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Modrić: “I made a mistake by returning straight away after the World Cup”

See all the Croatian’s quotes from his player press conference, as he also discussed his future.

Real Madrid Training Session and Press Conference - Anfield - Monday 20th February Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images

Ahead of Real Madrid’s Champions League last 16 first leg against Liverpool, Luka Modrić was the player selected for the pre-match press conference and he discussed a number of topics, especially concerning his future.

First of all, he previewed the match and said: “We expect this will be a very tough game, especially in this historic stadium with their amazing fans. We know a lot of their players because we’ve played them a lot of times. We’ll have to play a great game to win or to have a good result for our home second leg. We’ll have to be at our best and help each other out on the pitch.

Modrić on the possibility of reaching six Champions League titles

If he wins the Champions League this year, Modrić would match the record of six European Cups and he was asked if this has entered his mind. To that, he replied: “That would be marvellous, but we haven’t spoken about what it would mean to have six Champions Leagues. We are going game by game, as we’ve always done and as we did last season.”

Modrić on his post-World Cup fitness

Discussing his form after the World Cup, the Croatian admitted that he probably should have taken more time off, considering he featured in the first game back against Real Valladolid. He said: “I’m getting better and better. I made a mistake because I started playing as soon as I returned, rather than taking some time off. The coach asked me if I wanted to play and obviously you want to play. But, I’m getting better now.”

Modrić on criticism of him and Kroos

Since the World Cup, Modrić and Toni Kroos have been two of the most criticised players in the Real Madrid squad and he was asked about this. To that, he said: “Before the World Cup, Toni and I were playing together and were doing well. Now, people seem to think we can’t play together. The young players are coming through and doing very well, which means the future is bright. They have to keep working and learning and I’m sure they’ll do well. They’re not at Real Madrid by chance.”

Modrić on his chances of renewing

Of course, the midfielder was asked about his expiring contract, which is up in the summer. On what stage that process is at, he replied: “I can’t say anything because I haven’t spoken with the club yet. It’s the same as it was at this stage last year. There’s no rush. I feel good and want to stay at Real Madrid, but only if I deserve to stay on. I will give my all to deserve to stay on here. I don’t want to be gifted anything. If the club think I should continue then I’d like to. Whatever happens, nothing will change my relationship with Real Madrid. Now, I just need to speak with the club.”

Modrić on international retirement

Asked if he plans to continue with Croatia and if Real Madrid have made this a condition for a contract renewal, he said: “My plan is to continue until at least the Nations League and then I haven’t decided what I’ll do afterwards. I want to finish this competition which I started off with the team. Then, I need to think hard about what to do. Real Madrid have never asked me to give up the national team. That’s not Real Madrid’s style. Playing with my national team has never affected my performance at Real Madrid.”

Modrić on his six goals

Luka Modrić is having a very good goalscoring season, having netted six times already, matching his best ever haul in a season for the club. Asked if he too has a bet with Ancelotti, like Fede Valverde did, the Croatian replied: “No, there’s no bet. I could have already improved the tally if I’d scored the penalty the other day against Al Ahly.”

Modrić on the racist abuse suffered by Vinícius

There was a question from the English press in Modrić’s press conference and it was about the racist abuse being suffered by Vinícius. On that, he said: “We are there supporting him. We are against any kind of racism. Whoever needs to act they need to act. What Vini needs to do is focus on his game, as he is doing. He is doing well for the team. With the rest, he has the support of the club.”

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