In the wake of England's World Cup semi-final defeat this evening, much is being made of the grand effort Gareth Southgate's men exuded in equaling the nation's best World Cup result since winning in 1966. With the exception of Roy Keane, few were paying Croatia their dues (immediately, anyway) - and Luka Modric is not surprised.
One of the best players on the pitch this evening, the former Tottenham Hotspur man spoke after tonight's victory, unimpressed as he was with the pre-match hype surrounding Croatia's opponents tonight:
English journalists, pundits from television, they underestimated Croatia tonight and that was a huge mistake.
All these words from them we take, we were reading and we were saying 'ok, today we will see who will be tired.'
Suggesting that the English media should have been more 'humble' in the build up to this evening's clash, and 'respected their opponents.'
Modric's national team coach Zlatko Dalic was equally unimpressed with how the pre-match narrative had been so shaped in England's favour.
Croatian coach Zlatko Dalic rubbing it in slightly, when asked about experts who thought England would win. "They are not experts. They should have known we are a better team..in all segments of the game."
— Daniel McDonnell (@McDonnellDan) July 11, 2018
They were not the only one's laying the boot into their presumptuous opponents.
Brutally succinct quote from Šime Vrsaljko "The all-round perception was that this is a new-look England who have changed their ways of punting long balls upfield but when we pressed them it turned out that they haven't. "
— Simon Evans (@sgevans) July 11, 2018
Corluka is asked to stop for English press, smiles and just says: "It's not coming home!" Keeps walking.
— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) July 11, 2018
Set to take on France in Sunday's World Cup final, the Croats will be well aware that they are a force to be reckoned with.
As many more are suspecting tonight, given his success with Real Madrid this season in claiming a third successive Champions League, a win may well be enough for Luka Modric to break the Lionel Messi/Cristiano Ronaldo stranglehold on the Ballon d'Or.
You can watch all of Modric's post-match interview and more here.