Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic is hopeful Luka Modric will NOT retire from international duty after the World Cup – despite the 37-year-old previously admitting Qatar 2022 would be his LAST tournament for his country
Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic is hopeful that Luka Modric will not retire from international duty following the nation’s World Cup exit – despite the 37-year-old admitting Qatar 2022 would be his last tournament.
The Croats bowed out of the tournament at the semi-final stage, following their 3-0 defeat to Argentina on Tuesday night.
It was a battle between 22 players but two legends of the game dominated the pre-match headlines – Luka Modric and Lionel Messi.
The last dance? Luka Modric was substituted during the World Cup semi-final in what could be his last game for Croatia
But Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic is hopeful Luka Modric will not retire from international duty
Unfortunately for Modric, it was his former El Clasico rival Messi who shone on the night, guiding his side into Sunday’s World Cup final against France.
Dalic believes it would be a ‘pity and regret for fans around the world’ if Modric decides to retire following the nation’s World Cup exit.
At 37-years-old, the Real Madrid stalwart is contemplating his future in a Croatia shirt and going into the World Cup, he admitted that Qatar would be his last international tournament.
‘I am aware that I am of a certain age and that this is my last competition in the Croatian National team,’ Modric told Fifa+.
Modric finished as a World Cup runner-up in Russia four years ago – picking up the player of the tournament award for his influential performances.
Going into the World Cup, Modric admitted Qatar would be his last international tournament
Dalic has had his say on the legend’s future and remains hopeful. ‘He was very disappointed yesterday, the defeat and the match were hard on him,’ he said. ‘It’s logical that he feels that way [considering retirement], it was really hard for him.
‘I hope he stays in the national team. Of course, he will decide about it himself. We have a game on Saturday and we’ll talk after that. It will be difficult for me if Modric says goodbye.
‘If Luka says goodbye to the national team, it will be a pity and regret for all the fans around the world.
‘It will be difficult for me too if he decides otherwise, but the whole world respects Modric. It would be nice if he continued.’
Modric says it would be a ‘dream’ to see out his career at Real Madrid – having joined Los Blancos in August 2012
Just a month prior to claiming Qatar 2022 would be his last international tournament, Modric had remained tight-lipped on any plans for retirement, insisting he was focused on the Nations League and the World Cup.
And more recently, before Croatia’s semi-final with Argentina, Modric revealed that it would be a ‘dream’ to see out his career at Real Madrid – having joined Los Blancos in August 2012.
Modric – a Ballon d’Or winner – is regarded as one of the great midfielders. After Croatia were dumped out by Argentina, tributes from the football world flooded in for Modric.