Being the all star squad they are Real Madrid has lots of players in the World Cup this year to follow. Although several of them have been sent packing already including Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Toni Kroos (Germany), Keylor Navas (Costa Rica), Isco, Lucas Vazquez, Sergio Ramos, Marco Asensio, Nacho and Carvajal (Spain) we still have Marcelo, Casemiro (Brazil), Varane (France), Kovacic and Modric (Croatia) in the hunt.
With Portugal and Spain out already my loyalty must lie with one of the remaining Real Madrid players to go all the way. I do love Marcelo, the life of the party at Real Madrid, but I am not really a fan of Brazil and they are already one of the favorites. Nevertheless the outright favorites don’t usually win. If I were to pick a team with talent and the potential to win I would have to go with Croatia.
Croatia is led by the little man in the center of the field, the great Luka Modric. In my opinion Modric has been the most important player for Real Madrid since he arrived from Tottenham, with the exception of Cristiano. As many of his teammates have stated, Modric is not only a great player, he’s also a great person. He’s humble and courteous and has always treated the press with respect. In terms of great footballers, Modric somewhat flies under the radar, even though he has been as important to Real Madrid as the likes of the more heralded Xavi and Iniesta for Barcelona.
Modric is in great form this World Cup. Although he missed a key penalty at the end of regular time in yesterday’s match he has scored a brilliant goal (plus a penalty) and has been bossing the midfield to the level we are accustomed to. Yesterday he was relentless for 90 minutes plus the extra 30 minutes of overtime. He simply did not stop running and making plays.
The 3-0 demolition of Argentina showed what Croatia is capable of. For a good stretch of the match they held of Argentina’s advances and then hit ‘em when they least expected it, going on to win 3-0. Unlike Russia who was solid in defense, 11 men defending in their area, but virtually inexistent in attack, Croatia has a compact defense but they can also attack.
After getting past Denmark in the last 16 Croatia’s next match is against Russia. I honestly can’t see Russia being lucky or skilled enough to beat 2 good teams in a row. Next they could potentially meet Switzerland or England in the semi-final, another highly winnable match. The toughest match would be in the final, mostly likely against Brazil or France. There anything can happen, but if I were a betting man, my bet would be on Croatia at sport.netbet.co.uk.
It’s time for the little midfielder to shine and get the credit he deserves for being the great player that he is. For Modric to retire without a Golden Ball would be a travesty.