A highly-motivated Croatian team surprised football lovers with their 2-1 victory against England during last night’s nerve-racking encounter in Russia, but Luka Modric says the motivation behind that memorable quarterfinal result came from the disrespectful taunts delivered by English reporters ahead of the match.
‘We owe the success to English journalists and pundits from television who criticized and underestimated Croatia,’ Modric said at a post-match conference.
‘Last night was a lesson for everyone…That was a terrible mistake for all of them. We read from the newspapers and heard them on TVs saying it was an impossible mission for Croatia but we kept mute, knowing our response should be on the pitch.
‘We told ourselves, “No problem, we will fire back in 90 minutes and see who will get tired,”’ the Real Madrid midfielder added.
At the age of 6, Modric lost his grandfather to trigger-happy gunmen and his family eventually became refugees in a warzone. The famous footballer grew up in a chaotic environment where explosions from grenades and blaring gunshots were a common occurrence. Yet, when he showed interest in football, coaches found him “fragile and shy” – a reason he was rejected and discouraged at the early stage – but the talented midfielder waxed stronger in thoughts and action.
Image: Luka Modric
Luka Modric, like a phoenix, is breaking records with Team Croatia and may, for the first time ever, get a chance to kiss the World Cup trophy in Sunday’s finals against France.
During Croatia’s celebration of their 2-1 lead through Mandzukic, England (Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard) tried to score but had their desperate schemes invalidated by the referee.
Utterly choked, but this young side gave absolutely everything. It’s a huge step forward and they’ll only get better in the future. They can hold their heads high, they did our country proud. Congratulations to Croatia.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) July 11, 2018
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 12, 2018