"He is one of the best strikers in the world now but I like to challenge these strikers and to show everyone that I am one of the best defenders".
Bilic, who is presently out of work having been sacked by Premier League side West Ham last season, experienced some of the highs and the lows with the Croatian players such as being seconds away from the Euro 2008 semi-finals only for Turkey to level and progress on penalties.
Croatia are just the second team to win successive shootouts in World Cup history, emulating Argentina's feat in 1990, when the latter won shootouts against Yugoslavia and Italy in the quarters and the semis, respectively.
"We believed in its potential, and I think the games that we've prepared for, we had belief we would win, but there is still pressure in all of those matches, so I'm really pleased with how the team have emerged and developed".
"It's completely irrelevant to talk about one or other defeat against Tottenham".
Croatia scored their 10th goal at the 2018 World Cup, their second-best yield for a single tournament, one less than what their third-placed 1998 team managed on debut in France. "We don't fear England".
Dalic blamed Croatia's opponents for smothering the creative talents of Luka Modric and said he expected a more open match in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.
The penalty shootout win against hosts Russian Federation in the quarter-finals on Sunday seems to have gone a long way towards achieving that.
The other semi-final pits England (No. 12) against a beat up team from Croatia (No. 20).
"I don't know what to say", he said.
Vida's 101st-minute header saw Croatia go in front but Manuel Fernandes replied and the quarter-final went to penalties with Barcelona midfielder Rakitic netting the winning spot-kick in a 4-3 shootout victory.
"The biggest pressure came against Denmark in the round of 16 (which also went to extra-time and a penalty shootout)".
"But we are looking forward to a different style of game against England because they like to play attacking football". "We're not working much now so you can imagine what it will be like if we win". They are in the better half of the draw and we have a proper team, full of quality, full of experience.