Southgate Responds to Modrić’s English Media Comments: You Didn’t Understand Our Humor

Daniela Rogulj

Croatia will host England in the UEFA Nations League on Friday in front of an empty Rujevica stadium. Kick-off is at 20:45 (CEST). 

Luka Modrić has been the hot topic of English media over the last 24 hours – and no, it’s not because of his football achievements. Namely, the English media have analyzed the Croatia captain’s comments at yesterday’s press conference, where he recalled English journalists underestimating Croatia at the World Cup in Russia this summer, reports on October 12, 2018. 

“I said that then because that’s how I felt. I did not mean English players, but the people around the team. First of all, the media did not appreciate Croatia enough, which motivated us further. That was my and our impression. It was not about the players and coaches. Is this a problem in general? You know it best,” Luka Modrić said on Thursday. 

Luka’s comments warranted a response from some of the most popular English news sites, such as the Independent. 

“Croatians missed the English humor. ‘It’s Coming Home’ was an English mantra on the road to the semi-finals of the World Cup. Gareth Southgate believes that English humor is sometimes misunderstood. Midfielder Luka Modrić spoke against what he considered was a low level of disrespect towards Croatia. Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić and Luka Modrić reiterated their beliefs that Croatia was underestimated ahead of the Nations League game on the Adriatic coast. Modrić claims that Croatia was further motivated to win against Southgate’s team because of it,” the Independent said.

Sky Sports even commented. 

“Luka Modrić says the English media underestimated Croatia at the World Cup. The newly crowned king of international football accused the media of giving Croatia no chance ahead of the semi-finals and Croatia’s victory in Moscow.”

But best of all, England coach Gareth Southgate had the last word.

“The song is humorous, is it not? That is English humor. I saw Modrić’s comments after the World Cup game. It was not much fun to read. As players, we always show the greatest respect to our rivals. We never come out with anything and we do not say anything in the media about not respecting the other team. I think that is the humility and humor we have,” concluded the England coach.


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