Four years ago, Croatia shocked the footballing community when they made it as far as the finals of the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia.
Led by Real Madrid superstar Luka Modric, the Vatreni are at it once again as they have reached the semi-finals, toppling tournament favourites Brazil along the way.
Despite having won just one of their five matches in regulation time at the World Cup, Croatia have shown incredible determination and mental fortitude to come through two penalty shootouts in Qatar so far and they will next face Lionel Messi’s Argentina in the semi-finals.
Ahead of the blockbuster encounter, Modric spoke with El Chiringuito in an interview, during which he compared Croatia’s fighting spirit and never-give-up attitude to that of Real Madrid.
Los Blancos have made it a habit of coming out on top from unlikely situations and made several comebacks throughout their UEFA Champions League-winning campaign last season.
And Modric sees some similarities in the attitude and spirit of his club and national team, as he said: “Yes, sure. We can say it. Real Madrid’s DNA is to fight until the end, always. You never give up. It’s the same [with Croatia].”
Modric was the best player at the World Cup in Russia four years ago. Four years later, he is still putting up brilliant performances for Croatia, with the likes of Josko Gvardiol and Dominik Livakovic also stepping up in huge ways for Zlatko Dalic’s side.
Having already eliminated Brazil for the tournament, Modric and Croatia will look to repeat the feat when they face off against Argentina in the coming days.
PSG defender could follow Kylian Mbappe to Real Madrid in the summer of 2025
As PSG brace for the departure of Kylian Mbappe, it is set to mark a before and after in the history of the French club.
All signs point towards the 25-year-old superstar signing for Real Madrid on a free transfer, with an agreement between the two parties getting closer.
And, it may so happen that another PSG star might follow Mbappe to the Santiago Bernabeu, albeit a year later in 2025.
Hakimi could return to Real Madrid
Indeed, according to Mundo Deportivo, Achraf Hakimi could opt to leave PSG in the summer of 2025 and Real Madrid would be a likely destination for the Moroccan right-back.
Hakimi, a former Real Madrid academy graduate, has enjoyed success in Paris since joining them from Inter Milan.
However, the Moroccan international will enter the final year of his contract in 2025, with the deal expiring in 2026. And, both the player and the club could opt to part ways then if a new contract is not agreed upon.
And a return to Real Madrid could be on the cards for Hakimi. He is a player very well considered by Carlo Ancelotti.
The ex-Inter Milan man would also come to reinforce the right-back position, which currently has Dani Carvajal and Lucas Lucas Vazquez, whose contract expires at the end of the season, but could be offered a one-year extension.
Furthermore, Hakimi would be keen to return to the Spanish capital and would even be willing to reduce his current salary, which is over €10 million net. The lure of playing with Mbappe, one of his closest friends, will also be a major appealing factor.
As for Real Madrid, they need to soon find a long-term heir to Carvajal and a player like Hakimi, entering his prime years and familiar with the club could prove to be a shrewd signing.