Croatia captain and inspirational midfielder, Luka Modric, is looking for his side to take a further step towards success when they play hosts Russia for a place in the last four of the World Cup on Saturday.
Croatia’s win over Denmark following a penalty shootout in the last 16 saw them progress past the first game of the knockout stage of a major competition for the first time since 2008, and speaking to the press, the midfielder highlighted the importance of that achievement which now sees them face the hosts in Sochi, reports Xinhua.
“The attitude and organisation of Russia was vital when it came to limiting Spain’s potential.
“Russia are very comfortable playing on the break, they work hard and they are well-organised. I know they are going to try and take their chance to progress,” said Modric, who expected the Russians to sit deep when they play his team this weekend.
“It’s going to be spectacular to face Russia and their fans… They have already got past serious problems to get this far, especially as they have the lowest FIFA ranking,” he added.
Modric also looked at his own side’s success as they look to emulate or improve on the performance of the side which finished third in the 1998 World Cup.
“We have not got past the first knockout round since 2008 and it was very important for us to get past that. We have finally got a good result after many years of trying and that means a lot to me. I started playing for Croatia in 2008 and we have had a lot of unlucky defeats, we needed a bit of luck to get through, but we have worked for it,” said Modric.
“I want this Croatian side to confirm its talent and to take another step forward,” he concluded.