Luka Modric, the charismatic captain of Croatia, is centre of attention before his country’s first ever World Cup final against France on Sunday.
This is undoubtedly the biggest match in the history of Croatian football and both Zlatko Dalić and Captain Luka Modrić admitted to the magnitude of the occasion at the pre-match press conference in the Luzhniki stadium, Moscow.
Luka Modric was surprised by the first question about his low-height and the Real Madrid star replied, "I honestly have nothing to say. I have never doubted myself. I always believed I could be here. I'm proof that you do not have to be huge to play football.”
The man who covered most distance in the tournament and one of the top contenders for the Golden ball kept this topic away from team glory.
“I'm focused on the success of the team, nice to mention me in the context of the Golden Ball. But the most important thing is to win the World Cup tomorrow, so we'll see. Individual things are not a priority.”
The number 10 was full of praise for his coach, Zlatko Dalic. “In the final games of the World Cup qualifiers, he came in at a difficult moment. Fortunately the first match against Greece was great, so too was Ukraine. And these matches took us to Russia. We most like his honesty and his approach towards player. He showed his ability not only as a coach, but also as a person.”
Modric shared his never-give-up attitude with the press. "I've been through a lot in life, the most important thing is that you never surrender, you believe in yourself. There are ups and downs, but you always have to believe in yourself. We need to fight for our dreams, it always led me. I say what I feel at the moment and we'll see what's coming tomorrow.
Certainly we’ll be emotional before going out, but we have to leave the emotions and give it everything ,”says Modric.
While asked about the squad and the fitness of the players, Dalic replied, “Tomorrow's finals, players know what it is. One thing I'm happy about is what our players say if they are not ready. They know what the stake is, but if they cannot do everything they can, they'll tell us at the meeting. We did not risk training, because we have nothing to train. We all know we need relaxation. We hope everyone will be ready, and if not, we have a good team of players ready to jump”
The journalists were very interested to know how the people in Croatia will react if they win the World Cup. “This is what we are looking forward to seeing. We are proud to make the Croatian people happy and the people have forgotten about all the problems. Whether we win or lose, there will be an earthquake-like eruption in Croatia from the fans. There will certainly be four million people in the streets and in the celebration they could surpass Brazil and Argentina,” said Dalic.