‘You can say we have the same DNA’: Luka Modric believes there are similarities between Croatia’s squad and Real Madrid after they reached their second consecutive World Cup semi-final… as he claims people continue to underestimate Zlatko Dalic’s side
Luka Modric has claimed he sees signs of Real Madrid in Croatia’s 2022 World Cup squad.
The legendary midfielder delivered another superb performance as his nation shocked Brazil on penalties in the World Cup quarter-finals in Qatar.
Modric, who has won 160 caps for his country since his debut in 2006, remains a talismanic figure for his nation, who are on the brink of a second successive World Cup finals.
Croatia defeated Brazil on penalties to reach their second consecutive World Cup semi-final
Zlatko Dalic’s side continue to prevail at major tournaments and have repeatedly shown their resilience, with the penalty shootout victory over Brazil following a penalty shoot-out victory over Japan in the last 16.
It follows their run to the World Cup finals in Russia in 2018, which included three consecutive knockout wins on either penalties or extra time.
Despite several stars in the Croatia squad being 30 years of age or older, including Ivan Perisic, Dejan Lovren, Modric and Marcelo Brozovic, they continue to show quality and determination in equal measure.
And after their recent exploits in a major tournament, Modric believes there are similarities between his club side Real Madrid and Croatia.
Luka Modric believes there are similarities in the mentalities between Croatia and Real Madrid
The 37-year-old has won five Champions League titles during his time with Los Blancos, including last year when they staged seemingly improbable comebacks in the knockout stages against PSG, Chelsea and Manchester City, before defeating Liverpool in the final.
“You can say we have the same DNA as Real Madrid because we always continue to the end, and never give up,” he told Spanish football TV show EL Chiringuito, as reported by La Sexta.
“Everyone looks at the big countries, since we are a small country, no one pays attention to us, but we have no problem with that, since others are the favorites and we are in the shadows.
The legendary midfielder also insisted that people continue to underestimate his national side
“Of course we would like to finish (the games) earlier, and not go to penalties, but we are willing to do everything we can to win.”
Croatia now face Argentina in the semi-finals at the Lusail Stadium on Tuesday night, with a place in the final against either France or Morocco.
Lionel Scaloni’s side endured their own dramatic quarter-final victory, defeating the Netherlands on penalties.
Their talisman Lionel Messi has been in fine form in this competition, netting four times and providing two assists in just five games.
They face a Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina in the semi-finals, but Modric insists they are ready
However, Modric, a 2018 Ballon d’Or winner following his exploits in Russia four years ago, was upbeat about the challenge ahead and confident he could lead his nation to the final.
He continued: “I want to play one more semi-final against a big team, that’s what I want, not just against one player.
– Of course Lionel Messi is very big, he is their best player and we will have big problems trying to stop him, but we are prepared and we will give everything.
‘I hope it will be enough to reach the final.’