Croatia beat Russia 4-3 on penalties in Sochi on Sunday (AEST) to qualify for the World Cup semi-finals where they will face England, while Russia have been eliminated from the tournament.

"Russia played out a really good match, especially in the first half - they surprised us," Modric said.

"They were pushing us, we couldn't impose our style of play. We didn't want to risk making long passes. We did it only in the second half and were dominating in the extra time."

The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicked off on June 14 and will continue until July 15, with the final set to be played at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.