14 October 2019 – There was a moment of panic for Croatian fans during the dying stages of Croatia’s 1-1 draw with Wales last night when captain Luka Modrić crashed to the ground.
Although a stretcher came onto the field, Modrić was able to get to his feet and hobble off assisted by the team doctors.
“I got a knee to my muscle. I hope it’s nothing more serious. It hurts a little as the contusion is strong and it is fresh, but I believe it is not anything worse and that I will be OK in a couple days. What will be with Real Madrid? I do not think anything because it is a light injury and I believe it will not keep me off the pitch for long,” Modrić told Sportske novosti, before commenting on last night’s match.
“Looking at it, I think maybe we could have done better. I didn’t see the situation, but as a team we didn’t create chances. But it is what it is, we have one more chance in the last round. We are still first and I am sure we will not slip up now when it is most needed,” Modrić said, before adding.
“Honestly, I can’t tell you straight away, but at home I’ll definitely watch all those duels and analyse what wasn’t good. I would say that maybe after the first goal we fall, as if we were relaxing. We don’t score another goal, which would have lifted us further. We do not take enough risks to kill off the match as soon as possible with another goal, like against Slovakia and Hungary,” concluded Modrić.
Modrić also picked up a yellow card last night, which was his first in six years playing for Croatia and after 56 games in a row.
Coach Dalić was also relieved that there was no serious injury to his captain.
“He got an awkward, painful blow to his thigh muscle, but I don’t think it’s dangerous. He’ll have to rest and miss training for two to three days, but most importantly, it’s not any kind of tear,” coach Zlatko Dalić said immediately after the match, before commenting on the fact that he will be without his central defenders for the clash against Slovakia on 16 November after both Domagoj Vida and Dejan Lovren picked up yellow cards.
“It is inconvenient that we will not have our first central defender pairing available for the last game. We have to keep an eye on things like that, especially because Lovren got booked for complaining to the ref. This must be avoided.”
Croatia will face Slovakia in Rijeka on 16 November with a point enough to book a place at EURO 2020.