Luka Modric reveals ‘dream’ retirement plan
Real Madrid star Luka Modric has said that it is his ‘dream’ to retire at the club, but will not make a decision about his future until after the World Cup.
Modric has captained Croatia back to the semi-finals for a second successive World Cup, aiming to steer his country to another final after also getting there in 2018.
The 37-year-old is out of contract with Real at the end of the season after signing a new 12-month deal last summer. But he remains a vitally important player for Los Blancos, having won his fifth Champions League title in May and starting all but one game in the last season’s competition.
“What happens next, let’s see, there’s enough time to talk about everything,” Modric told reporters ahead of Croatia’s semi-final clash with Argentina.
“Of course, I want to retire in Madrid, I’ve said that many times. You can’t say anything for 100 per cent, but that’s my idea, and it’s a dream for me.”
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Modric joined Real Madrid from Tottenham back in 2012. He had been a star in the making at Dinamo Zagreb as early as 2003 and made his first World Cup appearance for Croatia in 2006. The 2022 finals in Qatar is the fourth World Cup of his career and eighth major international tournament.
England will be considered failures if we don’t win Euro 2024
England defender Harry Maguire has revealed he will head to Euro 2024 with the mindset that anything less than winning the competition will be a failure.
The Three Lions have cemented their status as a strong tournament team over the last half-decade under the guidance of Gareth Southgate.
After reaching the FIFA World Cup semi-finals in 2018, England were only denied victory at Euro 2020 on penalties against Italy in the final.
There were high hopes that they could go all the way at the 2022 World Cup over the winter, but were narrowly beaten by reigning champions France in a hard-fought quarter-final.
England kicked off their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign with a 2-1 win at Italy, and speaking to the press post-match, Maguire revealed his ambitions for glory in Germany next summer.
“I think for me, at my age as well, 30 years old now, I’m with a mindset of, ‘If we don’t win the tournament, it’s been a failure’,” he said.
“We’ve got to qualify first – I mean it’s a tough group, [but] we’ve come here and got an amazing result.
“But that’s my mindset. I’ve been at three major tournaments now and I’ve come so close. I believe we have the players to win it. We went into Qatar wanting to win the tournament. So ultimately, when we get knocked out, as a squad we’re disappointed. The performances were good, we kept the most clean sheets at the tournament, we were one of the top goalscorers despite going out in the quarter-final.
“I’m speaking on behalf of myself but I know from speaking to the other lads as well, they were really pleased that Gareth stayed [on as manager]. We’ve built something as a group and he’s been the leader of it. He’s been the one who’s given us hope and given us belief as a country to be successful in these major tournaments and, for sure, it benefits us for us for him to be in charge.
“These big tournaments are decided on the finest margins. We played really well in the World Cup and ultimately, we got knocked out by a good French team. A French team that we believe we can take on and if we play them ten times, we would give them a good game ten times and probably win more than we lose.
“However, they’ve proven over the years that they manage to get the job done better than England do. So it’s something that we’re working on. We have so much talent and so many young players coming through.”
Maguire recognised that England were simply beaten at the 2022 World Cup by a more experienced and successful international side in France.
Despite reservations over Didier Deschamps, the 54-year-old has an incredible tournament record – to have won one final and lost two others is a far better record than most other coaches in the history of football.
England hope to be on a similar path with Southgate, but as Maguire insisted, they need to win a tournament if they’re to be remembered fondly and without tinges of regret.
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