Despite taking an early lead, Croatia made it 2-1 in extra time where they secured a place in the final.
England were comfortable winners over Sweden in their last game, winning 2-0 thanks to goals from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli.
But the team's performance over the past month - with a 6-1 trouncing of Panama, their first ever World Cup penalties win and first World Cup semi-final since 1990 - has seen them reconnect with a disillusioned fan base.
Asked about facing France, Dalic, the former Al Ain manager, said: "There is no weakness in a team that is in the final".
Because of team eliminations and rotating lineups, some players have played in more matches than others.More news: NATO Members Defend Military Contributions Amid Trump's Demands
"Every city we've played in, and our base in particular, but everywhere we've played, we've had a really warm welcome, the organization of the tournament has been absolutely first-class".
"Semi-finals, they've done what they had to do, they took us to the semi-finals".
"We've entered the final today". We can at least defend two crosses. We're facing another daunting task, but it's going to be a fantastic match. "We are ready, we have the quality, support also in Croatia and all over the world".
In capital Zagreb, more than 10,000 people gathered in the central square to watch the match despite rain. "I have huge respect for France".
The Three Lions' failure to reach their first World Cup final in 52 years was greeted with desolation in the stadium in Moscow.More news: Donald Trump arrives in London on his maiden visit to UK
Croatia had twice needed penalties to get to this stage, first in the round of 16, where they beat Denmark, then in the quarterfinals, where they beat hosts Russian Federation, two shootouts that made goalkeeper Danijel Subašić a hero. We did not underestimate them.
"We knew what they were doing and where".
According to the official Federation Internationale de Football Association report about TV ratings for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the third-place fixture between Uruguay and Germany was the 14th-most-watched game out of the event (out of 64 total fixtures) in terms of global television viewers, at 245 million (which takes into account both viewers of the live telecast and viewers of replays or tape-delayed telecasts). "During half-time, I told the players "calmly pass the ball, do not lose your heads". Their route to the final in Russian Federation has included a 3-0 win against Argentina in the groups, with Croatia finishing top of the group.
"This was our best game", said Dalic, who managed Al Ain for three years until January last year.
"We played better than we did against Argentina". "I don't think so".More news: Clubs line up to sign Manchester United's Victor Lindelof