Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric has carried over his Real Madrid principles to help his Croatian National Team in the World Cup. On Monday, Croatia ground out a win in the penalty shootout of the round-of-16 clash vs Japan. It was a physically demanding game where Modric played 99 minutes.
Modric spoke to the media today to discuss his analysis of yesterday’s game, and also to talk about Brazil, Croatia’s quarter-final opponent.
“We are used to suffering, and if we have to suffer, we will,” Modric said of facing Brazil in the quarter-finals. “What we are doing is something great, we deserve it. And I have to congratulate Japan because they have been a great team. Anything can happen on penalties, but I truly believe that we we believed more in that moment”.
Some in the media pointed out that it may have been Modric’s last appearance in a World Cup ever when he was subbed off. But Croatia advanced, so that wasn’t the case. Modric spoke about what he felt when being taken off:
“I didn’t think it was my last game when the coach changed me,” Modric said. “At no time. I trusted the team and when we were there, watching the penalties, I told my teammates that Livakovic was going to save two and look, he saved three. I don’t think about these things, I’m enjoying every game, every minute and for other things there will be time to think. Now I enjoy every moment.
“The important thing is that we’ve won. I was very tired at the end of the game and my teammates who came on did well.”
Modric also gave his analysis of the win over Japan, and had plenty of praise for his opponents.
“It’s a unique feeling to be among the top eight, we suffered but we knew what was going to happen with Japan,” Modric explained. “What happened to Japan is no coincidence. They did it in the Spain and Germany group and they showed it against us. We showed character down 1-0, we had chances in the first half to take the lead and it would have been another game, but this is football. It’s not sweeter, but we are used to suffering and if we have to suffer, we are going to do it, but in the end when you win it is better”.