After once again starring as Real won a fourth Champions League crown in five seasons by beating Liverpool in Kiev in May, Modric will be nearly assured of winning the Ballon d'Or if he can lead Croatia all the way to improbable World Cup glory.
The side will now face England in the last four stage of the competition even as they look to win the world cup for the first time in their history.
Belgium has never been to the final of a World Cup, but that's exactly what they look poised to do as the highest-ranked team (No. 3 in the latest Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings) left in the tournament.
"1998 will never be forgotten and should not be, but I would love it if eventually the 1998 "Fiery Ones" can be moved aside so that we can talk not only about 1998 but also a bit about 2018", the former Real Madrid player said.
Andrej Kramarić's goal against World Cup hosts, Russia.
The regular time saw the match end 2-2 before Croatia sealed their qualification to the last four of the tournament winning on penalties.
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.
Their one defeat came against Belgium in their final group game, in a match between two essentially reserve sides.
Now they are looking to go one step further, but just getting this far is a source of great pride for Croatia. Croatia are in the semis.
"First of all, I want to thank the team, to everyone who took part in the team I'm proud of them, I love them like my family... we became one family...", the 29-year-old said. "His team-mates play at top clubs, it's going to be a hard task but if we're ready to give our all on the pitch like against Argentina, if we're compact, I don't believe there will be problems". The hosts lost 4-3 in the penalty shootout.
Forward Artyom Dzyuba, who scored three goals in five games for Russian Federation at the World Cup, says Russian Federation and its fans 'have proved we're a football country'.
"He has minor issues but we have a huge game tomorrow". They are in the better half of the draw and we have a proper team, full of quality, full of experience.