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World Cup 2022: Luka Modrić, youthful veteran

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Croatia captain Luka Modrić, 37, will be key to his selection for the quarter-final against Brazil on Friday 9 December. The Real Madrid player, who won five Champions Leagues with the “White House”, was in the final of the 2018 World Cup, against France.

From our special envoy to Qatar,

At 37, Luka Modrić, captain of the Croatian team, is still faithful to the position. In Qatar, he is playing his fourth World Cup.

« People often ask me why I don’t leave the national team aside to focus on Real Madrid, confides the person concerned. If I’m still here, it’s because international football gives me unique sensations. There is nothing more beautiful for me than to represent Croatia. As long as my country needs me and as long as I can bring it something, I will be there. I’m not focused on the future, I’m focused on the present. »

Ballon d’Or 2018 and unfortunate finalist in Russia

Perhaps this loyalty to the national team comes from the terrible conflict that shook the former Yugoslavia during its young years. Modrić was only six years old when the War of Independence broke out in Croatiaforcing his parents to flee their home.

« Until the war, I had a quiet childhoodand témoigné Modrić. I was very young at the time, but that’s probably the strongest image I have of that period. We had to leave our house to find refuge in hotels. We could hear the sirens and the bombs screaming all day. ” His grandfather, whom he considered his “ protective », died during this war.

In 2018 Croatia’s playing master went in the World Cup final in Russia. That year, he won the Ballon d’Or. But the former Tottenham player (2008-2012) has not yet digested this defeat against France at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow, he who had made his first appearance in the World Cup, as a substitute, in 2006 in Germany.

Vinicius praise

Facing Brazil, he will have to deliver a high-flying performance. ” It is always very difficult to play against players with such quality, and Modrić has always taught me a lot, he continues to do so every day so that I continue to evolve. He is an example, I’m happy to play against him and may the best player win “, testifies the Brazilian Vinicius, his teammate at Real Madrid.

« It’s good to hear things like Vinicius. It will have to be stopped tomorrow. Everyone knows his qualities. Each of us will fight for his nation. I’m happy to play against my teammates. We are friends, but on the pitch in Qatar, it will be different during a meeting “answers Modrić who admits to expecting a challenge against the Seleçao, even if it remains” an opportunity to play against in Brazil.

« The Brazilians are still the favourites, and we have to stay on our own if we want to advance to the semi-finals. We know our own qualities. We are also a talented nation », concluded Luka Modrić.

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