Croatian star and Real Madrid legend Luka Modric has declared the legendary Lionel Messi the best player in the Argentina camp. But along with that, he also stated that a semi-final match is not just about one single player.
Luka Modric and Lionel Messi share the same jersey number, 10, and have faced each other on 26 occasions in their careers. Out of which, Modric has won 12 times over the Barcelona icon, lost on 9 occasions and drawn five times.
Croatia had beaten the five-time world champions Brazil in the quarterfinals, who were the fan favourites to win the cup this year on penalties. After the match ended with a 1-1 draw, the 2018 finalists, being more experienced with penalties and the hero goalkeeper, Livankovic, won 4-2.
Likewise, Argentina was also pushed to play 120 minutes in their quarterfinals faceoff against the Netherlands, which proved to be indecisive and the game extended to penalty shootouts. The nail-biting penalty ended with the Argentine victory of 4-3 over Van Dijk’s Netherlands.
Croatia and Argentina are all set for battle on Tuesday for a spot in the grand finale of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in the Lusail Stadium. What makes it even more iconic is that two Ballon d’Or winners will go against each other.
However, Modric, the 2018 Ballon d’Or winner, has insisted that Argentina’s team is much more than just a single player, Messi, being as humble as he is. He spoke to the press and said,
Luka Modric on Lionel Messi
“Argentina is a big team; I don’t just want to play against one player. Of course, Leo Messi is very big, their best player, and we’re going to have a lot of difficulties to stop him, but we’re prepared, and we’re going to give it our all.
“Let’s go to try to make the best match of the tournament of our lives. I hope it will be enough to be in the final.” Lionel Messi-led Argentina faced a tarnishing defeat in their previous encounter against Croatia in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, losing 3-0 in the group stage of itself.