"We started slowly, but we showed our character just as in the previous two knockout games when we were a goal down".
"If I was in charge of the FA there would be no doubt that I would keep Gareth Southgate and Steve Holland and give them the chance to take the team to the next Euros and the next World Cup".
As if all of that were not enough, France have also came through the competition with no serious injuries, while Mandzukic ended the semi-final with a knock. "We all know what was at stake and how important a semi-final is for a small country like Croatia", said Perisic. It will be a really hard task to assess everybody over the next 24 hours and get them mentally back to where we want them to be for a game like that, but that will be the challenge. I don't think realistically any of us did.
"Every time we wear the shirt of our national team, we want to play with pride and play well and win".
It was never going to happen, of course, as the ecstasy of taking a tiny nation to the final of the World Cup for the first time needed to be worked through with the people that provided the players with support and inspiration.
"But, certainly, I'm hugely proud of what they've done".
France opened the cup at +650, while Croatia was +3300.
"I thought in the second half they were going to totally smash it. The enthusiasm they have for these players, they've been brilliant ambassadors for our country, it's great for them they've got some enjoyable moments playing for England now".
Despite taking the lead early in the first half on Wednesday, England suffered the familiar story of World Cup heartbreak as Croatia equalised in the second half and then claimed the victor in the second period of extra time. That felt so good for us here in Russian Federation, and united us more and more, just like it did in our country.
But Croatia spoiled the party at the 2018 World Cup semifinals.
Croatia, who have reached the final for the first time in their history, will play France on Sunday.
Tonight's (11th July) game against Croatia in Moscow will be just the third time the Three Lions have played in such a fixture and the first since 1990.