Easier this week the Croatian national team and staff farewelled the team’s long-term doctor, Zoran Bahtijarević.
Dr. Bahtijarević had been with the federation for 30 years and in his farewell speech in front of the team and staff at Zagreb’s Sheraton Hotel on Monday night he made a tongue-in-cheek comment about captain Luka Modrić playing on until Euro 2024 which grabbed media attention.
“Thirty years is a long time, my plan was to leave when Luka and the older generation say goodbye to the national team, so that I retire and no one finds out. However, Luka decided to stay on until the Euros (2024), ha, ha, and that would be hard to wait for,” said Dr. Bahtijarević.
Modrić, who is 37, was asked about the comment during today’s press conference ahead of Croatia’s Nations League match against Denmark at Maksimir stadium in Zagreb.
“The doctor was very emotional in his speech, so we won’t hold anything against him. I haven’t made any definitive decision. At the moment there are much more important things, namely the Nations League and the World Cup. Then we will see how it goes and accordingly I will make a decision with my closest people, the coach, the federation and those who are important to me. I will make the right decision, and I am not thinking about it at the moment,” said Modrić as 24sata writes.
Modrić, who made his debut for Croatia in 2006 against Argentina, has played 152 games for his country, scoring 22 goals.