Croatia, which lost to France in the final in Russia, is on its own mission to go one step further in Qatar
Croatia, runner-up in 2018, is the next obstacle for Argentina to overcome on Tuesday in the semifinals as Messi aims to win the one major trophy that has eluded him.
“I don’t think we need to fear anybody. We need to look at ourselves to play our best game," defender Josip Juranovic said on Sunday.
Neymar was left in tears after Croatia beat Brazil 4-2 on penalties following a 1-1 draw through extra time in their quarterfinal match.
Messi appears to have taken it on himself to lead his country to its third World Cup triumph and a first since 1986.
Croatia appears calm for now ahead of the game at Lusail Stadium. “We don’t have a specific plan at least not yet for stopping Lionel Messi," Croatia striker Bruno Petkovic said.
"The way we approach that is we need to stop them as a team. Not by man marking or some kind of similar tactics. Argentina is not only Messi.”