Luka Modric hits out at ‘disrespectful’ English media
Luka Modric attacked the English media for lack of respect saying that the journalists and pundits ‘should be more humble’ after Croatia defied expectations to reach their maiden World Cup final, beating England 2-1 in Moscow on Wednesday.
Croatia who reached the semi-finals after defeating Denmark and hosts Russia in the penalty-shootouts were anticipated to be sluggish and exhausted and many even predicted a comfortable victory for Gareth Southgate’s men but as the game wore on, it was England who showed fatigue.
“People were talking … English journalists, pundits from television,” said Modric to ITV.
“They underestimated Croatia tonight and that was a huge mistake. All these words from them we take, we were reading and we were saying: ‘OK, today we will see who will be tired.’ They should be more humble and respect their opponents more.”
Infact, it was Croatia who had the better chances after a quiet first-half. Ivan Perisic who scored the equaliser also hit the post minutes after, while Ante Rebić fired straight at goalkeeper Jordan Pickford from the rebound. Pickford also made two brilliant saves one of which was a Mario Mandzukic’s clever touch that forced the English custodian to step out of his line.
“We showed again that we were not tired – we dominated the game mentally and physically. We should have killed the game even before extra time. This is an amazing achievement for us – it’s a dream come true after such a long time. We are in the final and that is the biggest success in Croatia history. We have to be proud,” added the Real Madrid midfielder.
Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic was equally impressed with his team for showing the tenacity and fight, despite playing more football than any other team in the past three rounds.
“We deserved to reach the final. What the lads played tonight was fantasy, they’ve made history,” said Dalic. “This tournament will be won by a team with character. We were 1-0 down in three games in a row. For Croatian football and the country this is history being written – I can’t think of a smaller country to reach the final.”
‘The Blazers‘ became the 13th team to reach the final and the first since Spain in 2010. The only time Croatia reached a World Cup semi-final was in 1998, when they lost 1-2 to France. They have failed to cross the group stage since then and Dalic argued that this (final against France) was the best chance to settle the scores.
“This has been the topic of discussion the past 20 years,” Dalic said. “Maybe that game has historical significance maybe, the dear Lord is giving us the chance to settle a score,” he said.