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Luka Modric confirms he will not be retiring from international football



Photo by ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images

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.

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Real Madrid News

Kovacic speaks ahead of Real Madrid vs Chelsea: “Strange to have Modric as a rival”



Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

In less than two weeks, Real Madrid will play hosts to Premier League giants Chelsea in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie at the Santiago Bernabeu.

It is a repeat of last season’s Champions League quarter-final, with the change being that the first leg was played at Stamford Bridge back then, which Real Madrid won triumphantly.

So, even though they lost the second leg 3-2, Los Merengues progressed on aggregate. At one point in the second leg, Real Madrid were 3-0 down and looked to be crashing out of the tournament.

But, that is not how the match played out as Luka Modric produced a moment of magic, sending in a stunning outside-of-the-boot pass for Rodrygo to guide home. That forced the match into extra time and Karim Benzema then scored to seal an aggregate win for his team.

Mateo Kovacic, a former Real Madrid midfielder, was on the losing side with Chelsea on that fateful night. And the Croatian has now spoken to Sportske Novosti, about that moment of magic from Modric last year as well as the prospect of facing Real Madrid again.

“We were good against Real Madrid last year, especially in Madrid. Then Modrić invented that trivela assist for Rodrygo… We have to be at 120% against them. They immediately punish every minor mistake. Although I repeat, we are also a difficult opponent for them, we showed it, Kovacic said.

On the prospect of facing his close friend and national teammate Modric, Kovacic added: “[laughs] how the draw arranges it… It won’t be easy for us because Real Madrid is always the most dangerous team in the Champions League.”

“It’s a strange feeling to have Modric as a rival. There were hard fouls last year because neither he nor I pull back. We will fight for sure. I play on the left, he’s on the right, we will see who wants what. But I wouldn’t like to hurt him,” he added.

Chelsea had met Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League during the 2020/21 campaign as well and had managed to eliminate them at the semi-final stages on their way to winning the title.

While the Blues have not been in the best of form this season, they have the star power and quality in their ranks to hurt Real Madrid and Carlo Ancelotti’s men must be at their best to get through to the next round.

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