Croatia held their first training session on Friday ahead of Sunday’s World Cup final without five of its players.
Man of the match against England, Ivan Perisic, sat out training with a thigh injury and is the most concern for coach Zlatko Dalic.
Ivan Strinic, Dejan Lovren, Sime Vrsaljko and goalkeeper Danijel Subasic also sat out training as a precautionary measure and to give their niggles more time to heal.
The squad went through a very light session in Moscow this afternoon where the players mainly stretched and worked some simple drills.
Before the session Ivan Rakitic appeared in front of the press.
“At the moment there is no nicer feeling than being a Croat, that is our greatest strength. When I decided to play for Croatia I dreamed about everything…I would love to play a big final every two years, but to get to that is something else. We have all realised our dreams. You just have to see the footage from Croatia over the last month, that joy is unbelievable from the first day of the tournament,” Rakitic said, before adding.
“It is a special feeling we feel towards Croatia, although I don’t think other players from other nations have less feeling, it makes us something else when we put on that special shirt. It is something Croatians carry in themselves.”
Rakitic says that he has received messages from all over the world ahead of Sunday’s final and that people have been telling him they can not believe that they have been celebrating Croatia’s goal like it is their own country scoring.
“We will have to play our best match against France, our desire is big and so is theirs. We will try to impose ourselves and with a bit of luck it could be our day.”
Croatia will have one more training session on Saturday ahead of the final which will kick-off at 5 pm CET on Sunday.