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Croatia to search all over the world for potential national team players

Ivan Rakitic (Photo credit: Анна Нэсси/Soccer.ru/CC license)

Croatian Football Federation (HNS) president Davor Suker has told Spanish sports newspaper Diario As that the federation will actively search for players of Croatian descent who potentially could play for the national team.

“We have a lot of big projects along the way, including organising competitions for Croatian footballers in the USA, Canada, Argentina, Chile, Australia and other countries with a strong Croatian diaspora. Compared to Germany, Spain, France, Italy or England, we have a small population, so we need to identify all talented Croatian players, in all corners of the world, said Suker.

Suker told the newspaper that he is focused on his current work in the HNS and that he “enjoys his position”. He said he is not thinking about changing jobs as he is also focused on working on UEFA’s Executive Board, HRT writes. 

The former Seville and Real Madrid striker thinks that it would be good for the captain of the national team Luka Modrić to play a smaller number of games for his clubs next season so that he can be fresh and ready for Croatia at the European Championships in June 2021.

“For us in Croatia, it would be good for Luka to come to the EURO with 35 to 40 games played instead of 55 to 60. The next season, with a full calendar, will be challenging for everyone. At this point in his career, I think he would be better off not playing all the games,” Suker said.

Luka Modric (Photo credit: Светлана Бекетова/Soccer.ru)

Modric, who has made 36 appearances for Real Madrid so far this season, will turn 35 in two months and is the oldest player in Real Madrid’s regular starting line-up. His contract expires in a year. When asked whether Madrid should extend the midfielder’s contract, Suker replied:

“That is not my decision, and I respect Luka and Real very much to suggest something to them. Luka is a phenomenon, he will turn 35 in September, he has won everything in his career, and he still has the same ambition, passion and hunger for football, like a young player. Luka takes good care of his body and continues to display first-class football on the field. I believe Real Madrid respects that and appreciates everything he has done there over the years. Therefore, I believe that they will have a place for him as long as he plays at this level,” said Suker.

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