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Luka Modric talks Messi, Argentina, refereeing, retirement after World Cup exit

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Photo by ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images

Croatia succumbed to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Argentina in the semifinal of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, a game that saw Lionel Messi produce yet another sublime display of attacking prowess.

Croatia’s defeat meant this might be the end of the road for Luka Modric, as far as his international career is concerned. Speaking after the loss, the midfielder talked about the game, along with the referee and even his retirement.

“We are sad, we hoped to be in another final and it has not happened. We must congratulate Argentina,” said Modric (h/t AS), who voiced his disapproval at the referee’s decision to award a penalty in the first half when Julian Alvarez was taken down inside the box.

“I can’t believe that penalty was awarded,” he said. “There is no foul on the penalty because he shoots and will definitely collide with our goalkeeper because of that. It is clear that it changed the game a lot.”

Modric openly criticised the referee Daniele Orsato, revealing that he has had poor experiences in the past as well.

“I don’t usually talk about referees, but today it’s impossible not to do so. [Orsato] is one of the worst I know and I’m not talking only about today, because I met him before and never had a good memory of him. He’s a disaster,” he said.

Modric, though, did congratulate Argentina for their brilliant overall overperformance, adding, “I want to congratulate Argentina, I don’t want to take credit away from them. They deserve to be in the final. But that first penalty wasn’t a penalty and it destroyed us.”

Speaking to Ole (h/t Mundo Deportivo), Modric added that he hopes Messi wins this World Cup, saying: “Hopefully (Messi) wins this World Cup, he is the best player in history and he deserves it.”

Finally, Modric talked about a potential retirement. But he did not offer much insight, indicating that this is not the right time to talk about his career. “I don’t know, we’ll see. This is not the time to talk about this. We have a bronze medal to win now,” he said.

Croatia will face the loser of the second semifinal between France and Morocco, for the third-place game later this week.

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Real Madrid News

Spain midfielder credits Real Madrid assistant manager for career success

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Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Spain’s European Championship campaign so far has been one filled with revelations. From young Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams on the wings to the ever-so-solid midfield, La Roja have impressed across the park and have taken the tournament by storm.

One such player who has played a critical role for the team despite not being in many pundits’ squad for the tournament is Fabian Ruiz. The PSG midfielder has been sensational for Luis de la Fuente’s men so far, scoring once and providing one assist in two games.

Despite not having any direct links with Real Madrid, the Spanish midfielder interestingly credits Davide Ancelotti for his success and AS brings the story.

A chapter in Naples

Fabian Ruiz may have never played for Los Blancos in his career so far, but he crossed paths with the Ancelottis in Naples a few years ago.

Ruiz signed for the Italian club from Real Betis in 2018 for a fee of €30 million. At the time, he was not known widely and was just seen as another routine Spanish midfielder aspiring to make it big.

As revealed by the player in a recent interview, however, it was Carlo Ancelotti’s son and Real Madrid assistant manager Davide Ancelotti who first saw the spark in him.

“Meeting him was a very important step in my career. From the beginning, he backed me, and it was not easy to pay what Napoli paid for me, a player who had not played much in La Liga with Betis.”

“If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be here. I have a very good relationship and friendship with him,” he added.

Fabian Ruiz credits Davide Ancelotti for his success. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

A special eye

Ruiz’s comments on Davide Ancelotti only make it clearer as to why Carlo Ancelotti holds his son’s advice in high regard. It is, after all, a testament to the tactician’s keen eye for special talent.

As revealed earlier this year, it was the manager’s son who suggested Joselu’s substitution against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League semifinals when the team was on the brink of elimination.

What happened next was history as the veteran scored twice within minutes to turn the game around and send the Bavarians crashing out.

Davide has been rumoured to be interested in walking his own path soon as a specialist coach, but as it stands, will continue working under his father for at least one more year at Real Madrid.

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