Modric: Lack of belief cost Croatia

Midfielder Luka Modric put Croatia's early FIFA World Cup exit down to a lack of belief.

An opening game defeat to hosts Brazil immediately put Niko Kovac's men on the back foot and although they responded with a 4-0 hammering of Cameroon, they were not able to qualify for the last 16..

Mexico won the final match of Group A 3-1 to send Croatia out of the tournament, a familiar feeling since their third place finish in 1998 as they have now failed to progress from the group stage in the last three World Cups.

Expectations within the squad had been high ahead of the finals and Real Madrid man Modric cited a lack of confidence as the main reason behind their elimination.

"We are disappointed, but what can we do?" he said. "Of course we were expecting to go to the next round. 

"You have to have belief in yourself to go far (in the tournament), but we didn't show that on the pitch. 

"I think we looked good in the first game against Brazil and in the second game (against Cameroon).  We had some good periods (against Mexico) but we weren't good enough."

Brazil and Mexico progressed from the group, with Croatia finishing in third spot.