Modric apprehensive about Orange: ‘Young, talented and home advantage’
Modric ready for Orange: ‘Feel young and good, both physically and mentally’
Croatia captain Luka Modric is looking forward to the game with the Netherlands, Wednesday night in the Nations League semifinals. However, the Real Madrid midfielder does think it will be tough for his country to reach the final.
“Holland is young and talented, and getting better and better. We saw that last World Cup in Qatar. In addition, they have the home advantage.”
The game will be played at De Kuip, as the Netherlands is the host country of this edition of the Nations League final round. The other semifinal is between Italy and Spain, next Thursday at the Grolsch Veste in Enschede.
Win two matches and you have a top prize up your sleeve. Something the 37-year-old Modric does with regularity with Real Madrid, but with Croatia he is still empty-handed.
“It could be my last chance for a prize,” Modric said. In recent World Cups, Croatia was close with a lost final against France in 2018 and a third-place finish late last year in Qatar.
Although a World Cup is a different stage than the Nations Leauge, that doesn’t matter much to Modric: “This will also be a great prize. It’s a cup within reach. We will do our best and hopefully we can reach our goal. I feel young and good, both physically and mentally.”
National coach Zlatko Dalic is also of the same opinion: “I hope for a prize, nobody is counting on us, just like in the past World Cups. We are writing history and are happy and proud.” Dalic also sees the Netherlands as a tough opponent: “It is the home country, they are fast and strong. But I am always optimistic.”
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Modric is confident in own ability: “We have quality, and in addition our character. In addition, we have our love to play for Croatia, for this shirt. That patriotism propels us to great heights. We are a country of less than four million people. Many bigger countries can only dream of our achievements.”
Dalic mentions another weapon of Croatia: “I expect Modric to bring us a good result. He is the key player, the captain. Never gives up. When young players see him, they get better. Modric makes us all better.”