In the 63rd minute of the 1/8 round of the 2022 World Cup on the night of December 5, Luka Modric stroked the ball to create a beautiful curve that made many people think he was only 21 years old – the time Modric attended the first 2006 World Cup in his career.
4.5 years ago, when Luka Modric played the role of “conductor” with Croatia, becoming an interesting phenomenon, reaching the final of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, many people were surprised by his endurance, his tenacity.
Thinking about the 2022 World Cup, Modric has turned 37 years old with his U40 teammates such as Ivan Perisic, Dejan Lovren, Domagoj Vida, Andrej Kramaric … just trying to dedicate themselves as a farewell to the World Cup arena. . But once again they showed all, Croatia is still ready for the posture of conquerors.
Perhaps the inspiration from Modric and his “seniors” helped a 30-year-old midfielder, Marcelo Brozovic, work tirelessly like he did in his early twenties. Almost in every “hot spot” on the field, the midfielder wearing Inter Milan shirt is present.
The collective strength from an individual technical background, very good tactical thinking, and outstanding bravery in the penalty shootout helped Croatia overcome Japan in the 1/8 round of the 2022 World Cup on the night of December 5. For the fourth time, “Blue Samurai” had to stop at a time when it seemed that they were very close to the ticket to the historic quarter-finals.
At the end of the match, the press did not miss the image of captain Luka Modric hugging goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic, kissing the forehead of his “junior” who was born in Zadar and grew up together in Dinamo Zagreb.
It was Livakovic (the hero who successfully saved 3/4 of Japan’s penalty shoot-outs named Minamino, Mitoma, and Yoshida) who made a great contribution to helping Modric’s journey at the 2022 World Cup he has not yet ended and his dreams are still there. Will be written…
At this point, perhaps Brazil is the team to be cautious because they know the upcoming opponent Croatia is extremely selective with a captain who always knows how to transmit positive energy and inspiration to the whole team.
Brazil’s stars from Casemiro to Militao, Rodrygo, and especially Vinicius – who are playing very well in the “Samba Dancer” squad understand Modric’s talent. They themselves have matured, and learned many things when playing alongside Luka Modric in the Real Madrid shirt with life-long matches in La Liga and the Champions League.
Stats, on the journey with Real Madrid to win the Champions League 2021-2022, Modric is named in the top assist players (4 times). And among these outstanding factors, Modric is the person with the second most minutes to play in Europe’s most prestigious club arena (1077 minutes, just behind “junior” Vinicius (1199 minutes)!
One of Modric’s moments of genius that fans can’t forget was the classy trivela assist for Rodrygo to shorten the score 1-3 for Real Madrid in the quarter-final second leg in April/ 2022 (the first leg at Stamford Bridge, Real won 3-1 thanks to Benzema’s hat-trick) against Chelsea. This important goal helped Real send the game into extra time and then Benzema scored another goal, shortening the score to 2-3 in the second leg and Real going to the semi-finals with a 5-4 aggregate victory.
A little further, in the last match of the EURO 2020 group stage, Modric made a super product with a trivela to raise the score to 2-1 in a 3-1 victory over Poland, helping Croatia through the “narrow gap” into the first round/ 8 (lost 3-5 to Spain in extra time after tenaciously kicking a 3-3 draw after 90 minutes of official play).
With a stunning goal against Scotland, Modric made history as the oldest player to score at a EURO (35 years, 286 days). The record for the youngest player to score at the EURO also belongs to Modric when in 2008 “tear” Austria from the penalty spot to score the only goal of the match at the age of 22 years, 273 days. Modric is also the first Croatian player to score in three Euros (2008, 2016, and 2020).
Luka Modric will “tear the net” Brazil?
At this moment, at the 2022 World Cup, Luka Modric has yet to score. Modric’s beautiful stroke of the ball with his class in the 63rd minute against Japan in the 1/8 round was excellently saved by goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda.
But for a player like him, no one knows what will happen to Brazil in the quarterfinals.
Fitness? It is not a matter of concern because the 4-day period from the night of December 5 (the end of the 1/8 round with Japan) until the meeting with Brazil (the next night of December 9) is enough for the superhuman “machine” Modric. recuperate. Modric’s football thinking technique is not worth discussing at the age of 37.
It should be remembered that during the past 4 matches at the 2022 World Cup, Modric always started, either played the whole match or only left the field in the last minutes (including the 0-0 draw with Morocco; 86 minutes the victory over Canada 4-1). ; played the whole match of life and death with Belgium 0-0; and the latest 99 minutes against Japan in the 1/8 round).
In the role of “conductor” of Croatia, Luka Modric often retreats deep into the home field to receive the ball to coordinate and organize attacks. Then reappear in the opponent’s half to launch decisive passes, or finish. When Croatia did not have the ball, Modric along with Brozovic, Kovacic were the interceptors from afar, helping the defense to minimize the pressure.
“I see myself as capable of playing until I’m 40, or even longer. I’m physically and mentally strong right now. Right now, I want to go little by little and enjoy what I’m doing.”, Modric expressed a great state of mind and body, ready to go with Croatia to face Brazil in the quarter-finals of the World Cup 2022.