Croatia were "underestimated" by English pundits who lacked respect, says captain Luka Modric.
Zlatko Dalic's side beat England 2-1 in extra time to reach the World Cup final for the first time in their history.
Midfielder Modric said the team had been motivated by people saying they would be "tired" after their previous two matches went to penalty shootouts.
"We showed again we were not tired," he said. "We dominated the game physically, mentally, in all aspects."
Kieran Trippier gave England the lead in Moscow, but Ivan Perisic levelled for Croatia before Mario Mandzukic scored the winning goal in the 109th minute.
"English journalists, pundits from television, they underestimated Croatia and that was a huge mistake," Real Madrid's Modric told ITV. "They should be more humble and respect more opponents.
"All these words from them we take, we were reading and we were saying, 'OK, today we will see who will be tired'."
Croatia, whose previous best World Cup performance was a third-place finish in 1998, face France in Moscow on Sunday.
"It is the biggest success in Croatian history in sport and we have to be proud," added Modric.