FIFA WC 2018: Dele Alli says England can overcome Croatia challenge
Midfielder Dele Alli insists Harry Kane-led England can overcome challenge of Luka Modric's Croatia to seal historic berth in Sunday's final at Moscow
As excitement builds in England in the run-up to the country's first World Cup semi-final for 28 years, midfielder Dele Alli insists Gareth Southgate's team are keeping a cool head in their tournament "bubble".
"You are in your own little bubble when here — training camp, coming back, getting ready for the next game. It is not until you look at social media and the internet that you realise how big it is," Alli said.
"Obviously we know we are playing in the World Cup, in the semi-final. We are so focused on the games that you forget what we have done so far. It is important that we stay like that, keep going and hopefully we achieve something to make it even more special to get to the final and win it." Alli scored his first World Cup goal as England cruised into the last four with a 2-0 win over Sweden on Saturday.
A much tougher test is expected in Moscow tonight against a Croatia side that swept past Argentina in the group stages and boasts the midfield talents of Real Madrid's Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic of Barcelona. But while many pundits and even England fans are surprised by their progress, Alli says the squad always believed they could go far.
"We had to believe and we know how talented we are as a squad," he added. "We know we have some unbelievable players and a great manager and everyone is clear on what we want to do. "When you have such a solid foundation, you have the basics and clear understanding of what we want to do and achieve, it's not a surprise that it's going well for us."
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From Neymar's antics to Croatian courage: FIFA WC 2018 Highlights