England's hopes of claiming a place in Sunday's final against France faded as a second half goal from Ivan Perisic and an extra time victor from Mario Mandzukic left Gareth Southgate's players shattered, with Keane suggesting the English agony should be laced with pride.
"We created some good chances when we were 1-0 up, maybe we dropped a little too deep but we didn't get enough pressure on the ball".
"They'll be the best team we've played in terms of what they're capable of doing with the ball, and what their individuals are capable of, definitely", Southgate said of tonight's opposition. "We left everything out there".
Kieran Trippier fired England into a fifth-minute lead but Ivan Perisic forced extra-time, where Mario Mandzukic won the match for Croatia.
"It's great for us and for smaller countries it shows that if you dream and have the character and work hard, dreams are possible", said former Croatia coach Slaven Bilic in his role as an ITV pundit.
"We've come a long way in an incredibly short space of time", said Southgate, whose young squad reached the last four for the first time since 1990, as well as winning their first ever penalty shootout in the World Cup Finals. Croatia is the first team to win three straight extra-time matches in the World Cup.
Modric will feature in a midfield that consists of the likes of Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic, while Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Perisic, Mateo Kovacic and Dejan Lovren are just some of the names in a Croatian team expected to be England's toughest test yet. "And I don't think after the six or seven weeks we have been together, that we could have given more". "It's just unbelievable to get back in the game in this way".
The break refreshed the Croatians and they started the second half with greater energy and objective and, at that stage, Southgate missed the chance to make the change that would enable England to regain control of midfield.
England have had a World Cup beyond their expectations, but they really could and should have gone even further. Plenty of others captured the moment England fans were so loud in defeat that you could hardly hear what Slaven Bilic and Ryan Giggs had to say. Meanwhile, England will face Belgium on Saturday in the third-place match.
"The honest thing is it's not a game any team wants to play", Southgate admitted.