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Official: Luka Modric starts for Croatia vs Morocco, World Cup third-place

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Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Following their exit at the hands of Argentina in the semi-finals, Croatia will take on Morocco in the third-place play-offs of the 2022 World Cup. The Croatians finished as the runners-up in 2018 and will be looking for two podium finishes in consecutive editions.

Unsurprisingly, guiding their team from midfield is none other than Luka Modric. The Real Madrid legend captains the red and whites, starting alongside Mateo Kovacic and Lovro Majer in the trident.

Zlatko Dalic has given chances to players who have not featured enough during the competition, starting with Josip Stanisic as the right-back. Josip Sutalo partners Josko Gvardiol in central defence, while Ivan Perisic has been asked to drop deep as the left-back.

Andrej Kramaric and Mislav Orsic form the wing pairing in attack, while Marko Livaja gets the nod to lead the Croatian lineup as the striker.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid face Premier League, Saudi Arabia competition for free transfer target

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid are set to welcome two new stars this summer, Kylian Mbappe and Endrick, but the Merengues are keen on further bolstering their squad.

Owing to the embarrassment of riches Real Madrid possess in midfield, replacing Toni Kroos with a new signing in midfield is not seen as an immediate priority.

Nonetheless, interesting opportunities will invariably be evaluated closely and it appears the name of Adrien Rabiot has entered the club’s crosshairs.

Real Madrid not the only ones interested

But, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Real Madrid face stiff competition from Premier League clubs and Saudi Arabian teams in their pursuit of midfielder Adrien Rabiot.

The French midfielder is set to become a free agent if he chooses not to renew his contract with Juventus, a decision that seems increasingly likely.

Rabiot set to become a free agent this summer. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Known for his technical prowess and versatility, Rabiot excels at playing multiple roles in midfield and notably thriving as a goal threat with late runs inside the opposition box that tend to catch opponents off guard.

While Real Madrid have no shortage of quality in midfield, Dani Ceballos’ exit could pave the way for the 29-year-old to secure a signing for Los Blancos.

However, Real Madrid would have to outmanoeuvre both the financial prowess of Saudi Arabian teams and the competitive allure of Premier League clubs to secure Rabiot’s signature.

On top of that, Juventus are also not giving up on their efforts to try and renew the contract of the French international.

In any case, Rabiot is unlikely to be a priority target for the club but they will be sure to keep a close eye on how his situation develops.

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