How Modric’s legs suddenly became “light”…
If even a missed penalty shot in injury time can’t dampen the Croatians’ confidence, then anything seems possible. “In this case, “Everything” can of course be replaced by the World Cup title. That’s what the fiery have been striving for since they arrived in Russia – and more than ever since the penalty shoot-out spectacle against Denmark.His head turned towards the ground, his shoulders sunk down, his eyelids fell – and Luka Modric knew in this 116th minute that he had made a serious mistake with his missed penalty kick at 1:1. “It was bitter for me not to turn the penalty kick, especially because I spent the whole morning watching myself hit against flattery,” the Real professional and reigning Champions League winner said afterwards.
Modric also found it difficult to leave his team’s mark on the game in general. After all, he took another penalty shoot-out and scored 2-2, his comment: “It was very hot today, which made running very difficult.
It comes as no surprise, however, that Modric of all people was the first to untie his legs after the “lucky drama” (Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic) and the 4-3 draw on penalties. The 32-year-old sprinted unscrupulously from the centre line towards Ivan Rakitic, who secured the quarter-finals with his golden shot, embraced almost every player and paid tribute to goalkeeper Danijel Subasic, who parried three penalties in the final thriller.
Suker: “We can beat anyone”
And now, one day after reaching the quarter-finals? Well: Croatia strives for more. The upcoming quarter-final on Saturday (8 pm) against hosts Russia, who kicked Spain out of the competition as one of their favourites, should not be a final stop for a long time. “That wasn’t the end of the story, we are ready and want to go a long way,” says Coach Dalic.
“It will be a great game, simply great,” says the former world-class striker, world championship third-placed and world championship top scorer in 1998 (six goals) and current association president Davor Suker with a view to the duel in Sochi and adds full of pathos: “We can beat everyone, we have made the four million Croatians proud again. The whole world respects us!”