As Croatia prepares to play Argentina, Modric remarks on stopping Messi, saying, “We are going to have a lot of issues to stop him.”
Argentina are set to face off against Croatia in the semifinal of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
The fixture pits Argentine superstar Lionel Messi against Croatian midfield maestro Luka Modric.
Messi and Modric are former Ballon d’Or winners and faced each other in the group stage of the last edition.
Messi led Argentina to the final of the 2014 edition only to lose to Germany in extra time.
Modric aims to steer Croatia back to the final after losing to France in the 2018 edition.
Ahead of the semifinal fixture, Modric was complimentary of Messi who he had previously faced off in El Clasico rivalries between Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Speaking to RTVE, Modric explained the difficulties of going up against an Argentine team led by Messi.
He said, “Argentina are a great team. I’m not just looking forward to playing against one player.
“Of course, Leo Messi is a very big player, their best player, and we will have a lot of difficulties to stop him, but we are ready and we will give everything.”
“We are going to try to play the best game of our lives in the tournament. I hope it will be enough to reach the final.”[ruby_related heading=”More Read” total=5 layout=1]
Modric is not looking beyond Argentina but believes his Croatian team has the potential to emerge as World Cup winners.
Modric explained how advancing to the final of the last edition has helped the team as well as being outsiders not given much of a chance at the title.
He added, “It’s normal, everyone looks more for the big countries,” Modric added.
“As we are a small country, nobody takes us into account, but we have no problem with others being the favorites and us being in the shadows.”
“That is something from outside, that we cannot control. We can only compete to the maximum and give everything, which is our forte.
“Before I left for the World Cup, we talked about it a lot in the dressing room and I said ‘watch out for Croatia.
‘I saw a very good team, mature, with young players who have brought new quality and energy.”
Modric made his debut for Argentina in 2006 and is now a rematch in the semifinal of the World Cup at the Lusail Stadium on Tuesday, December 13, 2022.