LIVE: Croatia ready for ‘greatest match’ against World Cup favourites Brazil

Brazil seek to become the first team through to the World Cup semi-finals on Saturday (2am AEDT). After three weeks of pulsating action, just eight teams are left standing as the 32-nation tournament heads into the final rounds of the knockout competition after a two-day break.

Five-time champions Brazil kick off the quarter-finals against surprise 2018 runners-up Croatia, with Neymar fit and firing again after an ankle injury he suffered in the opening game.

“I’ll be doing everything that I can to win with the Brazilian national team. That’s our mission and our dream,” said Neymar.

“We’re getting ever closer, we’ve got another step to go now.”

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The Croatians have followed their remarkable run to the final in Russia in 2018 by reaching the last eight at this year’s tournament in Qatar after qualifying from their group ahead of Belgium and then ousting Japan on penalties in the last 16.

Croatia are a much-changed team from the one that reached the final four years ago, but 37-year-old Luka Modric remains the player that makes them tick.

“I agree that we did a great thing by getting to the quarter-finals but regardless of that we would like to do more,” said Modric, who will come up against his Real Madrid teammates Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo and Eder Militao in the match at Education City Stadium.

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“We know that the greatest match is ahead of us. Brazil are always favourites. We have to be ourselves.”

Croatia, a country of just four million people, has now made it to at least the quarter-finals three times in six appearances at the World Cup.

Modric said: “We know that the greatest match is ahead of us. Brazil are always favourites. We have to be ourselves.

“I believe that big things are possible but the only prerequisite is that we give our best.”

MATCH CENTRE: Line-ups, live stats and more


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