Luka Modric wants Croatia to emulate 1998 semifinals run | The Daily Star
03:51 PM, July 01, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:15 PM, July 01, 2018

Modric wants Croatia to emulate 1998 semifinals run

Croatia famously made it to the semifinals of the 1998 World Cup in France thanks to terrific performances from players like Davor Suker and other players of that generation.

They beat Germany in the quarterfinals stage with Suker finding the net in a 3-0 victory. Suker ended up as the top goal-scorer of the tournament and won the coveted Golden Boot in the 1998 World Cup. It was a dream run for a nation and it captured the imagination of the younger generation and inspired them. Players like Ivan Rakitic and Luca Modric are now taking up the mantle. Croatia’s run in 1998 ended after being beaten by hosts and eventual champions France in the semifinals. They managed to capture third place after beating Netherlands, the other semifinalists who had lost against Brazil.

Croatia’s current generation now wants to emulate that achievement by the 1998 team as captain Luka Modric and coach Zlato Dalic hailing their fantastic campaign so far.

They topped a difficult Group D by winning all three matches, which included a 3-0 hammering of Lionel Messi’s Argentina. Croatia will meet Denmark in the Round of 16 and Modric believed that this generation of players will overcome the hurdle and make it past the semifinals.

"We've played fantastically in the group stage. We must be proud of that. But for this new game, we must forget all that went before," captain Luka Modric, a 12-year-old when Croatia reached the semifinals in France in 1998, said.

"It is a stern test for us, but it is high time that this generation hurdles this obstacle which we haven't hurdled since 1998. I expect us to be capable of doing that ... we are full of self-confidence."

Modric will come up against Denmark midfielder Christian Ericksen and he hailed the Dane as a ‘world-class player’ when he was asked to compare.

"I don't like to compare players, particularly to myself," Modric said. "Eriksen is a world-class player.

"He has had a fantastic season at Tottenham, and I am sure he is their [Denmark's] best player. But I think what will decide the game tomorrow will be how teams perform. No individual can do it all on their own,” he concluded.

Croatia coach Dalic hoped that Modric could win the player of the tournament award.

"It's not going to go to [Lionel] Messi ... I would be the happiest man in the world if it were Luka because it would have meant Croatia did something significant.

"Irrespective of what comes next, these are the best days of my career, whatever the result tomorrow,” he said.

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