Croatia forward Andrej Kramaric has fond memories of his time in England at Leicester even though he rarely played there and left the club in the middle of their surprise Premier League-winning season 2015-16.
"It was my first time outside Croatia. I didn't play that much. The team was playing great and no coach would change a winning team," Kramaric said ahead of Wednesday's World Cup semi-final between Croatia and England in Moscow.
"[Leicester and England striker] Jamie Vardy is a friend of mine. It is a fantastic story with Leicester." Kramaric came to Leicester in January 2015 for a then club record 9 million pounds (12 million dollars). He helped them avoid relegation but then only featured twice in the following campaign and left - first on loan - for Germany's Hoffenheim in January 2016.
Kramaric said he rates England highly ahead of their duel at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium. "England were one of favourites for me because they are young and hungry and have no international movie stars," he said. "England play a little different than in the past, attacking-minded and attractive.
But they could be careful because its a World Cup semi-final." However, his main loyalties are obviously with his own team as Croatia aim to become the smallest country to reach a World Cup final. "Regardless of these statistics this is our dream. It is a great achievement to play in a World Cup and we will do our best to fulfil this dream," Kramaric said.