|Ivan Rakitic senda Croatia to the World Cup semifinals|
No footballer would prefer anything more than shining and succeeding on the biggest stage of all, the FIFA World Cup, and as we progress towards the climax of the competition, FC Barcelona players representing their various Nations continue to impress as it is now official that at least a Barcelona player will feature in the final game on July 15.
Goals from Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane and Atleti’s striker Antoine Griezmann ensured France progressed to the semifinal courtesy of a 2-0 win over Uruguay, ensuring that Blaugranas Ousmane Dembele and Samuel Umtiti Cruise over club teammate Luis Suarez. Belgium then pulled a shocker to send favourites Brazil home with a 2-1 win meaning defender Thomas Vermaelen will go toe-to-toe against the two Frenchmen in the semifinal on Tuesday.
England who doesn’t have a single Barcelona representative beat Sweden 2-0 to progress, but one of the best matches of the quarterfinals was Croatia’s win against host Russia. The hosts put up a fighting display and looked set to let the win slip in extra time losing 2-1 until Mario Fernández gave them hope on 115 minutes, sending the game into penalty shootout. However, Russia could not keep up as Croatia won the penalty shootout with Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic scoring the final kick. Ivan Rakitic would try to get his team to the final when they take on England on Wednesday.
With Dembele and Umtiti coming against Thomas Vermaelen, it is pretty much secured that at least a Barcelona player would be present in the final and it’d be more interesting if it has to be against Croatia, a nation that has another Barcelona player in their ranks. The final will take place on July 15th.