Croatia, Morocco battling for 'immortality' in World Cup third-place game, says Kramaric

How will Morocco be remembered for their incredible World Cup run (1:25)

Rob Dawson praises Morocco's performance at the World Cup after their 2-0 loss to France in the semifinals. (1:25)

The chances of the winning the World Cup might have gone for Croatia and Morocco, but "immortality" is at stake when the two teams meet in Saturday's third-place playoff.

That's according to Croatia forward Andrej Kramaric, who dispelled the notion it would be a meaningless contest at Khalifa International Stadium.

"I think if you ask this question to Moroccan players, I don't think they will look that way," Kramaric said at a news conference Thursday. "They're fighting for their lives because if you win a medal at a World Cup you become an immortal hero in your country. That's the same thing we are going to do."

Morocco defied the odds to become the first African team to reach the World Cup semifinals, but the Atlas Lions' run came to an end with a 2-0 loss to defending champions France on Wednesday.

Croatia reached the final in Russia in 2018, but suffered a 3-0 loss to Argentina on Tuesday in their bid to make a return trip to the World Cup decider.

Kramaric added: "Eight of us from [the tournament in] Russia understand that feeling of winning a medal at the World Cup and we have a lot of players who haven't experienced that and would love to do that because it's something that will stay with you for the rest of their life."