Croatia captain Luka Modric has insisted that his side fears nobody as they enter the knockout stages of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Modric, 37, was at his usual best for Vatreni as they sealed their place in the last 16 of the FIFA World Cup after a 0-0 draw with Belgium.
The Real Madrid man has been an ever-present for Zlatko Dalić’s side, making three appearances in the group stages.
Croatia have progressed from the group stages at the last two World Cups after failing to do so in 2002, 2006, and 2014.
He has talked up his side’s credentials of beating whomever they come up against in the next round of the FIFA World Cup.
Dalic’s men face the winners of Group E, which could be Spain, Costa Rica, or Japan.
Modric said (via Reuters):
“It’s very important that we are in the round of 16. I don’t have any preferences for the next round. Whoever our opponent, is we will give our best.”
The Madrid midfielder admitted that all of their potential opponents will be difficult opposition but that the Croats are a tough task themselves:
“We will fight, we will try to spare no effort whether it’s Spain, Costa Rica, Japan, or Germany. All will be difficult but they will also have a difficult time against Croatia.”
Sixteen years of Luka Modric bossing World Cups
Croatia’s incredible 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign remembered
Croatia are through to the last 16 of the FIFA World Cup and could be about to replicate their phenomenal performance in the 2018 edition.
Vatreni were perfect in Group D of the 2018 tournament, beating Iceland 2-1, thrashing Argentina 3-0, and securing a 2-0 win over Nigeria.
They headed into the last 16 and beat Denmark 3-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in normal time.
Croatia then knocked out the hosts Russia in the quarter-finals with another penalty shootout victory.
The Croats won 4-3 on penalties after a 2-2 draw this time.
Modric’s side then eliminated England from the FIFA World Cup with a 2-1 win in extra time.
Spectacular FIFA World Cup 2018 Croatian journey, culminating in electrifying finals against France yesterday. France won the cup but Croatia, a country of only 4.2 million people created history. Congratulations both France & Croatia! Hrvatska u srcu!
They came up short in the final, losing 4-2 to France, but it was a campaign to remember for a country with a population of 3.9 million.
Whether Vatreni can follow in the footsteps of their heroic performance in 2018 remains to be seen, but they can take comfort from the experience they earned.
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