, both sides scored in additional time to take the game the distance before the Croats finally emerged victorious.
Tottenham won the race for the Croatian in 2008, paying a then club record-equalling £16.5m for a player, who nevertheless initially struggled to adapt to the pace of the Premier League, amid fears his stature would work against him. Croatia had scored a draw against host country Russian Federation but won 4-3 in the penalty shootout. "We have succeeded I believe, but it's time to take a step forward". Croatia has never made the Euro semifinals.
"That was a great success for Croatia as a nation, and we are on the right track to repeat that feat".
However, the team's unexpected run came to an end at the hands of Croatia but not before dragging the game to penalties on Saturday.
"We hope we have turned this situation for the better".
"[Putin] called me several times", Cherchesov told journalists in Sochi on Friday before the quarter-final with Croatia.
After 10 years of Real's Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona's Lionel Messi dominating the Ballon d'Or, there has been talk that leading his country to World Cup glory could see Modric break the pair's stranglehold on the award for the world's best player.
They 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.
The victory overwhelmed Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic, who cried after Rakitic's winning penalty. "We don't have any chances to win this Cup and of course we are sad".
Many on the team were impressive during the tournament, however, and could now demand vastly improved salaries, including Dzyuba, creative midfielder Alexander Golovin and fullback Mario Fernandes.