Croatia superstar Luka Modric has hit back at the English media for referring to the Croatian team as ‘walking dead’ after beating England 2-1 in the semi-final of the World Cup to reach in the final for the first time.
Croatia showed great character and resilience to come back from 1-0 down to secure a 2-1 win over the Three Lions and the Real Madrid midfielder played a very integral part in the game where goals from Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic turned the tie in favour of the Croats.
English media referred the Croatian team as ‘walking dead’ as the Croats had to beat the previous two teams in the knockout rounds to reach the semis. However, the 32-year old midfielder told beIN SPORTS that all those words from the English media gave Croatia more strength and eagerness to prove them wrong.
“Their journalists and pundits on television were talking prior to this match about us being tired, being the walking dead,” Modric told beIN SPORTS .
“Those words from them gave us even more eagerness to prove them wrong. They should be more humble and respectful.
“When you play a semi-final, it is impossible to be tired. You know how much is at stake. We showed that. Apart from against Argentina, that was our best game.”
Modric’s Croatia have taken a step further in this World Cup than the 1998 heroes, who lost to the host France in the last-four 20 years ago. Modric said that it is a dream come true for the whole nation but also insisted that the team deserved to be in this place even as no one considered Croatia could reach the final and be so close to the ultimate glory.
“It means everything. It's a dream come true for us, and all of Croatia,” he said.
“No-one gave us a chance before this World Cup, but with our quality, desire, togetherness and fighting spirit we have shown throughout the tournament, we are in the final.
“I think we deserve to be there. From the first goal they scored at the beginning, we dominated the game completely. We were much better technically and physically than England.” Modric concluded.