Rakitic Had Defeated Illness before Knocking Out England

The midfielder from Barcelona revealed after the match that he was feeling feverish before the game began, but had willed himself back to fitness and had fired himself to play because of the opponents’ attitude.

Football news: I beat illness to knock England out, said Rakitic

Croatia defeated England 2-1 in the second semi-final of the World Cup and reached the final for the first time in their 5 times attempt in the World Cup.

The Barcelona midfielder played a major role along with his compatriot Luka Modric as they came back from a goal down, thanks to goals from Ivan Perisic in the regulation time and Mario Mandzukic’s goal in the extra time period.

It would have been a huge blow for Zlatko Dalic’s men if the 30-year-old former Sevilla and Schalke player had not played the match, but Rakitic said that he would have done everything possible to get himself fit for the match.

"Last night I had a fever, almost 39 [degrees]," he said.

"I was lying in bed finding the strength to play and it was worth it. I would play a final without a leg if necessary."

Rakitic also added that the extra hype from social media over the England team was noticed by the Croatia players and it inspired them for the match.

"They thought they were already in the final, with all the things uploaded on [social] networks," he said.

"They can keep doing their stuff and we will play on Sunday."

Croatia will now face France on Sunday for the ultimate glory. It will be a rematch of the 1998 semi-final where the Les Blues had won the match 2-1.