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

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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

Video – Barcelona fans chant ‘Vinicius d*e’ ahead of their UCL clash

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Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

In what is starting to become an alarmingly common occurrence, a set of Barcelona fans were spotted hurling abusive chants towards Real Madrid superstar Vinicius Jr.

Barça will be facing PSG in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal today in less than an hour and in the lead-up to the game, a section of the Catalans’ supporters were seen chanting “Vinicius, die” on the streets.

It is not the first time this has happened, with Vinicius being constantly targeted by not only Barcelona fans but supporters of a number of other La Liga clubs.

In fact, last month, Barcelona fans were seen hurling the same chants before their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie against Napoli.

The same had happened outside Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys in Montjuic prior to the Clasico in October last year.

Moreover, this past weekend, a Mallorca fan at Son Moix directed racist abuse towards Vinicius’ Real Madrid teammate, Aurelien Tchouameni.

It is shocking and embarrassing that these incidents continue to occur. It remains to be seen if any action is taken by the concerned authorities against those involved.

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