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.
Real Madrid veteran has ‘adopted’ Arda Guler, is mentoring him in training
The current edition of the Real Madrid squad is full of young talents, who have shown remarkable potential in recent years.
Arda Guler is among the young players looking to make a mark in European football in the years to come.
The young Turk joined Real Madrid earlier this summer, rejecting many other European giants in the process.
Toni Kroos mentoring Guler at Real Madrid
Guler has not enjoyed the best of starts to his life at Santiago Bernabeu, as he is spending a brief time on the sidelines due to an injury.
However, Guler has not stopped working on his characteristics, as he looks to kickstart his Real Madrid career on a positive note.
To that end, the former Fenerbahce starlet is receiving some key support from one of Real Madrid’s midfield pillars in the form of Toni Kroos.
This is according to MARCA, which suggests that the German international is mentoring Guler in his early days at Santiago Bernabeu.
Kroos: huge ‘sponsor’ of Guler
The report highlights how Toni Kroos is a huge admirer of Arda Guler. The German had even heaped praise on the youngster from Turkey when he joined the club earlier in the summer.
Guler, therefore, is closely training with Kroos, whose years of experience, composure, and knowledge of football, could help the youngster grow at Santiago Bernabeu.
This fits in well with Carlo Ancelotti’s vision at Real Madrid, as the Italian boss wants youngsters to have room to grow, especially with guidance from some of the older guards in the team.
It is one of the key reasons Real Madrid wanted to stick to Kroos and Luka Modric, despite bringing in Arda Guler and Jude Bellingham in the summer.
Guler, therefore, has the stage set for him to start his Real Madrid career on a strong note. After impressing in training, the next step for the youngster is to make a promising debut, which is just around the corner.