Luka Modrić may have played his final World Cup game, but the Croatia captain has confirmed after his team beat Morocco to win bronze in Qatar that he will play on to at least the Nations League finals.
Modrić played the full 90 minutes in Croatia’s 2-1 victory today and won his second World Cup medal, adding bronze to the silver he won in Russia in 2018.
There has been speculation for a while that the 37-year-old might retire from the Croatian national team after the World Cup but he has confirmed that he will continue on.
– We did something incredible for Croatia and Croatian football. We wanted gold, we were close. Unfortunately, we did not succeed and we are sorry, but in the end we can be happy and proud of what we did and how we played this tournament. We are going to Croatia as winners, that is what we wanted and achieved. Now let’s have fun and enjoy what we’ve done, this is a big deal, Luka Modrić told HRT after the match.
Modrić has achieved great success for his club, and this is his second medal with the national team.
– Of course it is something special, a medal at the second World Cup in a row makes me happy. With everything we do as a team in recent years, we have grown a lot, which is shown by the games and results. Croatia is not a miracle of the last 20 years, but a constant. They can no longer see us as a dark horse, but as a superpower in football.
A lot of young players are coming through.
– In recent years, they have shown what quality they have, they have brought new energy and quality, the future of Croatian football is really bright. Surely this tournament will help them to grow even more as people and players. Some are here at the World Cup for the first time and have already won a medal. It took me and some others a lot, 12 years for me to win my first. I’ve been through everything, it’s really something special. They should appreciate this and let it be a guide on how to proceed.
Will we see you in the Croatia shirt again and in the Nations League and Euro qualfiers?
– That’s the plan. When we got to the final, I took part in all of that, it would be pointless if I didn’t play the Nations League finals, so after that we’ll see how to proceed. But I definitely want to stay for the Nations League, concluded Modrić.
Croatia, Spain, Netherlands and Italy will play in the Nations League finals from 14-18 June 2023 in the Netherlands.
Modrić has played 162 matches for Croatia since he made his debut against Argentina back in 2006. He has scored 23 goals for his country.