Ivan Rakitic was glowing in his praise of team-mate Luka Modric again on the eve of Croatia's clash with Russia in Sochi.
Luka Modric always looked like developing into one of the world's best players, his former Dinamo Zagreb coach Branko Ivankovic said.
Eight teams will become four at the World Cup as the quarter-finals take place on Friday and Saturday. Here we analyse the fixtures.
Luka Modric has starred for Croatia at the World Cup, but Ivan Perisic and Ante Rebic are focusing on the team.
Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic backed Luka Modric, who will remain on penalty-taking duties for his nation.
Luka Modric missed a penalty and scored in the shoot-out as Croatia's golden generation survived an arduous mental test to overcome Denmark.
Nicolai Jorgensen missed from the penalty spot as Denmark suffered a shoot-out defeat to Croatia, who had Ivan Rakitic to thank.
With Lionel Messi unlikely to defend his World Cup Golden Ball prize, Zlatko Dalic hopes Luka Modric does enough to win.
Croatia's clash with Denmark pits Luka Modric against Christian Eriksen, but the Real Madrid man is looking beyond individual battles.