It can be said, Luka Modric is a mutant. The captain of the checkerboard selection has also allowed Croatia to qualify at the end of the suspense (2-1, ap), although it seems to mark the coup.
Highly the holidays for Luka Modric! For if Croatia qualifies thanks to its mental strength, its ability to react and a boost of fate this Wednesday against England (2-1, ap), the captain of the selection checkered seemed leached. This did not prevent him from being above the fray technically, of course, but it was enough to see the grin of the little Croatian Mozart at his exit, at the 118th minute, to understand what he had just lived and that lactic acid had invaded his legs for a long time.
Before that, everything had started badly for the Real Madrid midfielder. A foul on Dele Alli in the fifth minute, which gave Kieran Trippier the opportunity to send the ball in the skylight and allow England to open the scoring. Not really in his match, when he started almost as number 10 and backed away, Luka Modric touched only six small balls in the first quarter of an hour. His teammates never found the pass lines to serve their metronome, while he was the only one to light the ball game to the foot. From his impeccable wing change for Ivan Perisic (19th) to his outside, still for the Croatian number 4, at the 105 + 1st, “Lukita” has often been the blazer of We would have liked to see it higher up and in various areas
Still capable of flashes of genius and sumptuous inspirations, Luka Modric has struggled, in the first and second period, to shine as he is used to. The fault, perhaps, to its positioning on the ground. Often too low, rarely high and always in the right axis of the field (see heat map below), it is surely by fatigue that he has projected less, while he has incredible qualities to offer the last pass.
And without taking anything away from Brozovic’s performance, a Casemiro type – as he took advantage of it at Real – could have been of great help to the Croatian side, which we have seen stay low to ensure a balance at the loss of ball and allow the eleven not to discover themselves. Luka Modric has finally sailed between the less good, the normal and sometimes the very good, while his match has little to do with the delicious sheet music he had delivered until then. Even if, obviously, Croatia would have had a completely different face without King Luka in midfield.
Champions League finals, heavy use, and three extra legs, Luka Modric was tired. Yet he is still showing incredible fitness, even if the weight of the kilometers begins to be felt. We would ask him for his secret recipe, while a 102nd-minute action perfectly embodies this gift of self. After a strangely missed pass, Luka Modric returned to tackle the feet of his direct opponent and sent the ball into touch. Nothing very significant, but few people would have put him at that time. Lying on the ground in the 104th minute, hands on his knees a few times, we saw the Prince of Zadar lack of oxygen, although the high-intensity sprints do not seem to be a problem for him. We knew the Modric capable of eliminating, guiding, playing head-up, and we saw him again tonight, but he was a warrior who was seen shining in the night of Moscow. The same city that could make it the favorite of the Ballon d’Or FF this Sunday against France.