Luka Modric Has Ran 39.1 Miles In This World Cup

Kieran Trippier

Kieran Trippier

"The most important thing is to never give up, never give in to circumstances, believe yourself and to soldier on no matter what's in your way".

The 32-year-old has been touted as a possible victor of this year's Ballon d'Or, awarded to the world's best player, for his performances at Russian Federation 2018 and for playing a key role in Real Madrid's third straight Champions League title in May.

"The coach has created a special atmosphere", said Croatia defender Dejan Lovren. "I made a comment on the Croatian selection page saying that the 4 million inhabitants in Croatia were similar to the 300 of Sparta".

The fighting spirit is engrained in a group of players whose psyche was forged growing up in a country ravaged by war as the former Yugoslavia broke up in the 1990s.

"I know everything about Croatia, I have lived the country intensely in all my life, since its history on all the sports of the country". "Of course, everything influences you".

"It's not going to be exactly the same starting XI but ideally we want to make as few changes as possible".

At 1.72 meters (5-foot-8), Modric was asked about being doubted because of his height.

"I am Brazilian but I love Croatia since I was 5 years old!"

"When I was a player I had a very simplistic mindset".

"They have incredible talent", he said.




He was an okay midfielder, not quite Zvonimir Boban, but good enough to play top flight football, even in the dusk of his career.

The Three Lions finished fourth in Russian Federation as they lost 2-0 to Belgium in St Petersburg three days after their semi-final defeat by Croatia.

In addition to handling a French victory, Pitana was also in charge when Croatia beat Denmark in the last 16 on penalties.

France boss Didier Deschamps has rubbished the suggestion it will be easier to defend against Luka Modric than Lionel Messi or Eden Hazard as the Croatia star is "less mobile".

"Only idiots can support Croatia".

Zdravko Mamic was sentenced last month to 6 1/2 years in prison for embezzlement and tax evasion worth millions of dollars linked to player transfer deals from Dinamo.

"They defend well and move forward quickly". Protests against the federation include throwing fireworks on the field to disrupt a game at the 2016 European Championship, and drawing a swastika on the field before a qualifying game. I am making predictions about the future Croatian players.

"Without courage and fortitude", Dalic said, "they wouldn't have reached this final".

"When you're mentioned in that context, it's very nice, it's pleasing, but I don't worry myself about that".

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