Zlatko Dalic is a man who understands just how tough it is to climb to the top of world football from being a nobody.
He said: "It's a special feeling to know that the people back home and out here in Russian Federation are enjoying the experience just as much as we are".
Almost three decades after the war, a number of unresolved issues still plague relations among the former Yugoslav republics, while nations stick to their own versions of what happened and who were the victims.
Dalic was there in France 20 years ago, but not as a player. The last was France's 1-0 loss to eventual champions Germany in the quarter-finals. He had to return home for pre-season training.
"Everything I have done in my life and in my professional career I owe to my faith, and I am grateful to my Lord", Dalic said. Before the game we wanted to just get some kip in the media centre but me and my son, Dan, wanted to go and see Kazan so we went into the centre and the kremlin there was great, so we were pleased we made the effort. That is going to live with me for ever, there is no doubt about that.
There can be little arguing with Dalic's pedigree - he was born in the town of Livno in what is now Bosnia and Herzegovina.
With star names such as Zvonimir Boban, Suker, Robert Prosinecki and Alen Boksic among their ranks, it is hardly surprising that Croatia excelled in France.
Dalic returned to Croatia to take on the national coaching job last October after Ante Cacic was sacked, refusing to accept a contract until he had secured qualification for Russian Federation.
"This is what we are about".
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"I used to say, 'Give me a Barcelona or a Real Madrid, and I will win titles, '" Dalic recalled Thursday.
"Last training session of this World Cup", Kane tweeted on Friday.
The probability of this match ending in a draw is 26%, and if that is what does happen then who knows which team will go on to win it during either extra time or if it does reach a penalty shootout, which it may just do!
"I can be very happy with my life", Dalic said, adding that "without strong faith and that motivation, it would be very hard to achieve it".
But, in a humble coaching journey across clubs from Croatia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, he has never once lost faith in his abilities. I did not put down any conditions.
Nestor Pitana is no newcomer to World Cup action, having also officiated four games at Brazil 2014.
Speaking exclusively to StarSport, Dr Stanley said: "We've talked all the way through the World Cup with England that they've been practising their set pieces really well on the training ground".
Our driver, Naseem, found it all very amusing but I reckon the 350 kilometres in each direction was more like 400km by the time he'd swerved around all the potholes. "He created a family atmosphere in the squad and not everyone can do that".