Modric attacks “arrogance” of English media ahead of Euro 2020 opening for Croatia
The playmaker, three years after his Three Lions rant, absolved Gareth Southgate’s side of pride, instead drawing his anger at the press.
Luka Modric denounced the “arrogance” of the English media ahead of Croatia’s Euro 2020 opener against the Three Lions at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, while adding that visitors will be “realistic” in their expectations for tournament.
Croatia travel to London for the first of their Group D clashes this weekend, in a highly anticipated rematch of the 2018 World Cup semi-final, where Zlatko Dalic’s side beat the Gareth Southgate’s team in overtime.
Three years ago, Modric launched swings against England after his country won, saying the media circus surrounding them should have been more “humble” amid the resurgence of Three Lions fervor – well that this time he was quicker to temper his comments and target.
What was said?
“This arrogance is not so much about the players and the national team as it is about the people around them,” the Real Madrid playmaker sought to clarify in his pre-match press conference.
“[It was or is more] some journalists and commentators. Recently, I haven’t read a lot of media.
“I’m looking forward to the game and don’t want to say too much about what’s going on on the other side.”
Modric warns against high-level optimism
Croatia turned out to be a surprise package in their run to the 2018 World Cup final, although the need for two penalties and another overtime thriller to get them to the flagship game was an issue. weakness ruthlessly exposed by France at the end.
Modric has tried to keep hopes of another superlative race to a minimum, adding: “Expectations are high but we have to be realistic, go game by game.
“In the big competitions, we presented very good matches and sometimes the nuances prevented us from going to the top.
“For this reason, we shouldn’t think that we can reach the final every time, as much self-confidence and conviction as we have.”
The bigger picture
Croatia head to Wembley on a relatively rocky form race, having only two wins since last November against relative minnows Cyprus and Malta.
A draw with Armenia and a loss to France in their final warm-up matches will not have suggested that they will be among the favorites to lift the Euro 2020 crown next month.
England will be particularly wary of the threat Modric and his team-mates may possess, however, as Southgate is unlikely to take them for granted in what will be a vital Group D opening game.