Luka Modrić: Why Would I Retire from the Croatia National Team?

Daniela Rogulj

The best footballer in the world talks Croatia and how Dinamo shaped him to be the person he is today. 

It has been nothing short of a stellar year for Croatia’s golden boy Luka Modrić. After winning the Champions League with Real Madrid and taking Croatia to the World Cup final this summer, where he was named the best player of the tournament, Modrić was then named the best footballer in Europe by UEFA and the best midfielder of the Champions League. But that’s not all. 

On Monday, Modrić was named the winner of FIFA’s ‘Best’ award, officially making him the best footballer in the world this year – and he beat out Cristiano Ronaldo to do it. 

Modrić already shared some of his impressions in his speech at the Royal Festival Hall in London which paid great respect to Croatian football legend Zvonimir Boban, but in an interview with Sportske Novosti, Modrić decided to bare a bit more. 

One of the burning questions thrown at the 33-year-old concerns his fate with the Croatia national team. Modrić, however, has delighted Croatia fans all over the world with his answer, reports on September 26, 2018. 

“I will not set any deadlines! Otherwise, I have to tell you that a lot of people have said that it is now an ideal moment to retire from the national team. But I never thought so much. I like to play for the team, I enjoy it! As long as I think I can help, as long as the team needs me, I’ll be there. When I feel that they do not need me anymore, I will say that it is enough. It is difficult to evaluate how long that will be, but I feel good. I’m in good shape, both physically and psychologically, so why would I not play for my country anyway?” says Modrić.

He adds that his beginnings at Dinamo built him as a man and helped him to remain independent:

“I came to Dinamo at the age of 14, and I went through all my growth at Maksimir. All of that built me as a person and helped me to become independent. Dinamo is of immense importance for everything that is happening to me today. I made the biggest transfer from Dinamo, so it is apparent how important this club is in my career,” Modrić said, and added that it did not hit him when he was sent loan from Maksimir to Zrinjski. 

“I was in my most sensitive football years. It was important to go somewhere where I would play. I came to an unknown league, which turned out to be a very strong league. But it was good for young players and prepared them for great challenges. That life and football stage helped me so much, leaving there did not hurt me at all, though.”

And is there another Champions League title with Real Madrid in his future?

“We’ll see… The season is long and difficult, I hope that we can still do it.”


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