Despite losing to France at World Cup, Croatian media and fans celebrate players

Croatian media are hailing their team as heroes after the country’s historic success in reaching the World Cup final where France beat them 4-2.

“Thank you, heroes! – You gave us everything!” read the Sportske Novosti frontpage.

“‘Vatreni’ (the “Fiery Ones” in Croatian), you are the biggest, you are our pride, your names will remain written in gold forever!” the newspaper said.

It showed a photo of captain Luka Modric who was awarded the Golden Ball for the best player at the tournament, holding a trophy, although with a sad face after the defeat.

“Brave hearts – You made us proud,” said Jutarnji List daily.

“Croatia celebrates you, you are our gold!” echoed the Vecernji List.

More than 100,000 red-and-white-painted Croatian fans were expected to welcome the squad home later Monday in the capital Zagreb.

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