The Croatian players would like to take the opportunity in Russia to prove them worth being called “golden generation”, said Croatian captain Luka Modric during a pre-match press conference in Kaliningrad on Friday.

Finishing 3rd in France 1998, the Croatian team then led by Davor Suker was hailed as a golden generation. Two decades later, the Croatian squad featuring Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic and Mateo Kovacic, came to Russia with high expectations and a halo of another “golden generation”.

“I think we have a very good generation of players who play in big clubs, we are a good mixture of youth and experience. So there are high expectations about us, I just hope that won’t be an obstacle for us,” said Modric.

“I hope we’d have some luck, so this generation can get the results they could achieve objectively,” added the Croatian captain.

“We believe in ourselves, and I hope we will prove those epithets (of being called golden generation) right, and show some good football,” the Real Madrid’s midfielder said.

Croatia is to take on its first opponent Nigeria of group D on June 16 at Kaliningrad Stadium.