Following Croatia’s third-place finish at the FIFA World Cup 2022, captain Luka Modric has confirmed that he will not be retiring from international football as of yet and plans to compete in the UEFA Nations League.
Modric has been at the top of his game for a long time and has led Croatia to great heights. Having finished as the runners-up in the last World Cup, the Vatreni have achieved another podium finish this time out, securing the bronze medal after beating Morocco earlier today.
With the Real Madrid ace now 37 years old, the possibility of international retirement has been talked about. And while he had previously confirmed that this was going to be his last World Cup, Modric has claimed that he is not stepping down from national team duty as of yet.
“Yes, it might be my last World Cup game, but I can’t say anything. But of course, I am very happy for my whole career in Croatia. Winning two medals is very important, my dream was to win the Cup, it didn’t happen,” Modric said, as quoted by MARCA.
“But I’m very happy, we have confirmed that Croatia has a great team, with a very good future ahead of us and we have to continue. In the future, we will see what happens. At least I want to continue until the Nations League and then we’ll see what happens.”
Talking about what the third-place finish means for him personally and Croatia as a nation, the 37-year-old legend said: “You could see on the field how we celebrated. It means a lot, really, to win two medals in two World Cups is something very important and very big for Croatia.
“You can no longer talk about Croatia as a team that does something every 20 years, that stands out, I think that with the last World Cup and with this one we have put Croatia on the map of great teams and we are very happy.
“We wanted to be in the final, we couldn’t, but we go home as winners, which is also very important.”
Croatia have already qualified for the Nations League semi-finals, along with Italy, Spain and the Netherlands, who are the host nation. The matches will take place in the summer of next year.
Modric will be continuing at least until that point with the Croatian national team. Whether he decides to keep playing until the Euros in 2024 will be interesting to see.
Brahim, Tchouameni start in a 4-3-1-2: How Real Madrid could lineup against Sevilla
Real Madrid are set to play hosts to Sevilla this evening, in what could prove to be a critical match in the context of the title race.
Although Los Blancos hold a formidable lead at the top of the table, the club are coming on the back of a disappointing result against Rayo Vallecano.
Dropping more points against Sevilla tonight could prove to be costly, especially with Barcelona and Girona breathing down their necks.
Potential Real Madrid lineup vs Sevilla
As Real Madrid approach this crucial game, coach Carlo Ancelotti has to make several arrangements, especially with so many players ruled out either due to injury or suspension.
Starting from the goalkeeper position, Thibaut Courtois remains out, which means Andriy Lunin should continue in between the sticks, ahead of the unhappy Kepa Arrizabalaga.
In the right-back position, Ancelotti is likely to opt for Lucas Vazquez, as Dani Carvajal is suspended after picking up two yellow cards in the last game.
On a bright note, though, Antonio Rudiger is back and should return to central defence. He will be accompanied by Nacho Fernandez at the heart of Real Madrid’s four-man backline.
Elsewhere in defence, Ferland Mendy should continue to start ahead of Fran Garcia in the left-back position.
Moving into midfield, Eduardo Camavinga has been ruled out due to suspension. However, Ancelotti does have a myriad of options in the middle of the park.
Aurelien Tchouameni should continue to operate in the number six position, just behind the two interior midfielders Toni Kroos and Federico Valverde.
Luka Modric is an option on the bench, should Ancelotti require more experience in the middle.
As for the attack, the Real Madrid frontline should be led by Brahim Diaz once again, even though he faces fierce competition from Joselu.
Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo, on the other hand, are guaranteed choices in the wide attacking spaces, though Ancelotti does have Arda Guler and Alvaro Rodriguez as potential alternatives.