ZAGREB, 19 March 2020 – There had been talk circulating in Croatian football circles for the past few months that Euro 2020 would possibly be the last major tournaments for veteran stars Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic.
With Euro 2020 postponed for one year, one of the first questions on fans minds was will the 34-year-old Modric and 32-year-old Rakitic stick around.
According to daily Sportske novosti, Rakitic has signalled this week that he will be available in 2021.
“When asking him via message if he was going to stay, he replied with a ‘thumbs up’. When we said that we love seeing him in the Croatian shirt he replied ‘Thanks for those words, and the Croatian shirt is my favourite too,” Sportske novosti wrote.
His best man and best friend Marko Bralic then added: “Reporters have been calling me asking about Raketa (Rakitic). He will still be a national team player if he is fit and required by the coach. That is his message. He promised he would play at the Euros and he will play, the postponement for one year does not change anything.”
Modric is also expected to hold off any international retirement plans until after Euro 2021, whilst coach Zlatko Dalic’s contract runs out this year on 31 July.
“I have not thought about that, there is time to talk and to make the best decision. I was living for this Euro, getting ready, waiting for it, and now I’ll see what I will do next. I can’t say anything for sure because I didn’t think about it. I was hoping it would be OK, that Euro would still take place. At this point it only matters that the pandemic stops,” he told Sportske novosti.