Croatia captain Luka Modric has criticised the English press, saying that they are the source of the arrogance that dogs the team, not the players.
England and Croatia meet on Sunday in their first group match of Euro 2020, a repeat of the 2018 World Cup semi-final when the latter emerged triumphant.
Croatia's players were unimpressed with some of the 'It's coming home' noises coming out of England at the World Cup, with Dejan Lovren referencing it as a motivating factor for the semi-final.
World Cup Qualification UEFA
FIFA analysing England-Hungary report after arrests include ‘racially aggravated' offence
13/10/2021 AT 11:22
After that win Modric criticised the press, saying: "English journalists, pundits from television, they underestimated Croatia and that was a huge mistake. They should be more humble and respect more opponents.
"All these words from them we take, we were reading and we were saying, 'OK, today we will see who will be tired'.”
And speaking to the media ahead of his team’s clash with England, Modric reiterated that belief, saying: "That arrogance is not so much related to the players but the people around them, some of the journalists and commentators."
The match will be played at Wembley, one of a number for England, and Modric was asked whether he thought they had an unfair advantage.
"I think so, yes,” the experienced midfielder replied.
"It's a shame there won't be a lot of Croatia supporters because we always feel their presence when they are there.
"But it is how it is. We need to focus on the pitch and don't get bothered about the environment."

‘Jack Grealish is first name on team sheet’

England are seen as one of the favourites and Modric had high praise for the team.
"I rate them very highly," he said. "For sure, they are one of the favourites for this tournament. That doesn't mean we are not going there to try to play a great game and try to get a result.
"We have showed in the past we can do that and we know how to play against England. Hopefully we can show it again on Sunday."
World Cup Qualification UEFA
Southgate explains Grealish sub as Lineker surprised by decision
13/10/2021 AT 08:46
Football
Kane insists ‘noise’ has not affected him, performances suggest otherwise – The Warm-Up
13/10/2021 AT 07:18