Croats Brilliant in Champions League Final: Modrić and Lovren Among Best on Pitch

Daniela Rogulj

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Two Croatian national team players were especially good in the Champions League final on Saturday in Kiev. 

For the sixth consecutive year, a Croatian footballer has taken home the Champions League title. Once again, it was Luka Modrić and Mateo Kovačić to raise Real Madrid’s third consecutive trophy, while Liverpool’s Dejan Lovren fell short in the 3:1 game, reports on May 27, 2018. 

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Though Kovačić did not enter the pitch in the final for Real Madrid, Lovren and Modrić both played all 90 minutes. According to the leading international media the day after the match, Croatia’s national team representatives played nearly perfect games. 

Spanish national daily sports newspaper Marca declared Modrić the second best player on Real Madrid after Gareth Bale. Modrić was his classic self in conducting Madrid’s game from the first minute, while he brilliantly hustled back to fill the holes in Madrid’s defense when Liverpool would dangerously attack. 

Modrić achieved a 94% pass accuracy, won 100% of his tackles, and somehow managed to commit zero fouls.

“You could hardly notice him – and that’s exactly why he is on the pitch. Real’s center worked smoothly with his excellent addition. He is the football equivalent to an electric motor,” writes the English Independent, who rated Luke 8 out of the possible 10.

Although he finished in tears at the end, Dejan Lovren played a stellar match. Though the Croatian defender had the most challenging task – to mark Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema – Lovren was flawless and even assisted Sadia Mane for the equalizer. 

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The English media congratulated Lovren for being one of Liverpool’s top players. The BBC, as well as the distinguished Guardian and football portal Squawka, rated him a 7 out of 10.

Talksport was the most impressed by the performance of the Croatian stopper. After assessing him an 8, Talksport expressed how ”surprisingly he was the best player on Liverpool.” Lovren’s good form, however, couldn’t help Liverpool – and the Reds eventually allowed three goals, mostly thanks to goalkeeper Loris Karius.

“This is unbelievable. As you said, this is a historical success! I do not know if anyone will ever do this again. When we won the Champions League for the second time in a row, it is amazing, and this is a historical achievement. Just before, we spoke about how we watched basketball films the other day. Teams such as the Bulls, Lakers, and Celtics, who have won championship titles several times in a row, are called Dynasties. I think that we can call this a football dynasty,” Modrić said directly after the final. 

“It’s difficult to find the words to describe this. It looks very simple, but it’s actually very, very hard. It took a lot of effort every day to be here. We are thrilled and we will enjoy this,” Modrić added.

“Every title is special. The first I won with the team was the tenth, and the first Champions League title for Madrid after 12, 13 years. Every title is special, but maybe the first one is the sweetest.”

And when asked if the Croatian footballer sees four consecutive titles in the future?

“Of course! The next finals will be in Madrid (Wanda Metropolitano, Atletico Madrid stadium). We must first celebrate this title and then prepare for the next season. But first, we have to celebrate and not overthink in advance,” concluded Luka.


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