In Semi-finals, Croatia came from behind to win 2-1 against England, with Mario Mandzukic claiming the victor in the 109th minute after Ivan Perisic had earlier cancelled out Kieran Trippier's free-kick opener.
France, then captained by current national coach Didier Deschamps, ended Croatia's dream run when they won 2-1 in the semi-finals before going on to claim the title. Besides the Real Madrid talisman, there are other stars in Dalic's squad, including players from Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus and Liverpool like Ivan Rakitic, Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Perisic, Mateo Kovacic and Dejan Lovren.More news: What President Trump said about May, Brexit, and 'England'
"But at our last meeting ahead of the match they all said they are ready". The two teams played in the final group stage match with reserves, with Belgium winning 1-0 and earning placement into the tougher side of the knockout bracket as a result.
Across teams, there have been a number of players who have stolen the headlines for their displays and maybe rightly so but there have been many who put in superb shifts for the team. The sound was eclipsed only by the joy that greeted Mario Mandzukic's extra-time victor and the impromptu fireworks celebration in the wake of the final whistle.
"Ante Rebic said he couldn't play and I told them only those who were 100% fit will play".More news: Thai Navy May Put Elon Musk's Mini-Submarine to Use. One Day
Croatia must recover quickly for Sunday's showpiece - no easy feat. "And they were wrong because this team has a lot of character and we came out and showed it".
It's been a thrilling tournament in Russian Federation but one pundit has known for some time that England would lose to Croatia in the last four.More news: How Apple's app store changed technology
"For Croatian football and Croatia as a country, this is history being written", said Dalic. We will want to give a performance of huge pride.