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Luka Modric talks Messi, Rodrygo, Casemiro, Real Madrid future



Photo by Mohamed Farag/Getty Images

For the second time in four years, Luka Modric and Croatia have made it to the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup.

The Vatreni got past Japan and tournament favourites Brazil on penalties in the knockout stages to set up a semi-final tie against Lionel Messi’s Argentina, with the match to take place tomorrow.

Ahead of the much-awaited contest between the two nations, Croatia captain and Real Madrid superstar Modric has been granting interviews to various media outlets and has been discussing his match-up with Messi as well as his future at the Santiago Bernabeu.

During a recent interview with RTVE, Modric touched upon how not many people did not take the Croatian national team seriously enough, saying:

“Before leaving for the World Cup we talked about it a lot inside the Madrid dressing room. I told my teammates ‘watch out with Croatia!’, you can ask them (laughs). No one counted on us.”

When Croatia played Brazil in the quarter-finals, Modric came up against three of his Real Madrid teammates in Vinicius Jr, Eder Militao and Rodrygo Goes. The latter was one of the penalty-takers for the Selecao and ended up missing, leading to criticism.

Modric, who has close ties with Rodrygo, defended the young forward, saying: “Rodrygo is a wonderful boy, I love him very much, we have a very good relationship. It’s a pity it happened to him, but I’m very happy for my country. I just wanted to encourage him.”

Spain were one of the pre-tournament favourites but crashed out of the competition at the hands of Morocco in the Round of 16 stages. Giving his thoughts on that, Modric added:

“I thought Spain would have reached the WC semifinal or even further. They have a good squad. But this is football, you always have to be at 100%.”

On his upcoming showdown with Messi, Modric insisted that he was excited and looking forward to it, as he said:

“I can’t wait to play against Argentina. Messi is their best player, it will be difficult to stop him, but we are ready. We will give our all. We will try to have the best game of our lives. I hope it’ll be enough to reach the final.”

In another interview with El Chiringuito TV, Modric was asked if he gave tips to Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic to stop Rodrygo’s penalty. In response, the veteran star said:

“No, but I told him about Casemiro (laughs). I know where he would have shot his penalty. Livakovic went in the right direction but Case is too good.”

Modric’s contract with Real Madrid expires at the end of the ongoing season. While it is expected that he will renew, there has not been any notable progress at this point.

And when asked about his future, the Croatian international insisted that he dreams of retiring at the club but is currently focused on the World Cup.

“There’s time to talk about that. Now I’m focused on the World Cup. Of course, I would like to retire at Real Madrid. It’s my dream,” he said.

On the fans being worried that he might be exhausted for the second half of the season following his exertions at the World Cup, he added: “No, don’t worry (laughs). I’ll have a few days off and that will be enough to recover and be ready [for Real Madrid].”

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid superstar duo contacted by Saudi Arabia, club aware of the situation



Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images

As we approach the final phase of the 2022/23 campaign, Real Madrid are facing immense pressure to renew the contracts of two of their veterans Karim Benzema and Luka Modric.

According to a recent report from Josep Pedrerol, Real Madrid have been made aware that Saudi Arabian clubs have contacted the two, with the aim of bringing them to the Middle East to enhance their league.

Modric has been facing an uncertain future with his contract expiring at the end of the season. While he is in talks with Madrid over a renewal, the midfielder has also been approached by Saudi Arabian clubs, as they look to enhance the league by roping in stars from Europe.

Al Nassr notably made headlines earlier in the year by bringing in Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United. Since then, Saudi clubs have been linked with moves for players like Sergio Ramos, Eden Hazard and even Lionel Messi.

Modric, too, is considered one of the top targets for Saudi clubs. Although the midfielder has expressed his desire to continue at the Bernabeu for at least another year, a deal with Real Madrid has not materialised. This has opened up a window of opportunity for Saudi clubs to make their move.

Meanwhile, Karim Benzema was reported to be close to finalising a renewal recently, but an agreement is yet to be reached. The Frenchman has had his share of struggles with injuries and fitness this season, which has led to questions about his longevity and future at Real Madrid.

While the links to a move to Saudi Arabia have not been as prominent for Benzema, it is expected that the Saudi clubs may jump on any opportunity to lure the striker to the Middle East.

Real Madrid are aware of the situation and are working to secure the futures of their star players. However, with the prospect of lucrative contracts being offered by the Saudi Arabian clubs, the players themselves may be tempted to make the move.

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