Moscow: England midfielder Jordan Henderson said that players and fans should not exaggerate the importance of the Three Lions' 2018 World Cup semifinal against Croatia.
"It's a massive game for us, we all know that, but there's no need to make it bigger than what it already is," he said on the eve of the match. "We're concentrating on what we want to do and create. We've taken it game by game and will continue to do that," the 28-year-old Liverpool captain said.
England, the 1966 World Cup champion, face Croatia on Wednesday after reaching the semifinals for the first time since the 1990 World Cup.
Henderson praised two of the Croatian players, Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric, and Liverpool teammate Dejan Lovren, who plays on the back line.
England's central midfielder Jordan Henderson and striker Jamie Vardy on Tuesday attended the last English squad's training session prior to their crucial semifinal match against Croatia. Both are tapped to play Wednesday's match in Moscow.
Henderson, the Liverpool City captain and midfielder who injured his hamstring during the quarter-final match against Sweden has recovered enough to play on England's starting-eleven formation versus Croatia's Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic.
On the other hand, Leicester City striker, Vardy, who has now recovered from a groin injury suffered during the round-of-16 match versus Colombia, will probably watch the kick-off from the sidelines, on the bench, unless England's manager Gareth Southgate requires him to jump onto the playing field. Vardy tweeted his followers a brief: "Good to be back training with the lads."
In line with the "Three Lions" tradition, the final training session before the match took place at their Zelenogorsk headquarters, a small town located 50 km North of Saint Petersburg.
The training session was characterized by a good deal of player's laughter and banter as England's team faces its first semifinal in 28 years,( Italy 1990,) and if it wins Croatia, they will backtrack to England's 1966 World Cup final, which the "Three Lions" won 52 years ago.