Luka Modric entertained himself briefly a few weeks ago on his way to the dressing room, who was recently eliminated with Real Madrid from the Champions League in the semi-finals, because the footballer who scored the goal that finished the match (2-0) owes him something. . In the first leg in Alfredo Di Stefano, Croatian Mason Mount gave the shirt, but the Englishman ran away without leaving his shirt. To fix this, Modric went to the failed exchange broker, Mateo Kovacic, Mount’s team-mate at Chelsea and him in the Croatian national team. For the 22-year-old English player, his opponent’s determination to get his jersey was moving. Modric, 35, has been the idol he’s watched since he was a kid watching video after video.
Mount was called up on Thursday three days before he and the rest of the Croatian national team meet in London on Sunday for England’s first game in this European Championship (15.00, four). “I spoke to Kovacic before the first game and asked him if he could give me the shirt. I understood. And he asked me in the second, because I didn’t give it to him in the first. Kova told me he likes to trade it and take possession of the other players. He came and said he wanted mine. And he wished me luck. Happy for the next match. It was great to talk to him. He remembers between liking and hurting.
“Playing against him was strange, because I saw him grow so much that I somehow knew his movements, what he was going to do. It pays to be a fan of the player and play against him, because he was in the Champions League semi-final with the Croatian in the same areas of the pitch,” said Mount. You know what he likes to do.
This Saturday, Modric, who was much closer to the basic choice-commitment of his team and with whom he played 138 games, showed a little more distance: “I wished him good luck in the final. Mason showed that he is a player with a lot of talent and potential. He said of a player who fought 16 international matches.
At the moment, he is still at the helm of a team that begins to rebuild after losing six players in the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia in which they defeated England (Subasic, Strinic, Rakitic, Korluka, Pivaric and Mandzukic). “I feel good after such a difficult season. Playing for the national team is always a great honor and commitment,” Modric said. The spirit of what Croatia achieved under him at the World Cup and which led to the Ballon d’Or was very present in Rovinj’s focus. There they were training at the time of the meeting in Trying to adapt to the temperature forecast this Sunday in London, 28 degrees, the hottest day of the year in England.
In their camp, the Croats infused their fighting spirit with a memory of the World Cup as they pushed themselves to the limit – three more times, penalty shootouts – and in which Mount, a boyish teenager, visited with Phil Foden, the other great rising talent England had since joined. “We met Fabregas, and he got to know me. Or he reminds me of training with Chelsea. He is an absolute legend, and we have to talk to him for a while … ”, remembers the Englishman.
Modric feeds on what Mount considers a tourist memorial, and also lights up with his teammates, underscoring the imbalance in the stands. “They are playing on their land, with their people, they will be very motivated,” he said. Wembley will receive 22,500 spectators, but almost all English due to pandemic restrictions. It costs 10 days of quarantine to enter the UK, and London these days is a city with a less hustle and bustle, with no queues at generally crowded places like the Natural History Museum or Trafalgar Square. There, under Nelson’s column, workers were still busy this Saturday to raise the official UEFA fan zone. It was almost the only place in the center where you could find the European Cup logo which was still very far away, but started with maximum revolutions for these two semi-finalists from the last World Cup. Croatia still stands with Modric’s support and England have added a lot of gunpowder upstairs with footballers like Mount, who no longer wants to replace his jacket with his idol: “I will keep everything I wear in the European Cup. I don’t want to give them away.”
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